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Elliott Johnson

Senior Research Fellow

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

I am a Senior Research Fellow in Public Policy at Northumbria University.

My research currently focuses on basic income, in particular, understanding its health impact, economic feasibility, public acceptability and the development of narratives capable of persuading opponents. Another key strand of my work lies in examining how basic income can be formulated to take into account the additional needs of disabled people and others. I am currently a CI on an NIHR-funded project following on from work supported by the Wellcome Trust.

I lead-authored a proposal for community-led local basic income pilots in England that received widespread national and international media attention and responses from policymakers across the UK.

Having previously worked in the third sector, my research has often been interdisciplinary, cutting across public health, disability, inclusion, welfare, education and workforce, always with an emphasis on policy development and communication of findings. Throughout, I have managed significant research budgets, forged collaborative relationships and achieved impact, creating sector-wide standards, shaping organisational approaches and influencing national policy. My work has often depended on deploying innovative research and communication methods to include and amplify the voices of underrepresented groups.

An exemplar of my work in the third sector is the Activity Trap. I used this report to create policy proposals and then lobbied Government with national partners to remove disincentives to activity for those on needs-based benefits.

My work has been covered by, among others, the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Telegraph, the Spectator, the FT, the BBC, Sky News, Channel 4 News, ITV News, Channel 5 News and CNBC.

Elliott Johnson

My primary research interest is basic income, otherwise known as Universal Basic Income (UBI). Specifically, my work examines the following areas:

  • Health impact
  • Economic feasibility
  • Public acceptability
  • Narratives to ‘sell’ the policy
  • Additional needs, including those of disabled people

Outside of basic income, I also have expertise on inclusion, disability and inclusive physical activity.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A Big Local Basic Income: Proposal for a locally led basic income pilot, Johnson, E., Goodman, C., Kellam, J., Johnson, M. 3 Jun 2023
  • A Big Local Basic Income: Resident Perspectives, Johnson, E., Goodman, C., Johnson, M. 19 Jun 2023
  • Are ‘red wall’ constituencies really opposed to progressive policy? Examining the impact of materialist narratives for Universal Basic Income, Johnson, M., Johnson, E., Nettle, D. 1 Mar 2023, In: British Politics
  • Assessing the prospective impacts of Universal Basic Income on anxiety and depression among 14-24-year-olds, Johnson, M., Cookson, R., Villadsen, A., Mujica, F., Stark, G., Pickett, K., Johnson, E., Nettle, D. 2023
  • ‘Basic income is our generation’s NHS. Labour needs to get on board’, Johnson, M., Johnson, E., Nettle, D. 26 Jun 2023
  • Can the ‘downward spiral’ of material conditions, mental health and faith in government be stopped? Evidence from surveys in ‘red wall’ constituencies, Johnson, M., Johnson, E., Reed, H., Nettle, D. 10 Jan 2023, In: British Journal of Politics and International Relations
  • Can Universal Basic Income work for disabled people? An examination of existing UK organisational and academic positions, Johnson, E., Reed, H., Johnson, M. 14 Jul 2023, In: Disability & Society
  • Changing circumstances and new basic premises: turning the affordability and feasibility relationship on its head: a reply to ‘The big tax hikes that make UBI “affordable” could be used to cut poverty in more targeted ways’ by Donald Hirsch, Reed, H., Johnson, M., Lansley, S., Johnson, E., Stark, G., Pickett, K. 1 Feb 2023, In: Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
  • Commissioned Book Review: The First Resort: A History of Social Psychiatry in the United States by Matthew Smith. New York: Columbia University Press, 2023. 396 pp., £25, ISBN 9780231203937, Johnson, M., Johnson, E. 30 Jul 2023, In: Political Studies Review
  • Designing a generic, adaptive protocol resource for the measurement of health impact in cash transfer pilot and feasibility studies and trials in high-income countries, Johnson, E., Johnson, M., Kypridemos, C., Villadsen, A., Pickett, K. 23 Mar 2023, In: Pilot and Feasibility Studies

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Invited talk: Universal Basic Income and health – strong support and distinctive concerns from a deprived community in NE England 2023
  • Invited talk: What are the impacts of universal basic income on mental health? A microsimulation economic modelling study 2023
  • Invited talk: Winning the Vote with Universal Basic Income: Lessons for Progressive Politicians 2022

  • Health and Social Research PhD June 27 2023
  • Politics MA November 18 2009
  • Classics BA (Hons) June 27 2008

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