I am a senior researcher in the Centre for Lactation, Infant Feeding and Translational Studies (LIFT). My post, funded by HEFCW, is to develop new research projects in infant feeding and secure external funding for them. I am #ActuallyAutistic, Disabled and a wheelchair user. I come from a working class background and worked as a carer and auxiliary nurse prior to undertaking my undergraduate degree as a mature student. These experiences leave me with a strong desire to promote social justice and to challenge inequality within my research and teaching.
By background, I am a social scientist, with an MSc in Social Science Research Methods and a PhD in Social Policy (Cardiff University, 2011) focusing on disability, work and welfare reform. In addition to my academic research, I have experience of undertaking research for the Scottish and Welsh Governments, the third sector and the NHS.
From 2013-2015 I worked at the Institute of Primary Care and Public Health (School of Medicine, Cardiff University) focusing on early years public health, and particularly infant feeding. I moved to the Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University (2016-2018), using qualitative methods within clinical trials, particularly working on the PUMA study, which included ethnographic observations on children’s hospital wards. I began a Wellcome Trust ISSF Fellowship in 2017, examining the social and environmental barriers to breastfeeding in public through a qualitative systematic review and an urban ethnography of Cardiff.
From 2018-March 2021, I took disability leave.
In 2019, my first book was published by Routledge, Doing Excellent Social Research with Documents, focusing on the practicalities of doing research using documentary analysis (Chapter 8 is available for free here).