• Co-Director, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships
  • Co-ordinator of Postgraduate teaching on Qualitative Methods and the Sociology of Health and Illness


Research Interests
  • My research interests span medical and family sociology and include the social aspects of genetics and stem cell research, as well as research on families, health and illness across the lifecourse.
  • My particular focus is on lay perspectives, understandings and experience, as well as on lay/professional relationships particularly in relation to public involvement and engagement in science and medicine. Some of this work is linked to my role as Co-investigator at Innogen.
  • Much of my work has used and developed qualitative methods within the interpretivist tradition; it contributes to sociological knowledge in addition to being directly relevant to and disseminated amongst a range of practitioners and policy makers.
  • At the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships we have developed a co-ordinated and innovative approach to knowledge exchange and collaborative working with agencies outside academia.


Current Research Involvement
  • The Social Dynamics of Public Engagement in Stem Cell Research, ESRC/BBSRC Stem Cell Programme (with Dr Sarah Parry, Dr Wendy Faulkner, School of Social and Political Studies (SSPS) and Prof Austin Smith, Institute of Stem Cell Research U of E (now at University of Cambridge)
  • Work and Family Lives: The Changing Experiences of Young Families (Kathryn Backett-Milburn, Sarah Cunningham-Burley, Lynn Jamieson, Jeni Harden and Alice MacLean.) This qualitative study exploring how parents and children reconcile work and family lives is part of a large ESRC programme of longitudinal qualitative research across the Universities of Leeds, Edinburgh, Cardiff, the Open University and South Bank University.
  • Qualitative Study of Smoking in the Home (with Amanda Amos, Deborah Ritchie, Nursing Studies, Claudia Martin, Scot Cen) Part of the Health Scotland funded evaluation of the impact of the Scottish Smoke-free legislation.