School of Sociology and Social Policy

Visiting Researchers

The School of Sociology and Social Policy often invites visiting researchers and research fellows to work on specific projects or to provide specialist insight to facilitate quality research.

Current visiting fellows

Professor Robert MacDonald

Robert MacDonald

As well as Visiting Fellow at Nottingham, Robert MacDonald is currently Professor of Education and Social Justice at Huddersfield University. He also holds Visiting Professorships at the Department of Sociology, Monash University, at the Danish Centre for Youth Research, Aalborg University and at the School of Policy Studies, University of Bristol.

He previously worked and studied at the universities of Durham and York, and was Professor of Sociology at Teesside University from 2002-2017, where he worked with colleagues to develop the Teesside Studies of Youth Transitions and Social Exclusion. He is Editor in Chief (joint) of the Journal of Youth Studies. He has researched and written widely about young people, youth, unemployment, work, poverty, crime, class, inequality and the significance of place.

He has authored, co-authored and edited a series of books on these issues including: Risky Business? Youth and the Enterprise Culture (1991); Youth, the Underclass and Social Exclusion (1997); Snakes and Ladders: Young People, Transitions and Social Exclusion (2000); Disconnected Youth? Growing up in Britain’s Poor Neighbourhoods (2005); Drugs in Britain (2007); Young People, Class and Place (2010); Poverty and Insecurity: Life in Low-pay, No-pay Britain (2012).

He is currently working on research about: youth, inequality and youth policy; about young adults and the ‘gig economy’; about precarity, generation and class; and on comparative studies of youth in the UK and the MENA (Middle East and North African) countries.


Dr Cathie Traynor

Cathie Traynor

Cathie Traynor is a visiting researcher at the School of Sociology and Social Policy. Her interests connect with its emphasis on the third sector and the Criminal Justice Research Centre. She aims to develop a research agenda on the relationship between the voluntary sector and courts/trial spaces with Dr Philippa Tomczak. She currently volunteer as a witness supporter at the High and Sheriff Courts of Edinburgh.

Cathie has diverse experience of the criminal justice system (domestically and internationally, in prisons and in courts, as an employee, a researcher and a volunteer). She has a background in late 90s public sector organisational change and interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. Most recently, she completed her PhD in Human Geography at the University of Leicester (2017). Prior to that, she worked as an organisational and leadership development specialist for the Scottish Prison Service, during which she completed an MSc in Social Anthropology (University of Edinburgh) and an MSc in Training and Human Resource Management (University of Leicester).

Her PhD developed ‘a geography of neutrality’, which added to current debates in Human Geography around absence and presence, emotions and affects, architecture, critical geopolitics and organisational anthropology. It involved ethnographic research in The Hague (including the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) and illustrated how ‘staged insignificance’ is core to the enactment of ‘neutral’ people, places and practices across scales.



School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact us