Core Members

Professor Carol Munn-Giddings (Lead in Chelmsford)

Carol’s research focuses on ways in which citizens and citizen groups with a direct experience of a health or social situation can inform the development of appropriate health and social care services. Her current research includes work with self-help/mutual aid groups in the community, training and supporting citizen researchers and more recently how the use of participatory arts can improve wellbeing in a variety of health contexts. Carol leads and contributes to a number of regional, national and internationally funded projects in relation to these areas. Contact:

Professor Jeffrey Grierson (Lead in Cambridge)

Jeffrey is a social researcher with over 25 years of experience in HIV/AIDS and sexuality. His work with HIV positive populations and those at risk of HIV infection in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia is widely respected for the combination of inclusive processes and high academic rigor. He joined Anglia Ruskin University in late 2014 to contribute to the faculty’s research endeavor with marginalised communities in the health and social care context. He is currently involved in work with people with HIV and models of care, issues around social inclusion of LGBTI people in aged care and social support for young people experiencing mental health challenges.  Contact:

Dr Melanie Boyce

Melanie is a Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care. Her research areas of interest and expertise include community groups, peer support and service user involvement and engagement using qualitative and participatory approaches. Melanie has a particular interest in gender and mental health and is currently undertaking research related to gender and well-being that builds on her doctoral research, which explored the role of self-harm peer led groups. Contact:

Dr Niamh O’Brien

Niamh is a Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care. Niamh’s expertise is in undertaking participatory approaches to research involving children and young people. Her interests are in bullying research and enabling children and young people to have a voice through the research process. Niamh is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bullying and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Anti-Bullying Centre at Dublin City University. Her recent doctoral thesis explored bullying at an independent day and boarding school using a Participatory Action Research approach. Contact:

Professor Andy McVicar

Andy has a longstanding academic background in physiology education more recently linked to stress responses in clinical or work places. He also has considerable experience in supporting research capacity building. He is interested in participatory approaches to workplace stress and well-being as well as other forms of research development. Andy has worked with the Older People’s Research Group, Essex co-developing and delivering training with the OPRGE, Carol, Melanie, Niamh and Maxine. Contact:

Maxine Nightingale

Maxine is a Service User Researcher in the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, with a focus on mental health. She is the administrator of the South Essex Service User Research Group and the North Essex Research Network. Both groups are hosted at Anglia Ruskin University and provide a forum for reviewing ongoing projects, planning new work and maintaining appropriate group procedures. Members have worked on commissioned consultations and evaluations, including developing research proposals, questionnaires, interview schedules and topic guides, conducting interviews, data entry and analysis, and contributing to reports and articles. Maxine facilitates the involvement of members by leading on commissioned projects, organising meetings, and providing training and support to members. Contact:

Anna Dadswell

Anna Dadswell is a Research Fellow working on a range of research projects that explore and enhance mental wellbeing within the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care. With developing expertise as an Early Career Researcher in inclusive and creative methodologies, Anna’s particular research interests include women and girls, anxiety, and social relationships. She is currently undertaking doctoral research using reflective diaries to explore how young women with anxiety understand and manage their anxiety in their everyday lives. Contact:

Dr David Smith

David is a Reader in Social Policy in the Faculty of Health Education Medicine and Social Care. He is a sociologist with an interest in applying sociological analysis to policy related issues particularly as these relate to social and health inequalities and he has a particular interest in the intersection between class and ethnicity. He is experienced at applying ethnographic, qualitative and participatory approaches in his work with working class communities as well as with Gypsy Roma and with other BAME communities. Contact:

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