Photo of Vanessa Burholt

Professor Vanessa Burholt

Professor of Gerontology, Public Health

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 602186

Email address


After graduating from the Open University in 1994, Vanessa worked as a researcher at Bangor University while she undertook her PhD. After completing her PhD in 1998, Vanessa became Deputy Director of the Centre for Social Policy Research and Development at Bangor University and in 2004 took over as Director. Vanessa was awarded a personal Chair at Bangor in 2007, and shortly after moved to Swansea University, as Director of the Centre for Innovative Ageing. In 2016 Vanessa was also appointed Director of the pan-Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research. She held the post as Director of for both Centres until 2019. Vanessa obtained funding from the ERDF and founded the Awen Institute in 2019, and is currently Co-Director.

She is a Senior Research Leader, and sits on the Board for Health and Care Research Wales”

Areas Of Expertise

  • Social Gerontology
  • Loneliness & social isolation of older people
  • Social exclusion
  • Rurality, place attachment & belonging
  • Older people from ethnic minorities
  • Migration of older people
  • Caregiving, families,social support networks
  • Dementia

Career Highlights


Vanessa has worked on and led international and national research projects worth approximately £51.9 million, and has supervised 23 post-graduate students.

Award Highlights