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Researchers within the Children's Research Centre are drawn from a range of disciplines including childhood studies, education, sociology, early childhood, psychology and technology enhanced learning.  All share a passion for working with children and young people using a range of innovative and participatory methods to explore their lived experiences.  


Jiniya Afroze

Jiniya is a Research Associate for the CRC. She recently completed her Ph.D. research which explores children’s experiences of everyday violence in a slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

Kate Breeze

Kate's research focuses on working with families through outdoor and informal learning. 

Dr Liz Chamberlain (Co-Director)

Liz's work within Centre highlights the potential of primary-aged children as competent researchers of their own lives.  She led on both phases of the Brighton Rocks project.

Natalie Canning

Natalie's background is in playwork and social work, supporting children to explore personal, social and emotional development through play. Read about her innovative work using the Our Story app.

Meera Chudasama

Meera is a teacher-researcher interested in the different ways teachers and students use talk in the classroom. When she’s not in the classroom, she is an Editor for Innovate Journal: a research informed teaching journal that encourages practitioners to develop their own inquiry of their own classrooms.

Trevor Collins (Co-Director)

Trevor's interest includes the development and use of technology to support learning and discovery. He was a co-researcher on the Geographic Inquiry project with the Field Studies Council.

Dr Victoria Cooper (Past Director)

Victoria's work spans early years teaching, further and higher education, professional development and research.  She is passionate about the different ways in which we understand, work with and support children and young people.

Sheila Curran

Sheila’s background is in youth and community work. Her research explores children’s and young people’s rights and voices, and the practices of professionals who work to support children and young people.

Naomi Holford

Naomi's broad research interests fall within sociology, in the area of gender, sexuality and class in childhood and youth, across different age ranges from the early years to teenagers.

Professor Mary Kellett (Founder)

Mary founded the Children's Research Centre after 2 years of research and pilot work to develop a model that could support and empower children to undertake their own research. Her pioneering work fostered a paradigm shift in thinking that made the leap from research with children as co-researchers to children as active researchers in their own right.

Cindy Kerawalla (Past Director)

Cindy's research interest is in developing and evaluating resources to support young people to conduct their own social science research.  She is co-author of Developing Children as Researchers: A Practical Guide to Help Children Conduct Social Research

Emeritus Professor David Messer

David is Emeritus Professor and his many research interests include the way technology can be used to assist language and literacy development.  He developed the Our Story app used by many researchers in the Children's Research Centre.

Professor Jane Payler 

As Professor of Education (Early Years) Jane's research interests focus on international perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Care, inter-professional practice, professional development and young children’s learning experiences.

Lorraine Richings

Lorraine's research interests focus on enabling everyone to attain their rights, developing positive strategies to achieve rights, working with organisations and cultures to embed rights, including children's rights, in them.

Professor Kieron Sheehy

As Professor of Education, Kieron's research interests are within the broad field of inclusive education, often focusing on how teaching approaches or services can be developed to successfully support diverse groups of learners.  Listen to him talk his innovative work on Signing Young Researchers

Gavin Williams

Gavin’s current research interests centre on social inequalities and education and in particular promoting children and young people’s voice and rights through creative and participatory methods.