• University Of Huddersfield Queensgate Huddersfield HD13DH

  • University of Huddersfield Queensgate Huddersfield HD1 3DH

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile


I was educated in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield where I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Sociology and an MA in Sociological Research Methods.  I completed my ESRC funded PhD in 2011 - an ethnographic study which explored everyday family life when a relative is living with a life-threatening illness.

After completing my PhD I worked in the public sector as an action researcher on a project about peer-mentoring in everyday ICT use and then completed an internship with the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute at The University of Nottingham. This work examined the ethics of representation and communication in the context of an emerging digital economy using genocide experience as a case study. Following this I joined the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield as a Graduate Teaching Associate where my roles included Course Tutor and Student Experience Officer. I then took up a position in Sociological Studies (at Sheffield) which primarily involved developing research funding applications.

In 2015 I joined the Information School at Sheffield working as a researcher on the ‘A Shared Space and a Space for Sharing’ ESRC funded project. The aim of this work was to explore how people in a range of extreme circumstances (e.g. experiencing addictive drug use or suicidal thoughts) share information, emotion and experiences online. I was involved in a work package which focused on individuals (and their relatives/ carers) living with life-threatening conditions.

More recently, and before joining the University of Huddersfield in September 2018, I worked as a researcher on the ‘End of' or 'Start of' Life?’ ESRC project. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of visual technology (such as MRI) on traditional foetal and neonatal autopsy practices. We conducted qualitative interviews with variety of professionals (including midwives, pathologists, chaplains and radiologists) to understand their work practices related to post-mortem and supporting families when a baby dies.  We also interviewed parents and relatives about their experiences of early-life loss and post-mortem.  As part of the project the research team worked with artists to curate a public exhibition called ‘Remembering Baby’ which explored some of the key themes in the research findings.

Alongside my teaching and research activities I am a Council member of Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS) and a member of the editorial board of Mortality. I also currently co-convene the British Sociological Association Study Group: Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement.  


Research Expertise and Interests

* Social and relational aspects of death, dying and bereavement

* Material culture and memorialisation
* Everyday experiences of illness 
* Personal, family and intimate relationships
* Emotionality and reflexivity in research

Research Degree Supervision

Julie is willing to accept PhD proposals in the following areas:

* Personal relationships and intimacy at the end of life
* Early-life loss and bereavement
* Experiences of dying
* Hospice care
* Everyday life and illness experiences
* Material culture, illness and death
* Emotionality and research

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Medical Sociology
  • Death, Dying and Bereavement
  • Families and Personal Relationships
  • Everyday life
  • Material Culture
  • Emotionality and Research Experience
  • Health & Illness

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Julie Ellis is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
dying Social Sciences
illness Social Sciences
emotionality Social Sciences
emotional work Social Sciences
Breast Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
death Social Sciences
everyday experience Social Sciences
print media Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2010 2019

3 Citations (Scopus)

Movement, Materiality, and the Mortuary Adopting Go-Along Ethnography in Research on Fetal and Neonatal Postmortem

Reed, K. & Ellis, J., 1 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. 48, 2, p. 209-235 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
qualitative research

Uncovering Hidden Emotional Work: Professional Practice in Paediatric Post-Mortem

Reed, K. & Ellis, J., 28 Aug 2019, In : Sociology. 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
emotional work

“We don’t want to go and be idle ducks”: family practices at the end of life

Borgstrom, E., Ellis, J. & Woodthorpe, K., 24 Apr 2019, In : Sociology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
research policy
research practice
macro level
3 Citations (Scopus)

Family food practices: relationships, materiality and the everyday at the end of life

Ellis, J., 1 Feb 2018, In : Sociology of Health and Illness. 40, 2, p. 353-365 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Family Practice

Remembering Baby

Reed, K., Whitby, E. & Ellis, J., Dec 2018, In : Bereavement Care. 37, 3, p. 88-91 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Activities 2011 2019

Looking for love (again): Experiences of dating after the death of a partner

Julie Ellis (Speaker)
7 Sep 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Mortality (Journal)

Julie Ellis (Member of editorial board)
Mar 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication Peer-review

British Sociological Association Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement & Violence and Society Study Groups

Julie Ellis (Organiser)
25 Jan 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

"I Can't Alter It": Family Accounts of the Everydayness of Dying

Julie Ellis (Speaker)
10 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

'Oh Aye, I was Always a Big Eater': Food, Families and the End of Life

Julie Ellis (Speaker)
22 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk