UCLan Research Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change

The UCLan Research Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change brings together powerful research strands from four UCLan Faculties into a critical mass capable of extensive transdisciplinary work, well placed to respond to urgent and profound questions concerning a sustainable future, relationships among individuals and communities, arts and culture, public institutions of health, welfare and security.  The Directors of the Institute are Professor Nicky Stanley, Dr John Whitton, Professor Ulrike Zeshan and Professor Lynn Froggett with research backgrounds that reflect the cross disciplinary nature of the Institute.


In the wake of Brexit and in the context of austerity, a refugee crisis and mass migration, increase in global energy demand, climate change and environmental degradation, terrorism, violence against women and children, political instability and polarisation, the questions of citizenship, civil society and the constitution of public realm itself are in flux. Especially, the matter of how the future is to be imagined, who is to be included in any new settlement, and on what terms.

The Institute will respond to the urgent need to find effective responses to these social challenges that demand new and bigger thinking by working together across disciplines and fields to generate new fields of enquiry, new questions and new responses. This Institute will be made up of 13 research groupings drawn from 10 Schools. From 2011 to 2016, these 13 groups were awarded nearly £6m in research funding, including from the EU Horizon 2020 programme, Big Lottery, public bodies, UK and European research councils, the Home Office, and local councils and trusts.

Professors Lynn Froggett and Ulrike Zeshan tell us about the new Research Institute:

Aims and Vision

Our Aim:

The aim of the Institute is to develop new ways of thinking about inequality, insecurity, diversity and fragmentation and building responsive services for sustainable communities. It will do this through three inter-related and interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary themes:

  • Social justice and sustainability.
  • Relationships, risks and safety.
  • Community and the public realm.

Our Vision:

  • To produce high quality research to address urgent questions for people and society.
  • To recognise new political and global contexts.
  • To advance wellbeing, public good, civil society, democracy and sustainability.
  • To focus on impact and action.
  • To pioneer distinctive and innovative methodological approaches.

Measures of our success will be through:

  • Year on year growth in transdisciplinary research activity, grant capture, quality outputs and impact.
  • International academic recognition, by 2020, as an Institute for addressing urgent questions regarding the future of society.
  • International influence on policy and practice, by 2025, to achieve effective implementation of strategic solutions we have identified.
  • A rich research environment that facilitates the growth of PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and early career researchers.
  • Added value enhancing student experience and community engagement.

We will do this by:

  • ‘Cross-pollinating’ ideas, skills, knowledge and resources across Centres and disciplines.
  • Providing shared/pooled resources and advantages of scale.
  • Providing ‘seedcorn funding’ for transdisciplinary ideas.
  • Offering a peer review process and other assistance to support successful publication and bidding.
  • Enabling a stronger projection to the outside world.

Institute Staff Members

Core Team:

Project Co-ordinator: Dr. Mags Adams.

Research Associates: Dr. Larry Reynolds and Dr. Sarah Shorrock.


Christine Barter. Reader in young people and violence prevention, CONNECT centre.

Michelle Baybutt. Senior Research Fellow, Healthy and Sustainable Settings Unit.

Fazila Bhimji. Senior Lecturer in Film and Media Studies.

Helen Codd. Principal Lecturer, The School of Law and Social Science / Centre for Criminology & Criminal Justice.

Sharon Doherty. Healthy University Co-ordinator.

Mark Dooris. Professor in Health and Sustainability.

Isabela Fairclough. Critical Discourse Analysis / Research Unit for Speech and Language.

Alan Farrier. Researcher, Healthy & Sustainable Settings Unit.

Lynn Froggett. Professor of Psychosocial Welfare.

Jo Guiver. Researcher and Management School Sustainability Lead.

John Horne. Professor of sport and sociology.

Cath Larkins. Reader in Children’s Citizenship.

Champika Liyanage. Reader in Facilities Management.

Christaine Luck. Researcher, Communication & Engagement.

Julian Manley. Research Fellow.

David Morris. Professor of Mental Health, Inclusion and Community.

Nick Palfreyman. Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow, International Institute for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies (iSLanDS).

Ioan M. Charnley-Parry. Researcher, Energy and Society Research Group.

Lorraine Radford. Professor of Social Policy and Social Work.

Julie Ridley. Reader in Social Policy and Practice.

Rachel Robbins. Guild Senior Research Fellow. Social Work / CONNECT centre.

Alastair Roy. Reader in Social Research, Co-Director of the Psychosocial Research Unit.

Candice Satchwell. Reader in Education and Literacies.

Helen Spandler. Reader in Mental Health.

Nicky Stanley. Professor of Social Work, Co-Director, CONNECT Centre.

Nigel Thomas. Emeritus Professor of Childhood and Youth.

