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Professorial promotion for Dr Rebecca Jones

Portrait photograph of Professor Rebecca Jones. She is in an outdoor setting with greenery behind her. She is wearing glasses and a red and black top, and is smiling into the camera.

Dr Rebecca Jones has been promoted to Professor of Sociology, Sexuality and Ageing, in recognition of her ground-breaking research, centring on sociological approaches to later life, sexuality and especially sexuality in later life, and her contributions to teaching.

Professor Rebecca Jones’s distinctive contribution to research and teaching is to deploy critical and creative methods to enable people from marginalised groups to reimagine and enact more inclusive personal, professional and public futures.  Her world-leading research established the study of bisexuality and ageing, and has enabled research participants, research users and wider publics to develop alternative visions of a good old age that are more inclusive of diverse experiences.

Professor Jones’s teaching particularly enables disadvantaged OU students to reimagine their professional futures by achieving qualifications and developing careers in Health and Social Care where they themselves support disadvantaged groups.

She combines her expertise in research and teaching in the global development sector, co-creating knowledge and learning resources on challenging topics related to sexuality, working with some of the most marginalised groups globally to reimagine and actuate more inclusive futures through education. Her academic leadership empowers individuals and organisations to reimagine futures through bringing their whole selves to research and teaching.

Professor Jones commented:
“I’m sure I wouldn’t be a professor without the enabling and supportive environment created by my colleagues here at the OU and beyond.
In particular, I’m grateful for being supported to progress whilst working part-time for most of my career, and now to work in ways compatible with having chronic fatigue.
I use my experiences to inform my research, teaching and mentoring work. I hope that my promotion will encourage other colleagues with less traditional academic careers to think about their experiences in strength-based ways and to bring those experiences to our work together.”

She specialises in producing high-quality distance learning materials, especially on challenging topics around sexuality, and in developing the skills of others in creating distance learning resources. Her focus is on the pedagogical structure which underlies the explicit content and how this can best enable student learning. She runs regular courses across The Open University on these topics, in support of curriculum design work.

Professor Jones is currently working with Spice FM and Reproductive Health Uganda on a project to explore trusted sources of information about reproductive and sexual health issues among young refugees with little formal education who live in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement.

She has also used her extensive experience to supervise PhD candidates, most recently supervising Elizabeth Ascroft's study of co-creating Comprehensive Sexuality Education resources.

Follow Professor Rebecca Jones via her blog ‘Remembering my Hat’, which includes information on her projects and curriculum design resources and on X and Bluesky as ‘RememberMyHat’.


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