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11 from 935 citations

Last updated 23rd March 2023


Helen is Professor of Childhood Studies and Director of Research in the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield. Her research is focused on understanding the everyday lives of children and the development of methods to enable children’s participation in research. Helen’s publications bring together her interests in creative visual methods, visual culture and research ethics.

Helen leads a European project on children’s digital citizenship. ‘Cyber Safe Generation: Digital education by design’ (CyGen) is a 3 year collaboration with partner institutions in Denmark, Belgium & Greece. The project works with children, teachers and parents to co-design and co-produce educational resources to support children’s digital literacy and is funded as part of Erasmus+ Key Action 2 for Higher Education.

Helen is also co-investigator and social science lead on a multidisciplinary project on pollinator habitats exploring landscape preferences, connectedness and wellbeing using novel digital visual methods. Funded by RCUK as part of its Global Food Security programme and led by the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research at the University of Reading with partners at the Universities of Northampton and Lund, the research aims to identify the impacts of climate and land use changes on pollinating insects in order to increase resilience and sustainability of the UK food system.

Helen is research lead for ‘Corona Chronicles - Children researching their everyday lives, education and relationships during the coronavirus pandemic (CHEER).’ This research explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the everyday lives, education and relationships of primary school children aged 9-11 (UK school years 5 to 6).  Watch the two-minute video here 

Helen currently supervises PhD students on topics including digital literacy, parenting, poverty and social exclusion. She leads postgraduate modules on data collection and analysis and has developed international postgraduate training in creative and visual methods and research ethics (funded by the ESRC).

Her undergraduate teaching includes lectures on: Interpreting childhood; Researching ethically with children, Childhood wellbeing and the social determinants of health.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Visiting Professor, University of Northampton

2017 → …

Convenor - Visual sociology study group, The British Sociological Association

2015 → …

Peer review college, Economic & Social Research Council

2010 → …

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Moral Philosophy
  • Pandemics
  • Experience
  • Methodology


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