Graham Bowpitt - SSS-5004.jpg

Graham Bowpitt

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Social Work and Health

Role

Graham is a Reader in Social Policy, which combines undergraduate teaching, PhD supervision and research in roughly equal proportions. In addition, he is Research Co-ordinator for the Division of Social Work and Professional Practice, and serves on the Research Degrees Committee and Research Ethics Committee for the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences.

His current undergraduate teaching is limited to an introductory module in Social Policy and a co-ordinating role in a final year Dissertation module. However, in the past, Graham's teaching has encompassed a specialist interest in social exclusion, as well as more general modules on the policy process, comparative social policy, theoretical social policy and the development of social work. He has supervised numerous dissertations at Masters level, mainly from the MSc in Social Research Methods, where students have undertaken studies in aspects of homelessness. His experience in doctoral supervision has grown through, for instance, two ESRC funded CASE studentships, and he is now able to share his experience by joining supervisory teams supervising students on a wide range of subjects. Graham has also maintained an active programme of research in recent years. In addition to PhD supervision, he has secured numerous contracts to evaluate local programmes in tackling social exclusion in its various dimensions, about which more is explained below.

Graham's role as Divisional Research Co-ordinator entails enhancing the Division’s research profile, encouraging research activity among colleagues and producing and helping to implement a Divisional Research Strategy. His role on the two College Committees has been largely about acting as a subject specialist for Social Policy, reviewing and supporting the progress of PhD students and ensuring that all research meets appropriate ethical standards.

Career overview

Graham has been at NTU for most of his working life, so most of his career is covered in the sections above and below. However, up until 2002, he also assumed numerous course management roles, being Course Leader for the BA Applied Social Studies and the BA Social Sciences. Graham also served as a Subject Reviewer for Social Policy for the Quality Assurance Agency, and undertook several Subject and Course Reviews at various HEIs.

Research areas

Graham has maintained two main areas of research interest in recent years. In the field of tackling multiple exclusion homelessness, the focus of research has been on single adults who combine homelessness with one or more other indicators of deep social exclusion, typically drug and alcohol dependency, mental ill-health, criminality, and experiences of domestic abuse or eviction. The overall purpose has been to explore what works in addressing multiple exclusion homelessness and what barriers are encountered. In addition, a long-standing and wide-ranging interest in the place of faith and faith communities in social welfare policy and practice has generated some activity. The focus of interest has been largely historical, being concerned with how the church's engagement with civil society in the social welfare field has responded to broader trends in secularity and post-secularity.

Over the years, research in multiple exclusion has extended beyond the field of homelessness, being largely evaluative in nature, designing and delivering evaluations of initiatives such as Sure Start Local Programmes, the Derby City Children's Fund or the Spiral bereavement service run by Family Care. Homelessness research has also been exploratory, seeking to understand how the multiple problems of single homeless people conspire to impede solutions. It has included, for instance, a £92,000 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (2009-10, RES-188-25-0001).

Much of this work has been the product of a long-standing collaborative relationship with the Framework Housing Association for whom numerous evaluative projects have also been completed. The most recent success has been an 8-year contract worth £280,000 to undertake the local evaluation of Framework's ‘Fulfilling Lives: Multiple and Complex Needs' programme, working with a small group of adults who combine homelessness, criminality, mental illness and substance misuse.

The outcome of research activity has numerous journal articles and conference papers and inclusion in REF 2014 for Unit C22, Social Policy and Social Work, where Graham's work on homelessness was presented as an impact case study.

External activity

In connection with his work at NTU, Graham has been on the Editorial Board for Social Policy and Society (2010-12), and is regularly invited to review books and articles submitted to several journals, including British Journal of Social Work, Journal of Social Work, Social Policy and Society, Social Policy and Administration, Housing Studies and others from time to time. Graham  has also been a rapporteur for one or two ESRC funded research projects.

Of relevance to teaching, Graham has been external examiner in Social Policy at Brighton University, at South East Essex College and currently at Birmingham University in relation to their suite of Masters level courses in Social Policy.

Other external activities of relevance to Graham's research interests include his membership of the Board of Trustees at Emmanuel House, a homeless persons support centre, and chairing the steering group that manages the Nottingham Winter Shelter. In the past, he has also edited The Extra Mile, the in-house journal of the Social Work Christian Fellowship.

Sponsors and collaborators

As noted above, Graham has collaborated with Framework Housing Association intermittently since 1997, undertaking contract research and supervising research students sponsored by FHA. He has assumed a similar role with Family Care Nottingham, who co-sponsored a PhD student working on their adoption records, and for whom he undertook the evaluation of their childhood bereavement service. Prior to these relationships, as indicated above, Graham has undertaken contract research with numerous Sure Start Local Programmes, the Derby City Children's Fund and the Radford Healthy Living Centre.

Press expertise

Graham has made occasional radio appearances around issues connected to areas where he feels he has a particular expertise. For instance, he has participated as an expert in the history of social work in Laurie Taylor's 'Talking Allowed' programme at the time of the publication of a book on the Salvation Army. He has also been interviewed on local radio in relation to homelessness and child poverty.

Graham is willing to be called upon, but only in areas where he feels he has a particular expertise, such as single homelessness or the role of the churches in social welfare.