Current projects

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Virtual parent support portals: Towards a new research and practice agenda

Funding: Nuffield Foundation (Oct 2023-Dec 2025)

This study explores opportunities and risks associated with the digitalisation and hybridisation of family and parental support services. Employing the umbrella term of ‘virtual parent support portals’, the project adopts research review, social survey and qualitative methods to examine and expand research evidence about website-based and app-based resources, support and services for parents. The study is novel in its focus to examine characteristics, innovations and impacts of online and digital resources and services in this sphere that are targeted to parents on a universal and self-referral basis. The study is also novel in its focus to examine online and digital resources and services targeted to parents that operate as ‘standalone services’ and that operate as components of ‘multi-modal digital and in-person services’. The study asks: how can we better understand, evaluate and develop universally provided online, digital and multi-modal resources and support for parents as: (1) beneficial services for parents; and (2) components of early help and family support systems for children and families?

Read more here.

Follow on X @portalsproject

Sociological Studies project website launching soon.

Dr Harriet Churchill

Dr Jonathan Herbert

Project partners: Joe Lane & Daisy Elliott (Action for Children)

Sustainability, inclusiveness, productivity and equity and the transformation of Swedish working life courses (SIPET)

Funded by The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

SIPET will initiate a series of events with workshops and seminars as well as a PhD forum to foster interdisciplinarity, internationalisation and societal impact. This funded interdisciplinary research network aims push the boundaries of knowledge about the sustainability of late work in Sweden’s ageing population. It addresses health and skills for late work participation in an inequality-sensitive perspective on the transformation of work and productivity, shifts in policies and the ongoing life-course changes in ageing Sweden with an ambition for impact

Dr Liam Foster

Ethnicity and Unequal Ageing: Experiences in Rotherham and Sheffield

Funded by ESRC

This change-oriented project aims to transform both understanding of inclusive ageing, and the prospects for new policy and practice approaches to achieve it. It is a timely and bold interdisciplinary effort to push the boundaries of knowledge, methods and policy and practice regarding Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic and Refugee groups and the potential for their greater inclusion. The project team is a unique cross-sector collaboration.

Professor Majella Kilkey, Professor Matthew Bennett, Professor Alan Walker, Dr Jo Britton, Dr Lorna Warren, Dr Lois Orton and Dr Dan Holman

Conceptualising and evaluating the impact of policing drug markets

Funded by N8 Policing Research Partnership

Using the lens of harm reduction policing, this project is working alongside South Yorkshire Police to better understand and develop the ways in which drug policing strategies are designed and outcomes are measured.

Dr Xavier L'Hoiry

Understanding criminality in the private rented sector and co-producing solutions

Funded by ESRC

This project brings together multiple universities, practitioners and third sector organisations to develop understandings of and responses to criminality and victimhood in the context of the private rented sector.

Dr Xavier L'Hoiry

Watch Groups: Citizen-led Policing, Digital Surveillance & Vulnerable Groups

Funded by Leverhulme Trust

The project focuses on the rapid rise and proliferation of watch groups, citizen-led groups which perform surveillance, security and policing functions. The study adopts a multi-method approach to explore the motivations and functionalities of these groups as well as the impacts of their activities on those who fall under their surveillant gaze.

Dr Xavier L'Hoiry

Evaluating the impact of national and local action aimed at levelling up and pandemic recovery - Phase 1

Funded by NIHR

‘Levelling up’ is a government plan to improve living and working conditions and health for people in poorer places and from different backgrounds across England. This project will use different research approaches to look at the government’s Levelling Up plans across the country to find out what works and whether they work differently for different types of people and in different places.

Dr Dan Holman

Storying Life Courses for Intersectional Inclusion: Ethnicity and Wellbeing Across Time and Place

Funded by ESRC

The project's key aim is to critically interrogate accepted interpretations of social inclusion/exclusion in order to reconceptualise them from the perspective of the BAMER population's life courses, and to employ this reconceptualisation as the basis for a new understanding of inclusive ageing and the steps needed to achieve it.

Professor Majella Kilkey, Professor Matthew Bennett, Professor Alan Walker, Dr Jo Britton, Dr Lorna Warren, Dr Lois Orton and Dr Dan Holman

Living with gender in diverse times

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Professor Sally Hines

Neuro-adversity and transition: Key time points for action

Funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust

Professor Nathan Hughes

Generic Visuals in the News: the role of stock photos and simple data visualizations in assembling publics

Funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Professor Helen Kennedy

Mix & match: Constituting racialized communities in UK stem cell donation

Funded by The Wellcome Trust

Dr Ros Williams

Experiencing pregnancy and cancer: a sociological exploration of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia

Funded by The Wellcome Trust

Dr Emily Ross

Health inequalities and Roma populations: deconstructing a European policy problem

Funded by The Wellcome Trust

Dr Lois Orton

An evaluation of Level Up - an intervention addressing child-to-parent violence

Funded by Cranstoun

Dr Michaela Rogers

Domestic abuse interventions for mothers in or exiting prison: An evidence review

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation

Dr Michaela Rogers

RDAC: Rethinking Domestic abuse in child protection: responding differently

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation

Professor Kate Morris

Centres of excellence

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