Photo of Michelle Pyer

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am always happy to be contacted by potential PhD or professional doctorate students in childhood studies or disability. I am also the first port of call in the Faculty of Health and Society for individuals interested in undertaking a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care, and can help to direct you to potential supervisors.


Research output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Dr Michelle Pyer is a Senior Researcher and Postgraduate Research Lead within the Faculty of Health and Society. Michelle specialises in research with children, and service evaluations. She has published widely in these areas, including a recent book ‘Children, Young People and Care’ (Routledge: 2017) with John Horton. She is currently working on an Erasmus+ funded project (‘CyGen’), which focusses on the promotion of children’s digital literacy through education. Through close partnership working with children, teachers and relevant stakeholders, an educational online platform will be developed to support teachers to teach digital literacy in the classroom. Michelle is also currently training to become a play therapist, and as such is used to working alongside children to explore creative arts, including music. She has a particular interest in participatory methods, and is particularly proactive in developing projects which engage members of the public in their development. Her PhD research considered the impact of particular spaces on the leisure and wellbeing of teenage wheelchair users. Michelle has worked on a number of research projects in relation to the needs of carers and families of disabled people in both third sector and local authority contexts and has wide ranging experience of working in home environments as a family support worker for children with additional needs. She has been an expert member of an Midlands NHS Research Ethics Committee, and is currently a member of the University's Research Ethics Committee. As part of her work Michelle regularly provides support and guidance to researchers applying for ethical review.


Research Interests

Michelle has completed research and evaluation projects on a wide variety of subject areas. Her PhD research (completed in 2009) focused on access issues for teenage wheelchair users. Her particular research interests include:

  • Research ethics
  • Service evaluation
  • Patient and public involvement
  • Children and Young People’s Participation
  • Children’s geographies
  • Childhood disability



Sarah Cross: Endotracheal intubation by paramedics in the urgent and emergency care environment.

Tracey Barnfather: Midwives perspectives on the use of the lithotomy position during labour.

Karen Brasher: Young people and authenticity.

Debbie Kilsby: Transitions to parenthood; care experienced young fathers' perspectives.

Jacqueline Dalton: How are community service providers hearing the voices of teenagers and what are the impact of these on service design and delivery in Northamptonshire during a time of austerity?

Nicola Smithers: Decision making for critically ill babies and parents experiences of the decision making process.


Diana Schack-Thoft (completed 2017): Involving people with early-stage dementia in qualitative research about their lifeworld perspectives: Development of a participatory research model. PhD.

Carol Rooney (completed 2017): Resilience in Nursing staff in secure environments - a concept analysis. Doctor of Professional Practice. 

Kim Woodbridge-Dodd (completed 2017): A discursive study of how Mental Health Social Workers constructed their professional selves within the context of National Health Service Mental Health Services. Doctor of Professional Practice.

Wendy Turner (completed 2017): Health literacy in the lives of young people in England: a participatory study. Doctor of Professional Practice.

Angie Bartoli (completed 2017): Moving on: The transition from social work practitioner to first-line manager. Doctor of Professional Practice.

Teaching Interests

Michelle delivers research methods and ethics sessions to a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She is programme leader for the Doctorate in Professional Practice in Health and Social Care and oversees the Faculty of Health and Society Researcher Development Programme.

Education/Academic qualification

University of Northampton

Award Date: 31 Mar 2016


Bachelor, University of Northampton


  • G Geography (General)
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • BJ Ethics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Michelle Pyer is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 2 Similar Profiles

Research Output

Future Focused: Young People’s Aspirations Explored Through Drama

Ward, A. & Pyer, M., 19 Mar 2020

Research output: Non-Textual OutputDigital or Visual Media

  • A community event to raise awareness of dementia

    Ward, A., Pyer, M., Parkes, J. & Hughes-Rowland, R., 1 Mar 2018, In : Journal of Dementia Care. 26, 2, p. 18-19 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

  • Open Access
  • The Balanced Participation Model: Sharing opportunities for giving people with early-stage dementia a voice in research

    Schack Thoft, D., Pyer, M., Horsbol, A. & Parkes, J., 26 Dec 2018, In : Dementia. p. 1-20 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

    Open Access
  • ‘Am I a student or a Health Care Assistant?’ A qualitative evaluation of a programme of pre‐nursing care experience

    Whiffin, C. J., Baker, D., Henshaw, L., Nichols, J. & Pyer, M., 1 Nov 2018, In : Journal of Advanced Nursing. 74, 11, p. 2610-2621 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

    Open Access
  • Children, Young People and Care

    Horton, J. (ed.) & Pyer, M. (ed.), 17 Jan 2017, 1st ed. Routledge. 224 p. (Routledge Spaces of Childhood and Youth Series)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Health and wellbeing amongst older people research in Northamptonshire

    Poole, H., Sixsmith, J., Parkes, J., Ward, A., Pyer, M., Campbell, J., Machado, L., Rehling, T., Youell, J., Carter, J., Oyebode, J., O’Malley, M., Anthony, K., Rogers, S., Jones, J., Siddons, L., Smith, L-A., Kay, A. D., Fraser, M., Score, J. & 8 others, El Khoury, L., Hameed, A., Albalbeisi, N., Durrant, L. G., Al-Zubaidi, R., Al-Rayahi, I., da Silva, K. & Taylor, J., 1 Aug 2017, (East Midlands Research into Ageing Network (EMRAN) Discussion Paper Series).

    Research output: Working PaperDiscussion Paper

    Open Access
  • Introduction: Children, young people and ‘care'

    Horton, J. & Pyer, M., 17 Jan 2017, Children, Young People and Care. Horton, J. & Pyer, M. (eds.). 1st ed. London: Routledge, 25 p. (Routledge spaces of childhood and youth series).

    Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

    Open Access
  • Activities

    • 2 Oral presentation
    • 1 Participating in a conference or workshop

    Young people’s aspirations explored through drama

    Alison Ward (Author) & Michelle Pyer (Author)

    9 Jun 2020

    Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


    43rd Union World Conference on Lung Health, of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

    Jackie Campbell (Participant), Stephen Rogers (Participant), Michelle Pyer (Participant) & R Reddy (Participant)

    15 Nov 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising a conference or workshopParticipating in a conference or workshopResearch

    What difference does it make? Some reflections on ‘disability’, bodily differences and childhood research

    Faith Tucker (Author) & Michelle Pyer (Author)

    1 Sep 2007

    Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch



    Helping Northampton Filmhouse become more dementia friendly through the Dementia Friendly Organisation Awards

    Alison Ward (Principal Investigator), