Welcome to the College of Social Science Annual Research Showcase and thank you very much for taking the time to celebrate with us. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the excellent work that we have done this year across the College of Social Science. It is a time to thank everyone for all the time, effort, and expertise that you put into your research and to celebrate how well we did in REF 2021, as a function of all your combined efforts. We have a very exciting programme on a wide range of topics. Whether you are interested in understanding the consequences to long and short COVID-19, the experiences of low-income mothers of young children with special needs, the health and wellbeing inequalities on the east coast or the wellbeing of prison governors there is something for everyone.

If you are interested in any of the research conducted by the University of Lincoln, College of Social Science or in working with the academics, please contact us via cossres@lincoln.ac.uk


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid realignment of research priorities towards the shortterm effects of Covid, the national response to the pandemic and long Covid. The Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU) has been working with collaborators at the University of Lincoln and other institutions on a number of pandemic studies including a major study of long Covid, the LISTEN (Long Covid Personalised Self-managemenT support- co-design and EvaluatioN) study with Kingston, Cardiff, Swansea Universities and Kings College London. The study aims to work in partnership with individuals living with long Covid to design and evaluate a package of self-management support personalised to their needs. The presentation will discuss the LISTEN study and also touch on other pandemic studies in progress or completed.

You can view the full presentation here

Prof Niro Siriwardena, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln
Prof Graham Law, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln
Ms Despina Laparidou, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln
Members of the Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU)

In 2021, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Lincoln were commissioned by the Prison Governors Association to evaluate the state of their members’ health and wellbeing, with this being particularly pertinent following the immense pressure experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on semi-structured interviews with 63 prison governors and senior managers, two members of the team will discuss our findings and talk about the next steps in terms of how we hope these will impact on policy and practice. Key themes of our research include not feeling valued, impact on mental and physical health, frustration over lack of autonomy and fears for the future. Our recommendations for a more positive way forward will also be included.

You can view the full presentation here

Dr Lauren Smith, School of Psychology, University of Lincoln
Prof Karen Harrison, Lincoln Law School, University of Lincoln
Dr Lauren Hall, School of Social and Policitical Sciences, University of Lincoln
Ms Rachael Mason, School of Health & Social Care, University of Lincoln
Dr Gary Saunders, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Lincoln
Dr Helen Nichols, School of Criminology, Sociology and Policing, University of Hull

The SMART acronym (e.g., Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound) is widely used for setting goals in physical activity, including my leading health organisations and exercise practitioners. Despite its widespread use, there has been little research that has critically examined the scientific underpinnings of the SMART acronym and its application to physical activity promotion. Given concerns surrounding levels of physical inactivity in society, such a critical examination is important as goal setting is one of the most widely used behaviour change strategies in research and practice. This talk will draw on a narrative review and empirical research by the research team to critically examine the scientific basis for SMART goals in the context of physical activity promotion. We will highlight some of the issues and misconceptions with SMART goals and identify some important implications for research and practice.

You can view the full presentation here

Miss Rebecca Hawkins, School of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Lincoln
Dr. Patricia Jackman, School of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Lincoln

The health and well-being of coastal communities in England was highlighted as an important and enduring challenge in the Chief Medical Officers 2021 annual report. Like rural communities, coastal communities exhibit significant variation in historic, physical, economic and social makeup. It is these characteristics of coastal places that can make them vulnerable to changes in socio-demographics and the broader economic and fiscal policy climate. Some coastal communities have experienced major shifts in economies and industries resulting in damaging social change while others have been insulated by large core populations or have been able to diversify and adapt. Lincolnshire’s coastal communities, particularly the towns of Mablethorpe and Skegness in the district of East Lindsey, are amongst the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country and its citizens experience high levels of ill health and social disadvantage. Conversely people who live there have good access to green and blue spaces and there are examples of local innovations to support the wellbeing of local people.

The Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health (LIIRH) has established partnerships with local health, social care and third sector organisations to develop 1) a shared understanding of the placebased drivers of health and wellbeing and 2) mobilise networks and local resources to develop solutions that address community priorities. This presentation will briefly discuss our mixed-methods approach to this work and highlight the critical importance of establishing genuine local partnerships.

You can view the full presentation here

Prof. Mark Gussy, Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health, University of Lincoln
Dr David Nelson, Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health, University of Lincoln
Dr Maxime Inghels, Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health, University of Lincoln
Dr Simon Lowe, First Coastal Primary Care Network
Kim Barr, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust
Dr Joanna Blackwell, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln
Roxanne Warrick, East Lindsey District Council
Janet Farr, Community Learning in Partnership – CLIP

Through their diverse effects on the nervous system, neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis and dementia can lead to a range of difficulties with profound impacts on everyday life. For people living with these conditions, cognitive difficulties (including problems with attention, planning, and problem-solving) are a common and particularly debilitating and distressing consequence. Cognitive rehabilitation is not routinely offered in the NHS – and, when it is offered, largely focuses on teaching people to compensate for deficits (e.g., using memory aids) rather than retraining cognitive skills. Moreover, the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation remains unclear, leaving a need to establish suitable evidence-based treatment options.

In response to the current state of evidence, we have been examining the potential of SMART (Strengthening Mental Abilities with Relational Training) – a theory-based online cognitive training programme – as a treatment option for improving cognitive health in people with neurological conditions. Focussing initially on people with multiple sclerosis – and extending to people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (at risk of dementia progression) – we are exploring the suitability of SMART across multiple studies: encompassing usability and acceptability testing, a proof-of-principle case series, and two feasibility randomised-controlled trials. In this talk, I will give a critical overview of emerging findings from our work.

You can view the full presentation here

Dr Nima G Moghaddam, Dr David L Dawson and Dr Rupert Burge, School of Psychology, University of Lincoln
Prof Roshan das Nair, University of Nottingham
Dr Nikos Evangelou, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Dr James Turton, PPI Lead, University of Lincoln
Miss Alexandra Frost, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Prof Graham Law and Dr Elise Rowan, LinCTU, University of Lincoln
Dr Annie Hawton and Dr Elizabeth Goodwin, University of Exeter
Dr Bryan Roche, Maynooth University

This study examined the three indicators of subjective well-being among low-income single mothers of young children with disabilities: sense of hope, life meaning, and satisfaction with life. Qualitative analysis of 12 semi-structured interviews with single mothers of young children with special needs were carried out. Findings showed keeping a sense of hope and meaning played a significant role in contributing to their well-being. In addition, the majority (67%; n=8/12) of the participants in the study indicated that they found their lives to be meaningful and that helping their children with disabilities gave them a sense of purpose in life. In contrast, only about 33% (n=4/12) interviewees were generally satisfied with their personal and professional lives. This paper concludes with implications for future research and practices.

Dr. Kaili C. Zhang, School of Education, University of Lincoln

You can view the full presentation here

The ‘Suicide in/as Politics’ project is a three-year, interdisciplinary, and qualitative research project (funded by Leverhulme Trust), which examines the ways in which suicide is constructed within public and political discourses. Our project recognises that suicide is complex and is shaped by social, cultural, and political factors which are not reducible to individual mental health problems. Situated between sociology and political studies ‘Suicide in/as Politics’ is generating new knowledge on suicide. We have investigated the ways in which suicide is constructed and employed in formal political discourse and policy documents, an area where there has been very limited academic attention. We did this by analysing all UK suicide prevention documents in use in all four nations of the UK between 2009 and 2019, by examining debates on suicide in all four UK legislatures and by exploring third sector campaigns which address suicide. In the next phase of the project, we are reaching out to and engaging with diverse publics in England and Scotland to share our research and explore public understandings of suicide. Through innovative and collaborative arts-based research workshops we will investigate how community members respond to, and make sense of, political and policy meanings and uses of suicide.

Dr Ana Jordan, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln
Dr Alex Oaten, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln
Dr Amy Chandler, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh
Dr Hazel Marzetti, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh

You can view the full presentation here

Mental Health, Health and Social Care Research Group (MH2aSC), Prof Ros Kane, Professor of Nursing and Public Health and Director of Research: Mental Health, Health and Social Care Research Group

 MH2aSC has evolved to encompass a broad range of research activity that involves social care and adult health, particularly cancer care through a partnership with Macmillan. The primary focus of this research group is to provide expert resources to government policy strategists, health, social, and education economies to create and drive innovation in health and social care settings. Key themes of our research include mental health, health and social care integration, valuesbased practice, workforce development, and service innovation and improvement.

Healthy Ageing Research Group (HARG), Prof Mo Ray, Professor of Health and Social Care: Healthy Ageing Research Group

 The Healthy Ageing Research Group (HARG) is allied with the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health (LIIRH). Key areas of interest include experiences of ageing; healthy ageing; preventative and early intervention strategies in quality of later life through improved community and statutory provisions, including integration. Research in our group aims to support the challenges faced by an increasing global life expectancy and ageing populations. Our research aims to contribute to developing strategies which maximise the benefits of an ageing society as well as considering strategies to address the challenges.

Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), Prof Niro Siriwardena, Professor of Primary & Pre-Hospital Health Care and Director, Community and Health Research Unit

The Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU) is a University recognised research centre. CaHRU’s mission is to increase people’s health and well-being by improving the quality,
performance, and systems of care across the health, social, and third sector care services through our world-leading interdisciplinary research. Our work promotes high-quality care to enhance the experience, safety, effectiveness, efficiency and equity of healthcare by examining and transforming the performance and function of health and social care practice, organisation and delivery.

Lincoln Clinical Trials Unit (LinCTU), Prof Graham Law, Professor in Medical Statistics and Co-Director of Lincoln Clinical Trials Unit

The Lincoln Clinical Trials Unit (LinCTU) was setup in 2020 at the University of Lincoln by the Community & Health Research Unit to support clinical trials. LinCTU is located in the newly established University of Lincoln Medical School and engages directly with the Medical School, the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health(LIIRH), academic colleagues and the wider NHS community.

The international vision is to develop an identity which allows us to attract the type of trials and
studies where we have particular strengths and expertise.

You can view the full presentation here


The presentation will begin with an overview of the diverse domains of expertise and specialism in the School of Psychology by showcasing our principal research groups (Cognitive Psychology Research Group; Development and Behaviour Research Group; Forensic and Crime Research Group; Psychological Health & Wellbeing (PheW); Social Psychology Research Group) and research centres (Autism Research Innovation Centre and Lincoln Sleep Research Centre). It will then showcase three different areas within our groups to give examples of research underpinning some impact case studies. The School of Psychology scored highly on impact in the recent REF. The first example will showcase work on the conservation of the Barbary Macaque, which has led to changes in international trade laws, an updated assessment of conservation status and greater public awareness with regard to eco-tourism. The second will showcase OnlinePROTECT which aims to improve practitioner approaches to online child sexual exploitation. The work has been integrated into staff training within Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services, which has been rolled out across England and Wales Probation Services. The final example will document some of the negative consequences and harms experienced by disordered gamblers, specifically work that was carried out to investigate the relationship between gambling and violence in nationally and internationally representative samples. This research was cited in Parliamentary briefing papers and influenced the introduction of gambling harm minimisation measures, including the introduction of an amendment to gaming machine legislation to limit fixed odds betting terminal stake size.

You can view the full presentation here

Prof Amanda Roberts, Professor of Psychology and Director of Research

Dr Hannah Merdian, Deputy Head of School

Prof Bonaventura Majolo, Professor of Social Evolution

Lincolnshire Learning Lab (LLL) was established to improve the learning of all children and the working environments for teachers within Lincolnshire. The purpose is to bring academic rigour and evidence-based research into the classroom by engaging the three key stakeholders – teachers, academics and anyone involved/interested in the education system (parents/educational consultants etc.). The LLL is so called to enable research to be carried out in schools in a rigorous and innovative manner ensuring that time is spent productively on research that will benefit all (staff/children/families) whilst offering teachers the opportunity to work with academics to ensure that research is effective for all. The group was established by the School of Education at the University of Lincoln in February 2021. The main aims are to: 1. Provide opportunity to work innovatively within the ‘lab’ style approach with a range of educational professionals to provide opportunity for research to become embedded in practice. 2. Devise, lead and carry out research projects that will provide evidence for educational innovation. 3. Provide all teachers, academics and other educational stakeholders the opportunity to develop practice across the county to engage all in improving educational outcomes for all children.

You can view the full presentation here

Dr Rachael Sharpe, Senior Lecturer

Following a period of significant staffing changes, we decided to organise our research around five thematic clusters in areas of recognised research strength: international law, human rights, criminal justice, environmental law, and corporate/ commercial law. Our aim is to stimulate grassroots research in line with the plans and career stage of researchers in the School, with experienced researchers providing mentoring and peer support. Opportunities for engagement in cross cutting research is enabled through the use of international and external research networks like the Lincoln Centre for Environmental Justice, East Midland Police Academic Network, and the Earth Systems Law network. Leads of Research Units, Groups and Centres: Richard Barnes (Director of Research); Andra Le Roux Kemp (Director of Post-Graduate Studies) Cluster leads: Nicolas Kang Riou (Human Rights); Max Brookman-Byrne (International Law); Richard Barnes (Environmental Law); Karen Harrison (Criminal Justice); Nkechi Azinge (Commercial/Corporate)

You can view the full presentation here

Prof Richard Barnes, Professor of International Law

Karen Harrison, Professor of Law and Penal Justice

Performance Research Group

The goal of the Performance Research Group is to conduct research to explore fundamental and applied sport science topics for enhancing sport performance. The complexity of living beings lends itself to multi- and inter-disciplinary research to investigate how humans and other living organisms are able to achieve and improve their performance. Consequently, we conduct research from a range of perspectives on topics including: Biomechanical feedback in sport; Physiology of the female athlete; Professional practice issues and interventions in sport psychology, and; Psychological states underlying excellent performance in sport.

Wellbeing Research Group

The goal of the Wellbeing Research Group is to explore and understand issues influencing health, exercise, sport and physical activity. Our focus includes understanding the ways in which individuals and social groups experience and give meaning to physical activity, health and illness conditions, which can help inform policy and practice by taking into account people’s everyday lives. We conduct fundamental and applied multi-disciplinary research that aims to develop understanding of a range of topics including: Sociology of port; the lived experience of health and illness conditions; physical-cultural embodiment; Psychology of physical activity and exercise; optimal experiences in exercise and physical activity; athlete mental health and help-seeking; race, masculinity and its representation in the media.

You can view the full presentation here

Dr Hannah Henderson, Associate Professor

ParliLinc, Dr Mark Bennister, Associate Professor in Politics 

The University of Lincoln has a record of undertaking research into policy, parliaments and other key political institutions. It also seeks to build upon this to ensure that research informs teaching and the wider experiences of students at all levels. The Lincoln Parliamentary Research Centre (ParliLinc) brings together work on parliaments and legislatures at the University. The Centre is based in the School of Social and Political Sciences, in the College of Social Science, although membership is open across the University. ParliLinc’s aim is to enhance research, facilitate impact and promote engagement with parliaments and legislatures in the UK and beyond. The Centre reflects a wide range of experience and expertise in parliamentary studies and associated fields, together with a variety of methodological approaches. It seeks to further develop the University of Lincoln as a recognised centre of excellence for research and teaching in parliamentary studies.

Policy Hub, Dr Mark Bennister, Associate Professor in Politics

The University of Lincoln delivers research that has a positive impact on communities at a local national and global level: informing policy, influencing decisions, and potentially changing lives. Our researchers work closely with government, parliamentarians and civil society, placing evidence and academic rigour at the heart of policymaking. The Lincoln Policy Hub was launched in May 2021 to bring together the latest insights, evidence and commentary from our researchers, in a one-stop-shop for both academics and policymakers. By connecting politicians, decision makers, and practitioners with our research, we can help deliver evidence-based policy that meets the challenges facing society today. The Lincoln Policy Hub was created by Mark Bennister with Jo Edwards at Lucidity and Alexandra Meakin. The Hub was funded by a Research England QR SPF allocation. Digital support Digital Student Life.

Politics of (Dis)order, Prof Rico Isaacs, Professor of International Politics

The Politics of (Dis)order (POD) research group is a dynamic, inter-disciplinary and School-wide intellectual community of academic staff and post-graduate students working on different aspects of populism, authoritarianism and nationalism. The group’s research focuses on the different ways in which we can understand political order and disorder in these fields. As a group we offer specific regional foci and internationally recognized expertise in Central Asia, the broader post-Soviet space, Central Europe, Asia and the United States. The University of Lincoln has a strong-track record of internationally recognised research in populism, authoritarianism and nationalism and POD is the forum in which this research expertise is brought together.

Child Friendly Research Network

The interdisciplinary Child Friendly Research Network provides academics from across the University of Lincoln with the opportunity to come together to develop work around children, young people, and families. The network explores interdisciplinary solutions to the problems affecting children and young people, and aims to establish mechanisms for young people’s participation within research which help to shape research agendas that matter to them.

Unfortunately, this recording is not available. You can see the slides from the presentation here

The Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health (LIIRH) conducts interdisciplinary research to address the most important health issues facing rural communities locally, nationally, and internationally. The institute aims to ‘shine a light’ on the unacceptable health inequities that exist across the rural-urban divide and to find innovative ways of reducing or ideally eliminating that inequality. The institute brings together world-leading specialists, conducting research across a range of rural health related concerns, ranging from infectious disease epidemiology, HIV, oral health, and emergent response analysis through to sustainable remote health care delivery solutions, metagovernance approaches, and m-health technological innovation. LIIRH is supported by generous grants from the Wolfson Foundation, and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Our research benefits from strong links with members of CAHRU, the School of Psychology, the School of Health and Social Care, the School of Computer Science and research groups within Life Sciences, particularly the Diabetes Research Group. Nationally, the institute has strong links to researchers at University College London and is a key partner of the National Centre for Rural Health and Care. LIIRH’s strong global health portfolio of research is supported by a network of academic partners located in Germany, Canada, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, South Africa, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Australia.

You can view the full presentation here

Prof Frank Tanser, Global Professor in Rural Health and Social Care

More Funded Research from 2021/2022: