Professor Alastair Roy
Professor of Social Research
School of Health, Social Work and Sport
I am Professor of Social Research and Co-Director of the Psychosocial Research Unit. Before becoming an academic I was youth and community worker and residential social worker. I describe myself as an inter-disciplinary scholar and I have a particular interest in research methodology. I have worked on innovations in mobile, visual, narrative and participatory methods. I have undertaken applied research in the fields of substance use, mental health, youth homelessness as well as in participatory and collaborative arts Current PhD students: George Dake - Male sex workers in Manchester: everyday life, lived experience and marginalization. Hannah Baarsden - Between health policy and care practice in the cancer patient pathway: a psychosocial study of patients’ biographical narratives. Lynda Shentall - Silenced voices: the experiences of women living with HIV who are subject to domestic violence. Craig Diver - investigation into the factors that influence and inform the support offered by adoption agencies to adoptive parents. Asta Binkauskaite - Landscapes of un/belonging: an empirical psychosocial study Of the Lithuanian experience of migration to London since 1991. (Second Supervisor).
In my research and scholarship I am especially interested in the implications of research employing different epistemological and methodological frameworks. Examples include the work I have recently undertaken (with ) on the use of film in participatory research projects with homeless young people Roy, A. Kennelly, J. Rowley, H. and Larkins, C. (forthcoming) A critical discussion of the use of film in participatory research projects with homeless young people: an international case-based analysis, Qualitative Research. Roy, A. (2016) Learning on the move: exploring work with vulnerable young men through the lens of movement. Applied Mobilities, 1 (2). pp. 207-218 Manley, J. and Roy, A. (2017) The visual matrix: a psycho-social method for discovering unspoken complexities in social care practice. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 22 (2). pp. 132-153.
I have organised key public debates at international festivals on socially engaged arts practice. For example, with Heart of Glass I have co-organised four national conferences and delivered panels at the Arts Council England's National Creative People and Places conference exploring the role of arts in place making and civic renewal and notions of cultural citizenship. I am also actively involved in the emerging discipline of psychosocial studies in the UK. I am a founding member of the Association of Psychosocial Studies (APS) which was established as a learned society in 2016, bringing together researchers, teachers, practitioners and students from different fields who are interested in contributing to the development of this exciting inter/trans-disciplinary field of study. I am a Member of the International Study Group for Psycho-societal Research which includes colleagues from Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, USA and the UK.
- Doctor of Philosophy (by publication): Rethinking Research on Drugs, Race and Ethnicity: A Psychosocial Approach. University of Central Lancashire, 2011-2012
- BA Hons: Social Work and Community Studies (with first class honours), University of Central Lancashire, 1998-2000
- National Certificate of Qualification in Youth and Community and Community Work (CQYW), Manchester Polytechnic, 1990-1992
- Research methodology
- Mobile methods
- Visual methods
- Narrative and non-narrative methods
- Participatory research
- Substance use
- Youth homelessness
- Mental health
- Member - The European Society for Social Drug Research
- Founding Member - The Association of Psychosocial Studies
- Member of the European Society for Social Drug Research
- Member - International Study Group for Psychosocietal Analysis
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- View their unique and persistent identifier on the ORCiD registry
- Full list of publications and articles on CLoK
- Psychosocial Research Unit
- Institute for Citizenship Society and Change
- Principal Investigator - Developing an Evidence Base for Recovery Oriented Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services. Economic and Social Research Council and Technology Strategy Board £220,000, 2012-2016
- Principal Investigator – Real Estates, Blackpool, Big Lottery, Left Coast - £25,000, 2019-2021
- Principal Investigator - Research Partner to Heart of Glass, St Helens Creative People and Places programme – Phase 2. Heart of Glass/Arts Council England, £40,000, 2018 - 2021
- Co-I with L. Froggett, PI - Research Partner to Super Slow Way, East Lancashire, Creative People and Places programme. Super Slow Way/ Arts Council England, £30,000, 2018 - 2021
- Principal Investigator - Research Partner to the Left Coast Programme, Blackpool’s Creative People and Places programme. Left Coast/Arts Council England, £26,000, 2015 - 2017
- Co-I with L. Froggett, PI - Research Partner to Super Slow Way Programme, Pennine Lancashire’s Creative People and Places programme. Super Slow Way/Arts Council England, £40,000, 2015 - 2018
- Co-I with Kids Company, London PI and Mark Chilvers Photography - Mobile Citizens: A Pilot Project Training Young People to Become Citizen Journalists Using Mobile Phone Technology. Big Lottery, £9,500, 2014
- Co-I with M, Prest PI, T. Leighton – Action on Addiction Co-I, M. Manchot Co-I - ADDICT – Phase 2: Touring Exhibition of Art Works Developed in Phase 1 and Public Debates. The Welcome Trust, £30,000, 2014 - 2015
- Principal Investigator - Exploring the Current Views of Recovery Oriented Practice Among Staff at INSPIRE in North Lancashire, Crime Reduction Initiatives £9,900, 2013 – 2014
- Co-I with M, Prest PI, T. Leighton – Action on Addiction Co-I, M. Manchot Co-I - ADDICT – Phase 1: Using Socially Engaged Arts Practice to Explore Recovery from Substance Misuse. The Welcome Trust £30,000, 2013 - 2015
- Principal Investigator with J. Hughes – Manchester University Co-I Surviving in Manchester: Narratives on Movement from the Men’s Room. Lankelly Chase Foundation £5,000, 2013 - 2014
- Co-I with L. Froggett, PI - Cultural Attendance and Public Mental Health: Evaluation of Pilot Programme. Manchester City Council (£28,000), 2012 -2014
- Co-I (Research Coordinator) with L. Froggett PI and J. Manley Co-I - Public Art and Local Civic Engagement, Arts and Humanities Research Council £34,000, 2013 - 2015
- Principal Investigator with L. Froggett Co-I, J. Manley Co-I - Evaluation of Participatory and Collaborative Arts in Social and Community Contexts in Ireland. Irish Arts Council and Create 5,000 Euros, 2012
- Co-I (Research Coordinator) with L. Froggett PI, M. Conroy University of Birmingham Co-I - Street Drinking, New Media and Community Engagement: Examining Street Drinking in Liverpool Using New Media Technology and Citizen Journalism. Arts and Humanities Research Council £46,000, 2012 - 2013
- Principal Investigator - Exploring the Perceptions and Views of Drug Workers to Notions of Recovery Based Drug Treatment, Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Action Team and Crime Reduction Initiatives £18,202, 2011
- Co-I with J. Buffin PI - Part of the Picture: Substance Use Amongst Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities in England. Big Lottery £97,254 to UCLan, 2009 - 2012
- Co-I with L. Froggett PI - New Model Arts and Public Engagement: A Study of four New Model Arts Institutions. Arts Council England, Northern Rock Foundation and Gulbenkian Foundation £115,500, 2009 - 2010
- July 2019 Recovery Movements: Art, Addiction Activism – 10-16th June,Tate Exchange, Liverpool. This programme responded to the themes of Tate's Keith Haring exhibition including installations, dance improvisations, talks and public conversations about art, activism and addiction. We had more than 1500 engagements with the work in the course of the week.
- July 2019 Invited Key Note – Making Memorial Conference to celebrate 50 years of the Foxton Centre – Working with Homeless Young Men in Manchester: Defending an Ethic of Care.
- April 2019 Offered Presentation. European Social Work Research Conference – Leuven, Belgium. Learning on the move: exploring work with vulnerable young men through the lens of movement.
- July 2018 Offered presentation. International Sociological Association – World Congress of Sociology. Visual Sociology Strand. A Critical Discussion of Participatory Research Projects with Young People Which Use Film: Stories, Narratives, Authorship and Ownership
- July 2018 Offered presentation. International Sociological Association – World Congress of Sociology. Marginalised Voices Strand. Critical Reflections on the Craft of Participatory Research with Young People: Unsettling Dominant Narratives.
- June 2018 Invited Plenary Panel - Arts Council England, Creative People and Places Conference Wolverhampton – Working the Politics of Social Practice.
- April 2018 Offered presentation with J. Manley - The Association for Psychosocial Studies Biennial Conference, Bournemouth – Psychosocial Reflections on a Half Century of the Cultural Revolution. - Retaining a commitment to arts based practice in social care: the creative imagination and the commodification of welfare.
- April 2018 Offered Workshop with Museum of Homelessness and Dr Chris Scanlon - The Association for Psychosocial Studies Biennial Conference, Bournemouth – Psychosocial Reflections on a Half Century of the Cultural Revolution.– On the spirit level? A 50 year exploration of our relationship to the poor and the poorest using the Visual Matrix in the Museum of Homelessness.
- March 2018Invited Keynote - Finding Common Ground, Ottowa, Canada. Invisible Men: using visual methods to exploring the complexities of practice with homeless young men.
- October 2017 Invited Workshop ESRC Festival of Social Science, Harris Musuem,Preston - Visual Methods in Social Science Research.
- October 2017 Invited Workshop - ESRC Festival of Social Science,Harris Museum, Preston– Mobile Methods in Social Science Research.
- April 2017Invited Presentation - Hemri qualitative research Seminar, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, University of Central Lancashire – Walking tours as psychosocial method.
- June 2017 Invited Key Note - Making Research Count – Engaging Men, University of Central Lancashire, Preston –– Learning on the move: exploring work with vulnerable young men through the lens of movement.
- June 2017Invited Plenary - Arts Council England, Creative People and Places Conference Doncaster – Social Practice and Social Science.
- January 2017Invited Key Note - ESRC Seminar on Severe and Complex Needs, The Foundry, London –Recovery as Cruel Optimism.
- November 2016 Invited Key Note - BSA Post Graduate Forum, University of Staffordshire. Care work on the move.
- April – 2016 to August 2017 Twelve multi-channel video installation on addiction and recovery shown at: Castlefield Gallery, Manchester – September – November 2015, Whitechapel Gallery, London – June 2016, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth – January – March 2016 , Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne –April 2016, Peckham Platform, London – May – July 2016 , Gallery M Bochum, Germany – May – August 2017
- June 2016 Offered presentation - Association of Psychosocial Studies conference, UWE, Bristol.– Walking tours as psychosocial method
- December 2015Invited Presentation - Social Research Association Annual Conference, British Library, London. Addressing the Problems of Speaking