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

Centre of Excellence

The Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth is a Centre of Excellence. Our Centres of Excellence are drawing together world-leading experts and innovative approaches, creating a critical mass of knowledge, skills and training – and proving that a challenge is only impossible until it's done.

Find out more about our Centres of Excellence.

The Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY) is a pan-university research centre at the University of Sussex, with a membership that spans social sciences, arts, humanities, psychology, and professional fields including social work, law, education and health.

CIRCY’s research is innovative, interdisciplinary and international in scope, and aims to reflect and address real world concerns whilst developing new academic understandings. Our diverse research and scholarship are united by a critical engagement with children and young people’s lives in time and place, and a focus on the rights, voice and welfare of the child or young person at the centre of inquiry. Considered together, the critical and multidisciplinary perspectives offered by CIRCY projects and outputs enrich understandings of childhood and youth within the fields of research, policy, and practice.

In addition to its University of Sussex membership, CIRCY benefits from an international advisory group which includes academics and policy and professional experts in the field of childhood and youth. CIRCY is directed by Liam Berriman, who is supported by a steering group from across the university.

Research within the Centre is conducted within the themes (i) Childhood Publics; (ii) ‘Good Childhoods’ and (Extra)ordinary Children; (iii) Emotional Lives; (iv) Digital Childhoods; (v) Methodological Innovation.

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.

 CIRCY Spring Newsletter 2024

 Member news and upcoming events.

 It's all in the CIRCY Spring Newsletter 2024 [PDF 231KB].


image of the front cover for the CIRCY annual report 2022-23. shows the centre name, the university logo and the background image is the legs and shoes of four people stood in a circle on some astroturf.CIRCY Annual Report 2023

What have we been up to these last 12 months?

Find out in the CIRCY Annual Report 2023.



CIRCY Director:
Dr Liam Berriman  

CIRCY Deputy Directors:

Dr Perpetua Kirby 

Dr Simon Flacks  

CIRCY Research Assistant:
Emily Askew 

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