Elaine Batty

Sheffield Hallam University

Elaine Batty is a research fellow in the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. She graduated from Sheffield HallamUniversity with an honours degree in housing and society in 1999, followed by a Masters degree in transport planning and management in 2003 and a Masters degree social science research methods in 2008. She has twelve years experience using a range of different qualitative research approaches, more recently the use of visual methods.

She has knowledge and experience of work within communities, conducting focus groups, interviewing and surveys. She has undertaken a wide range of research projects, exploring the difficulties faced by severely disadvantaged groups such as the homeless, families in challenging circumstances and offenders. She has been responsible for the organisation of fieldwork and case study reports for various projects.

Her main research interests concern homelessness, family intervention and community involvement in regeneration. She was a member of the central data team in the National Evaluation of the New Deal for Communities (NDC) and Futurebuilders. Recent projects have included the evaluation of the Intensive Intervention Programme, Hidden Homelessness, Village SOS and the Review of Offender Employment Services.

Research interests

  • Qualitative research methods
  • Biographical interviewing
  • Elite interviewing
  • Gender
  • Community involvement in regeneration
  • Homelessness
  • Family intervention

Dr Janice Blenkinsopp

Heriot-Watt University

Janice is a Research Associate at I-SPHERE, Heriot Watt University. Previously she was an expert rights advice practitioner, experienced in all aspects of advice, claims, reviews, appeals and tribunals including Commissioners’ level appeals. Janice completed her MSc in 2012, with her dissertation related to the effects of welfare reform on housing associations and their tenants. She continues her research at I-SPHERE, with the theme of comparative welfare regimes, welfare reform and homelessness amongst her research interests. Since commencing her PhD in 2013, Janice has worked as a researcher on a number of studies for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.  Along with working on the Welfare Conditionality: Sanctions, Support and Behaviour Change research funded by the ESRC, she has also worked on research relating to the social security system for Shelter Scotland.


Dr Katy Jones

University of Salford

  • Dr Katy Jones, (full profile awaiting update)

150KATHERINE JONESKaty is Research Associate in the Centre for Decent Work and Productivity, Manchester Metropolitan University. Previously she was a Research Fellow in the University of Salford’s Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU). And prior to joining SHUSU, Katy was a Researcher at The Work Foundation, where she developed her expertise on labour market disadvantage, and employment and skills policy. She is experienced using both qualitative and quantitative research methods and her recent projects have involved examining the links between employment, pay and poverty, evaluating a national apprenticeship programme, reviewing evidence on employer recruitment practices, and interviewing homeless service users about their experiences of basic skills support. Katy holds a PhD in Educational Research at Lancaster University investigating the employment and skills support offered by organisations supporting single homeless adults.

Dr Jenny McNeill

University of Sheffield and University of York

150JennyJenny has worked as a Senior Benefits Advisor for Nottingham City Council and also worked as a researcher for the University of Manchester, Nottingham Trent University and Hostels Liaison Group. Jenny taught on the Social Policy pathway of the MSc Research Methods course at Nottingham Trent University in 2010. Her MSc research looked at homeless women’s coping strategies and her PhD thesis explored the role of employability in the resettlement of single homeless people. Jenny has strong interests in qualitative longitudinal methods and debates in housing, homelessness, welfare and social exclusion.

Research interests

  • Homelessness
  • Social exclusion and policy
  • Welfare
  • Qualitative research methods


Dr Alasdair Stewart

University of Glasgow

Alasdair is a Research Assistant in the Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow.  He has a strong background in qualitative research, with experience conducting interviews and focus groups with vulnerable groups as well as front-line workers and policy officers from a broad range of statutory and voluntary organisations.  He recently finished a PhD in Housing, ‘Managing a Tenancy: Young people’s pathways into and sustaining independent tenancies from homelessness’, at the University of Stirling joint funded by the ESRC and Homeless Action Scotland.  He has additionally, as part of his PhD, worked with the collaborative partner Homeless Action Scotland on short research projects focusing on housing and homelessness.  He previously held research posts at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde working on projects relating to child protection and disability.  Prior to his PhD, Alasdair graduated with an MA Politics (First Class Honours) degree, specialising in political philosophy, at the University of Dundee in 2007 and completed an MSc in Applied Social Research at the University of Stirling in 2009.

Research interests

  • Homelessness
  • Social Housing
  • Disability
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Post-philosophy
  • Sociological theory

Dr Beth Watts

Heriot-Watt University

150Beth_WattsBeth’s research focuses primarily on homelessness, with a particular interest in applying ideas from moral and political philosophy to housing and social policy related issues. She has varied experience using qualitative research methods, including comparative qualitative research and research with policy elites and vulnerable groups.

Research interests

  • Homelessness and housing exclusion
  • Political and moral philosophy and their applications in social policy
  • Comparative social policy
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Comparative qualitative research methods


Kate Andersen

University of York

Title: The implications of Universal Credit for women’s citizenship: an investigation into the experiences and views of mothers subject to conditionality.

Kate obtained an MRes in Social Policy at the University of York in 2017.  She is currently undertaking a PhD funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.  Her research will collect qualitative data on mothers’ experiences and views of meeting the work-related expectations of Universal Credit.

Welfare conditionality is central to Universal Credit, a new means-tested benefit for working age people in the UK. Under this new benefit, couples are to nominate a “responsible carer”. Lone parents will automatically be designated the “responsible carer”. This responsible carer will be subject to varying degrees of conditionality depending upon the age of the youngest child. Failing to meet these conditions could result in sanctions of up to three years. Women will be disproportionately affected by conditionality for responsible carers and, consequently, there may be implications for women’s citizenship.  This research will empirically investigate these potential implications through interviewing mothers subject to Universal Credit conditionality.

Sarah Batty

Sarah Batty has worked as a specialist Welfare Rights advice practitioner since 1995 in the voluntary, local government and housing sectors, and since 2010 has focused on the impact of welfare reforms on people and organisations.  She currently works part-time in social housing providing frontline support to tenants and staff, and part-time as an expert welfare rights trainer.  Sarah completed an MA in Social Policy at the University of York in 2017, and is interested in the impacts of austerity, alternative futures for social security and solutions to poverty.  She tweets @sarah_batty.

ESRCAn ESRC large grant
University of Glasgow Heriot Watt University University of Salford Manchester Sheffield Hallam University University of Sheffield University of York