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Institute for Social Justice

Postgraduate researchers

The Institute for Social Justice has a vibrant community of postgraduate researchers, who are engaged in interdisciplinary research across all 5 schools in the University.

Ruth Lambley

Co-production, Arts and Mental Health

Working in collaboration with Converge, Ruth’s PhD research explores co-production, mental health and the arts, particularly focusing on co-creative processes with people with mental health difficulties who might find it difficult to engage in traditional research methodologies.

Nicola McAteer

Community Music, Covid-19 and the Digital Environment

Nicola is undertaking a PhD in partnership between ISJ and the International Centre for Community Music with supervision by Professor Lee Higgins exploring community music’s journey through a global pandemic, specifically within the realm of mental health and wellbeing.

Natalie Quatermass

Theatre, Young People and Environmental Justice

Supervised by Professor Matthew Reason and Dr Catherine Heinemeyer, Natalie’s PhD considers how theatre can be used as a tool to amplify the voices of young and marginalised communities within the Environmental Justice movement.

Matthew Green

A duty of care for young people: Differentiating banter from bullying in Physical Education

Working across sport and education, Matthew’s PhD will focus on the affiliation between physical education, hegemonic masculinity and heteronormative behaviour in United Kingdom secondary schools. In doing so, his work will address ambiguities in existing literature with regards to young adolescents (re)construction of gender through physical education.

Alice Little

The impact and efficacy of participatory research methods with children and young people.

Drawing on her background of working with children, Alice’s research seeks to understand what it means to collaborate with children and young people as co-researchers. She will be exploring what the young people get out of the process and how can engage them effectively in participatory research.

Román Baca

The Military Human: Dance, Embodied Experience and Future Thinking amongst Veterans

Working in collaboration with veteran and arts organizations in the US and the UK, Román’s PhD research explores embodied experience focusing on military experiences and impact on well-being, resilience and future thinking.

Georgia Dearden

Healing Subjects: Living Well with the Aftershocks of Sexual Violence

Situated between the Fine Art and Counselling departments, this research asks how an analysis of the way liquidity features in artworks dealing with assault, injury, and illness can help survivors of abuse to live with bodily trauma.

Amanda Faber

Exploring the efficacy of long term engagement with theatre by military personnel as a potential route to narrative change

Amanda founded the Soldiers’ Arts Academy which has created a model of applied therapeutic theatre where members of the Armed Forces Community can interact with the arts. Drawing on her work in theatre, film, dance and TV Amanda’s PhD research will explore the impact of theatre on narrative change for participants and audiences.

Hannah Cutting

Communication through spoken word: focusing on students with mental ill health within mainstream secondary schools

Working across education and the arts, Hannah’s research explores the advantages of spoken word and the potential benefits it could have for young people who suffer with mental health issues within mainstream secondary school.

Claire Pickard

Unmoored: a narrative inquiry into the lived experience of flooding in Mytholmroyd and its long-term impact on community resilience

Drawing on the stories shared within the community following the Boxing Day 2015 floods, Claire’s research will consider how individuals and the community re-established roots and connections through the sharing of collective trauma. Looking at how community-led initiatives and mutual aid networks that emerged after the flooding mobilised in further crises, Claire will investigate whether individual resilience has been affected by existing inequalities and community social capital.

Rory Wells

Community music and movements for social change

Working in connection with the International Centre for Community Music and the ISJ, Rory’s PhD explores community music’s locus within arenas of political activism. Their research seeks to build and understand local and transnational networks of activist-musicianship.

Jack Hunter

Community action, public imagination and the cost-of-living crisis

Working with the ISJ and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Jack is undertaking participatory action research to understand and support community-led action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

Sammy Williams

The sociality of autistic adults: A participatory study examining psychological transitions between social domains

Supervised by Dr Brett Heasman, Dr Lorna Hamilton and Dr Ruth Knight, Sammy's PhD investigates the experiences of autistic adults when navigating between social environments. Sammy's research is exploratory and participatory in nature, aiming to work together with the autistic community to make social environments welcoming for autistic people.

Kathryn Lewis

School transition experiences for pupils with SEN

Kathryn's PhD is part of the Institute for Social Justice's STEPs project, which explores the transition from primary to secondary for students with special educational needs. The project is funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust and in collaboration with the City of York Council.

Robert Bennett

The University campus is now being recognised as a socially valued place for both the academic and local communities. Working in collaboration with Converge, Robert’s PhD research explores how the University campus as a unique place can make contributions to an individual's recovery from mental health challenges.

Lucy Cassidy

Cocreating theatre with young children

Lucy is undertaking a collaborative practice-based PhD with Theatre Hullabaloo, exploring the processes and impacts of young children as cocreators and coresearchers.