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Dr Emma Wainwright

Dr Emma Wainwright

Research area(s)

My research focuses on the Sociologies and Geographies of:

  • Education, training and welfare to work
  • Social policy, family, parenting and care
  • Embodiment, body work and emotional labour
  • Social housing and resident engagement

Research Interests

Current research interests include:

  • HE participation, student success and retention
  • Social housing, welfare provsion, and financial inclusion
  • Embodied learning and professionalism
  • Home-schooling and policy enactment during Covid 19

Research grants and projects

Research Projects


An exploration of the experiences of undergraduate commuter students
Funder: Access and Participation Fund
Duration: September 2019 - March 2020
Made Outside the Classroom
Funder: Street League
Duration: October 2017 - February 2017

Addition to Current StreetLeague project

MAS What Works
Funder: Money Advice Service
Duration: January 2017 - January 2018
Evaluation of Street League and Streetfit
Funder: Street League
Duration: June 2015 - March 2017

Project details

2021, Household enactments of education during the Covid-19 pandemic among low-income families of primary-aged children (with Kate Hoskins)

2020, Canhato, A. Manika, D, Cohen, G. and Wainwright, E. The use of digital technology by residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea during the Covid-19 pandemic – Grenfell and beyond, Global Lives Research Fund, Brunel University London (£2,000)

2018-2019, Wainwright, E., Barker, J. (Middlesex University), Chappell, A.and McHugh, E. Childhood, parenting and the commodification of education: the growth and role of tuition centres in the UK, Research Development Fund, Brunel University London (PI: £4,984)

2017-2018, Wainwright, E., Hills, L. and Gilhooly, K. What works? Evaluation of the DOSH financial capability programme, The Money Advice Service/ A2Dominion (PI: £24,000)

2017, Wainwright, E. and McHugh, E. Financial capability and resident engagement: What works?  A desktop study, A2Dominion (£1,000)

2016-2017, Successful students: exploring the factors that encourage and enable widening participation students to stay the course, Access and Student Success Fund, Brunel University London (£20,000 with Anne Chappell)

2016-2017, Embodied learning, professionalism and identity in physiotherapy (with Meriel Norris)

2016-2017, Research Seminar Series: Creative Methods in Health and Wellbeing Research, Brunel University London (£2,493 with Wendy Martin, Monica Degen and Elizabeth Mackay)

Wainwright, E. and Watts, M. Supporting 'first-in-family' students through university, funded by Learning and Teaching Innovation Fund, Brunel University (PI: £4,280)

2016-2017, Wainwright, E. Social Housing and New forms of Tenant Engagement: welfare, governance and active citizenship, British Academy/ Leverhulme (PI: £10,000)

2015-2017, Hills, L. and Wainwright, E. Evaluation of Street League and Street Step (training/ education programmes), Barclays (Co-I: £25,000)

2014-2016, Wainwright, E. Investigating new landscapes of training for work: the extended role of housing associations, Athena SWAN award, Brunel University London (PI: £13,137)

2014-2015, Research Seminar Series: Contemporary family geographies: health, care and wellbeing, funded by Brunel University London research seminar series award, (£2,500 with John Barker)

2014 Research Seminar: Family Geographies, funded by the Royal Geographical Society, Geographies of Children, Youth and Families research group (£250 with John Barker)

2006-2009, Wainwright, E. The body-training choices, experiences and expectations of mothers in West London, ESRC First Grants Scheme (PI: £274,000)

2006-2007, Wainwright, E. Meanings of work, learning and motherhood in family learning, British Academy Small Research Grant (PI: £7,300)

2005-2006, Wainwright, E. An analysis of the learning needs and experiences of students with dependent children at Brunel University, Curriculum Innovation Fund, Brunel University (PI: £7,800)

2004-2005, Buckingham, S., Marandet, E., Smith, F. and Wainwright, E. Women’s progression through training: from socialisation to qualification, London West Learning and Skills Council (Co-I: £52,000)

2004-2014, With team of academics at Brunel, Research Framework Agreement, Department for Work and Pensions

1998-2001, Wainwright, E. Full PhD funding, Owen Silver Scholarship, University of St Andrews