BiographyI am interested in migration, particularly to regional and rural areas. I am particularly interested in inequalities faced by migrants in the labour market and in other parts of everyday life. I have published extensively on rural development and I’m interested in research ethics and methodologies.
My research is strongly oriented towards migration and I continue to conduct research with migrant communities in the UK. I have a practitioner background and prior to working in higher education I held various positions in the voluntary and community sector and within local government. That experience included helping small and medium non-profit organisations to achieve core objectives including accessing funding and working with communities to stimulate social change. These various roles initiated my commitment to a career with social relevance and that objective continues to remain an important motivation for my work today. I am proactive in engaging with third sector organisations and with government agencies and departments and where possible I seek to conduct research that has social and economic impact. For instance, my research on migration (for the Nuffield Foundation and for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation) led to various policy and advisory roles including advising Northern Ireland government on Racial Equality Indicators. Meanwhile I recently completed a review of the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland for Friends’ of the Earth. My other areas of research include rural and community development; governance; participation and research ethics. Correspondingly I have published a book and numerous articles on rural development, focusing on participation, community engagement and regeneration. Currently I am co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Rural Studies on Migration.
I am an active member of various international research networks including the Trans-Atlantic Rural Research Network, the Regional Studies network on migration (MICaRD); the European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS). As part of the Scientific Committee for the latter group, I am helping organise the forthcoming conference in Krakow. Finally, I am leading an embryonic European network on migration, focusing on ‘New Immigration Destinations’.
I teach undergraduate and postgraduate students at Newcastle where I also supervise PhD researchers. I welcome inquiries from prospective PhD researchers on the issues identified above.
In addition to my teaching and research, I review research applications for the European Commission (Framework Programme), the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and the Swedish Research Council (Formas).
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
My main research interest are migration, particularly to regional and rural areas; rural development and regeneration; community participation; governance; research ethics and research methodologies. I regularly participate in academic conferences and have presented papers and organised working groups and panels at European Rural Sociology Association and the American Rural Sociological Society conferences. I have also presented papers at a range of other conferences including those of the Irish-British Institute; Sociological Association of Ireland; Society of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences; the Institute of British Geographers; the Irish Social Sciences Platform; and Norface Research Programme. I review research applications for the European Commission (Framework Programme), the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and the Swedish Research Council (Formas). I am regularly invited to review academic articles and books for a range of high impact journals including Sociologia Ruralis, Rural Sociology, the Journal of Rural Studies, International Migration Review, Social Policy and Society, British Politics, and Migration Letters. My expertise is sought by non-academic communities with regular requests from government and third sector partnerships to advise on a range of issues.