School of Education and Social Work

Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY)

Welcome to the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth

CIRCY was launched at the University of Sussex in 2012, bringing together research, scholarship and expertise on childhood and youth. It is an interdisciplinary and cross-university centre, with a membership that includes researchers from the social and life sciences, arts, humanities and professional fields including social work, law, education and health.

Our aim is to create a space for dialogue, collaboration, creativity and capacity-building - supporting new research and knowledge exchange. CIRCY provides a stimulating environment for doctoral students working in the area of childhood, youth and family studies and a destination for visiting academics and opinion formers.

We aim to become an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the field of researching children, young people and families. We are outward-looking, committed to working with policy-makers, professional colleagues, young people and their carers in order to share expertise, promote good practice and to exchange knowledge.

CIRCY nurtures synergies between research activity and the teaching curriculum through an undergraduate course - the BA in Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice - and the Masters course - the MA in Childhood and Youth Studies. We also provide training in research methods with children and young people.

CIRCY is directed by Professor Rachel Thomson and Dr Janet Boddy, and supported by a steering group that includes  Professor Robin Banerjee, Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas, Professor Jo Moran-Ellis and Dr Hester Barron.

Don't Miss ...

Sexology Songwriting Performance: 17th February

CIRCY members Lucy Robinson, Rachel Thomson and Ester McGeeney have been involved in a Wellcome Trust public engagement  project linked to a Sexology exhibition. This has involved collaborating with local music project Rhythmix and  Brighton Youth Centre to run a series of workshops with a group of young women to explore ideas around sexuality and research through song writing. A terms’s work is culminating in a performance next Tuesday 17th February at the Roundhouse which will be livestreamed  through the Roundhouse Rising website.

More details about the project can be found on the Wellcome Trust press release:
Press Release: Sexoxology songwriting project [PDF 77.20KB]

CIRCY Open Research Seminar presented by Jo Moran-Ellis, Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Sociology, University of Sussex.
Date:   Monday 23 February, 2015
Time:   5pm
Venue: Room 104, Fulton
Title: Scoping the scale of children's agency and social actorship

Details on Upcoming CIRCY Events.

See also ...

Rights-based education: A consultation

See the Consultation on rights-based education: Oct 2014 [PDF 366.40KB] document for the Office of the Children's Commissioner drafted by Associate Lecturer, Margaret Boushel on behalf of the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth, the Centre for Social Work Research, and the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sussex. The document is based on research on children's rights in primary and secondary education and other child welfare settings.


The Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth is a new inter-disciplinary research centre at the University of Sussex.

@jme1004 famous this week! picture in @guardian + incredibly interesting talk on child agency

We've had an exciting project with the @wellcometrust recently - RT: @tate8tech here's how they spend their money

If you missed the excellent CIRCY seminar by Prof Jo Moran Ellis you can watch it here @jme1004

RT @ChildrensComm: It's Maggie’s last week as @ChildrensComm. We’re sharing some successes over 5 years using #Maggie5years.

New blog post on PhD studentship award for MACYS student Sarah Goldsmith. Well done!

Visit SussexCIRCY on Twitter


CIRCY Director:
Professor Rachel Thomson
T +44 (0)1273 876689

CIRCY Co-Director:

Professor Janet Boddy
T +44 (0)1273 872768

CIRCY Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant:

Elsie Whittington

Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY)
School of Education and Social Work
Essex House
University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton