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Racialisation, racism and its impact on health

   School of Social Sciences

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  Dr Geetha Reddy, Dr Stephanie Davis, Dr Deanne Bell  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This PhD project will focus on the changing nature of racism within multicultural communities in the UK, and offer strategies that will create solutions for sustainable societies. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the precariousness of the lives of individuals and communities within UK and worldwide, painfully highlighting how different identity positions (based on gender, class, and race for example) influence access to healthcare and people’s exposure to injury, violence, and death. Despite the recent increase in reported incidents of racism in the UK, scholars have argued that racism is still insufficiently theorised and current strategies focused on inclusion and justice fall short on delivering equity and safety for marginalised peoples. Instead of critiquing the dehumanising structures of racism (de Noronha, 2021), scholarly work on everyday multiculture is descriptive in nature (Valluvan, 2016) and psychological research on racism often focuses solely on individual prejudice reduction or tolerance (Malherbe et al., 2021).


  • This research will address the precarity that follows the racialisation and racism experienced by minoritised people by studying how race intersects with other identity categories such as gender and class (and their associated oppressions) to create specific social realities.
  • This project will utilise a critical race psychology perspective (Salter & Adams, 2013) and a decolonial psychological lens that addresses itself to anti-racism (Malherbe et al, 2021).
  • The research will undertake a critical approach to methodology, using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods such as Photovoice, which has been developed to bring together members of a community to produce stories of change (Kessi, Kaminer, Boonzaier & Learmonth, 2019).
  • Whilst grounded in psychology, this project will draw from other disciplines and take a transdisciplinary perspective that looks not only at the interplay of identities but also how political and social institutions play an important part in the construction and maintenance of the racialisation of minoritised people in the UK.

Contributions of this research

This research will help understandings of how racialisation processes at different levels (individual, organisational, societal) influence how people make sense of their social worlds and how their social worlds in turn influence their sense of self. In linking institutions and individuals, race and politics, this project will provide a transdisciplinary understanding of racialisation and racism in the UK today that can in turn be utilised to develop impact cases for anti-racist practices within the University in line with NTU’s strategic aims for enriching society and empowering people and training events for informal and formal healthcare systems in the country.

The research supervisory team will support the candidate to develop skills that will help them publish in the following journals: - Ethnicity and Health (impact factor 2.554), Journal of Ethnic and Migration studies (impact factor, 3.172), Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology (impact factor: 3.086), Social Science and Medicine (impact factor 3.616), British Journal of Social Psychology (impact factor: 2.736). 

Entry requirements

Candidates entering from Undergraduate must hold or expect to hold at least a 2.1 degree in Psychology or similar discipline. Candidates entering from Postgraduate must hold or expect to hold at least a merit/commendation with their UG or PG qualification in Psychology or related discipline.

How to apply

For a step-by-step guide and to make an application, please visit NTU's how to apply page.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded but applicants can contact project leaders to discuss potential funding opportunities.


Kessi, S., Kaminer, D., Boonzaier, F., & Learmonth, D. (2019). Photovoice methodologies for social justice. Research Methods in the Social Sciences, 354.
Malherbe, N., Ratele, K., Adams, G., Reddy, G., & Suffla, S. (2021). A Decolonial Africa (n)-Centered Psychology of Antiracism. Review of General Psychology, 10892680211022992.
Noronha, L. D. (2021). The conviviality of the overpoliced, detained and expelled: Refusing race and salvaging the human at the borders of Britain. The Sociological Review, 00380261211048888
Salter, P., & Adams, G. (2013). Toward a critical race psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7(11), 781-793.
Valluvan, S. (2016). Conviviality and multiculture: A post-integration sociology of multi-ethnic interaction. Young, 24(3), 204-221.

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