Tim Thornton. Professor of Philosophy and Mental Health.

Jiayi Wang. Principal Lecturer and Subject Leader for Chinese.

John Whitton. Director, UCLan Energy.

Gemma Wibberley. Research Fellow. Institute for Research into Organisations, Work and Employment.

Aidan Worsley. Professor & Executive Dean for Business, Law and Applied Social Studies.

Adrian Wright. Lecturer in Marketing and Public Relations.

Rick Wylie. UCLan Samuel Lindow Academic Director.

Ulrike Zeshan. Professor & Director, International Institute for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies (iSLanDS).

Publications and Outputs

Haga Gripsrud, B., Ramvi, E., Froggett, L., Hellstrand, I., & Manley, J. Y. (2018). Psychosocial and symbolic dimensions of the breast explored through a Visual Matrix. Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research [NORA].

Muller, L., Froggett, L., & Bennett, J. (2018). Emergent Knowledge in the Third Space of Art-Science. Leonardo, pp. 1-11.

Whitton, J., Cotton, M., Charnley-Parry, I. M., & Brasier, K. (Eds.). (2018). Governing Shale Gas: Development, Citizen Participation and Decision Making in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Routledge.

News and Events

UCLan seeks community partners to work on social change projects

The Institute brings together experts in many areas that affect modern society; including environmental crisis, poverty, inequality and social exclusion. Interested parties are invited to work collaboratively with the researchers on developing practical projects to tackle a variety of issues, with the Institute using its expertise to apply for funding from a variety of external sources. More information about the Institute’s launch event, its aims and how you can get involved can be found here.

Institute Away Days:

16th April 2018 (Gujarat Art Centre, Preston) and 18th June 2018 (Tickled Trout Hotel, Preston).

Both away days provided members an opportunity to get to know one another and each other’s research interests. An update of Institute activities has been provided at each event, with these updates focusing upon the work the Institute is doing to ensure a transdisciplinary research culture is created within UCLan. By creating an inclusive environment, the role of the Institute has become much clearer, with members identifying potential transdisciplinary research projects and developmental opportunities. The Institute now aims to build upon the ideas to emerge from the away days.

New Directions in Researching with Children Training:

14th June 2018, Tickled Trout Hotel, Preston.

The training was led by Dr. Amanda Bingley (Lancaster University) and Dr. Virginia Morrow (University of Oxford). Amanda demonstrated the role of creative play as a means of communication, whilst Virginia discussed the ethical challenges of conducting research with children. The event was well attended, with participant feedback illustrating the relevancy and usefulness of the training:

“The speakers complimented each other and were equally engaging from their own area of specialism. Excellent and loved that it was a manageable number of people”.

“It was good to hear other people’s views on conducting ethical research”.

Systematic Review Training:

19th and 20th June 2018, UCLan.

A two-day systematic review training workshop, held at UCLan, was delivered by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-Ordinating (EPPI) Centre. The EPPI Centre’s training is specifically designed for social scientists, with their training having a high global reputation. Day one of the training consisted of a general introduction to systematic reviews, with meta-analysis being covered during day two. The training was advertised to academic staff and PhD students, with participants enjoying the style, length and content of the sessions.

“Amazing workshop facilitated by extremely knowledgeable people”.

“This two-day workshop was invaluable for my further development”.

Sustainability Research Workshop:

4th July 2018, Cotton Court, Preston.

Following on from the Institute’s second away day, it was identified that sustainability was a strong theme amongst members. To help develop member’s interest in this area, a one-day research workshop was organised to discuss complex questions around sustainability and social change. During the day, high quality discussions and exchanges occurred, with research interests and capacities spanning numerous areas, including food, health, transport, energy and the built environment. The potential for a sustainability themed film seminar series and a regular sustainability research group meeting was also discussed.

Research Seminar with Professor Paul Willis

18 November 2019 UCLan Preston campus.

Prof. Paul Willis is the author of many foundational works, including Learning to Labour, Profane Culture and The Ethnographic Imagination.  In this seminar, Paul briefly reviews his intellectual formations over many years and explains his notions of, and approaches to, 'Cultural Autonomy' and 'Cultural Production'. He explains how they were applied to his recent research in China, it's astonishing cultural change and flux and how new cultural forces and interests interact in student experience, alongside the ancient disciplinary Chinese school.


12 March 2020 Preston campus

We are delighted to welcome Professor Rebecca Macy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, to the Connect Centre, UCLan, on 12 March.

She will be giving a seminar on Parenting and Intimate Partner Violence at 4pm – please see the flyer for details.

This seminar is free, refreshments are provided. Practitioners, researchers, students and commissioners are all welcome.

For more information and to book, please go to the event page.