Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Health Case for Universal Basic Income
Social determinants of health
Welfare reform
Participatory research

Willing to speak to media

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research converges around the relationship between material conditions, public policy and health and wellbeing. At present, I am leading a multidisciplinary team examining the health case for Universal Basic Income. This NIHR and Wellcome Trust funded project examines the prospective role of basic income as a public health and economic measure in our time of crisis. I am involved in evaluation of the Welsh basic income pilot for care leavers and in development, with Autonomy and Big Locals, of micropiots in Jarrow and East Finchley.

We have made key contributions to five areas of the debate by: 1) mapping out pathways to health through a model of impact developed from existing evidence that suggests broader, cascading benefits than previously asserted within the literature; 2) identifying deficits in previous evaluations that have prevented accurate measurement of health impact and developing research protocols in response; 3) developing a method of modelling through dynamic microsimulation that suggests the long-term positive economic impact of the policy from savings in health budgets and increased productivity may make a generous UBI affordable; 4) demonstrating that public support for the policy is much higher than politicians believe by deploying behavioural science to examine trends in perceptions and, 5) presenting the first examination of the ethics of deploying UBI to promote health.


I am Professor of Public Policy at Northumbria University, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) and founding Editor of Global Discourse. My work is centrally concerned with addressing issues of inequality, social justice and exclusion both in my native North East and beyond. I have led a number of engagement-rich, high-impact, interdisciplinary and international projects. I have secured over £2.3mm to fund this work, focusing most recently on examination of the public health case for Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a means of mitigating health and economic inequalities.

Recent work has been covered on BBC2 Politics LiveJames O’Brien on LBCSkyITV Tyne Tees News, and in the GuardianBBC, Independent, Daily MirrorEvening Standard among others. The coverage has fostered debate on the broader issues and policy, with the Independent committing its supportto Universal Basic Income.

I have a commitment to participatory research and have led a number of co-produced and co-directed projects, including an international, interdisciplinary, participatory study entitled ‘A Cross-cultural Working Group on “Good Culture” and Precariousness’, which involved a research network of over 30 academics and embedded exchanges between community members from Ashington, Northumberland and Aboriginal groups around Brisbane. Two films covering the project have been produced by Brightmoon Media. I am a regular contributor to national and international media.

I am Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, have been nominated for a National Teaching Fellowship three times, and have taught at the Universities of Newcastle, Queensland, Iceland and York. I was the founder and co-ordinator of the Association for Academic Outreach (AfAO), which facilitates research, development and dissemination of outreach good practice by and for academics.

Further Information


My work has been covered by the The New Statesman,  The Independent, Financial Times, The Independent, Al Jazeera, the BBC and various other newspapers and outlets.

I have contributed to LabourList, Foreign Affairs and various other platforms.

I have been interviewed on, among other things, Universal Basic Income, British politics, regional politics in the North East and North West, Aboriginal politics, cultural diversity. I previously provided BBC Radio General Election night analysis. I am more than happy to be interviewed on the broad topics outlined under ‘research interests’ above.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Academic Studies in Education, PGCert, Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Including Parts I: Developing Higher Education Practice and II: Curriculum Design and Development), Lancaster University

1 Aug 20131 May 2015

Award Date: 1 May 2015

Politics, PhD, Cultural Diversity and Human Wellbeing: An Inquiry into the Possibility of the Cross-Cultural Evaluation of Societies, Newcastle University

1 Oct 200512 Mar 2010

Award Date: 12 Mar 2010

Psychology, PGDip, Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology with full British Psychological Society Recognition: Commendation, Northumbria University

1 Oct 20071 Oct 2008

Award Date: 1 Oct 2008

Politics, MA, MA Politics (Research), Newcastle University: Distinction, Newcastle University

1 Oct 20041 Oct 2005

Award Date: 1 Oct 2005

Politics, BA (Hons), Politics: Class I, Newcastle University

1 Sept 20011 Jul 2004

Award Date: 1 Jul 2004

External positions

Bournemouth University

1 Feb 20231 Dec 2023

University College Cork

1 Apr 20191 Jul 2023

Free University of Berlin



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