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Our research

Watercolour imageOur team of academics and postgraduate students come from a diverse set of disciplines, reflecting the nature of Childhood and Early Years Studies. Our approach to research is distinctive and includes approaches that are:

  • Inclusive and participatory, empowering others for social change.
  • Aware of how issues such as gender or social class define social issues and affect services.
  • Useful for commissioners of service design and evaluation. 

Our research looks at topics such as:

  • How families work (e.g. how they achieve things, or how they respond to social issues or policies).
  • How we can better understand marginalisation and inequality in communities, institutions and families.
  • How education, health and social care professionals can better reflect, review and plan their practice with children and families.

Researchers within the subject area


The list below includes some of the researchers working within our subject area:

  • Dr Dawn Benson (disability studies, inclusive education)
  • Dr Stephen Crossley (‘troubled families’, child poverty, inequality; sociology of social policy)
  • Dr Charmaine Agius Ferrante (Inclusive education: the education of disabled children, developmental education, early intervention, disability studies)
  • Dr Lesley Anne Gallacher (Embodiment, geographies of infancy/early childhood, storytelling and visual cultures)
  • Dr Mel Gibson (Comics, graphic novels, manga, children’s literature, picturebooks and media)
  • Dr Lucy Grimshaw (Social exclusion and poverty; community empowerment and participation; gender and organisational theory)
  • Dr Ian Robson (Visual methods, leadership and management in children’s services, service improvement and CPD, child and parent social-emotional mental health)

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Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

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