Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth

International Advisory Committee

Saul BeckerSaul Becker, a previous Provost at the University of Sussex, is currently leading a new research institute at Manchester Metropolitan University He is a registered social worker, a community organiser, ambassador for the UK-wide charity Carers Trust, Chair of the Appeal Board for Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal’s Respite Fund for Carers, and is active in working with multiple professional groups, central and local government, third sector organisations, service users and others.

Helen BeckettHelen Beckett is Director of the Safer Young Lives Research Centre, University of Bedfordshire. Prior to her academic career, sheI worked in the fields of research and policy across the academic, statutory and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland for fifteen years. Other areas of research expertise include the experiences of looked after children and young people, youth homelessness and other forms of social marginalisation experienced by youth. Her PhD  was an Ethnography of Youth Homelessness.

Susannah BowyerSusannah Bowyer is Assistant Director of Research in Practice. In collaboration with the two other ADs she provides strategic leadership on network engagement, programme development and quality assurance for Research in Practice work with their partnership network. Susannah also leads on a range of commissioned research and evaluation activities for Research in Practice.

Sara BraggSara Bragg is a researcher who has worked at the Universities of Brighton, Sussex, London (the Institute of Education) and the Open University. She has researched and written in the areas of child and youth cultures, including digital childhoods; gender, sexualities, consumption; young people as media audiences; student and youth “voice”, citizenship and participation; creative and innovative research methods; pedagogies, including the role of media in sex and health education. She is co-author of Researching Everyday Childhoods: Time, Technology and Documentation in a Digital Age (Rachel Thomson, Liam Berriman, Sara Bragg). 2018. London: Bloomsbury.  She convened the ESRC seminar series New Practices for New Publics (2015-18) designed to bring together cutting edge thinking in social science with the experiences of civil society organisations, especially those in the community and voluntary sector.

Julia BrannenJulia Brannen is an Emerita Professor of sociology, at UCL Institute for Education. Throughout this time she has researched in the field of family life receiving funding from government, ESRC and from the EU. She was a co-founder of The International Journal of Social Research Methodology, that she coedited for 17 years with Professor Ros Edwards. She has been an Associate editor of The Journal of Mixed Methods and sits on a number of journal editorial boards. An early exponent of mixed method research, her 1992 book Mixing Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Research has been extensively cited. She has written 24 books and innumerable journal articles and contributions to methodological and other texts. Julia is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science and is Visiting Professor at CIRCY.

Ros EdwardsRos Edwards is Professor of Sociology in the Division of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Southampton.  She is an elected fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.  Ros’s area of research interest lies broadly in the field of family studies and social research methods. She is a founding and co-editor of the International Journal of Social Research.


Ann PhoenixAnn Phoenix is Professor of Psychosocial Studies in the Thomas Coram Research Unit, Social Research Institute, UCL Institute of Education

CIRCY doctoral researcher: Louise SimsLouise Sims is a Professional officer at BASW, the British Association of Social Workers. Louise Sims is a qualified social worker and works at the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). Louise works across policy, research and practice. She is interested in psychosocial approaches to practice, teaching and research. She completed her PhD at the Department of Social Work and Social Care, University of Sussex. Her research is focused on psychosocial methodologies, child and family studies, ethics and governance.

Helen StalfordHelen Stalford is Professor and of the Director European Children's Rights Unit, within the School of Law & Social Justice, University of Liverpool . Helen is a leading expert on children's rights, having researched and published extensively in this area. She has led projects on behalf of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Council of Europe to develop children's rights indicators, and has acted as expert consultant to the Council of Europe, the European Commission and UNICEF on issues relating to child friendly justice, child protection and the children's rights implications of EU enlargement.

Heinz Sunker


Heinz Sünker is Professor of Social Pedagogy at Bergische Universität, Wuppertal, Germany.

Elsie WhittingtonElsie Whittington is Youth Co-Creation Lead for the BeeWell project, Manchester. Following her PhD at Sussex, she became a Lecturer in Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is an experienced Youth Worker, Sex Educator and Lecturer with a demonstrated history of working creatively and inclusively in educational spaces, including in group facilitation, participatory approaches, report writing, and Community Engagement.