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Dr Donna Thomas

Research Fellow
School of Social Work, Care and Community
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Donna is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Children and Young People's Participation. With particular expertise in self, subjectivity and consciousness, Donna leads and supports research with children and young people. Donna is the module lead for MA Collaborative Research with Children and facilitates a network of young researchers.

Donna is the Primary Investigator for the 'Who am I Study': Exploring self and experience with children and has publications in Global Studies of Childhood, Journal for Children's Services and The Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Recently, Donna's presentation was awarded 'best paper' at the CEP BPS Conference (2019).

Donna was a Strategic Research Manager in a local Government setting, leading on citizen engagement, children's participation and professional training programmes (in research and engagement). Donna worked collaboratively with citizens informing policy and the development of large-scale educational reform programmes, social care sector programmes and health policy. Winning two awards for Citizen Participation. In 2013, Donna became the Director of her own research consultancy, winning commissions from Public Health Departments, Foundation Trusts, Local Governments and Universities. Donna conducted large-scale evaluation programmes around ACE programmes, School Nursing practice and policy and schools.

  • PhD The Language Use of Citizens in Participatory Processes, Lancaster University, 2013
  • MA Literacy & Linguistics, Lancaster University, 2002
  • BA Hons English Language, Literature and Literacy Studies, 2000
  • 'Best Paper' - CEP BPS Consciousness and Experiential Section, University of Sussex, 2019
  • 'Innovative Practice Award', Blackburn with Darwen Council, 2010
  • 'Partnership Working Award', Blackburn University, 2011

Modules Taught

  • SW2041 - Comparative Social Welfare
  • self, subjectivity, experience, 'non-ordinary' experience, consciousness, ontology, epistemology, methodology, participation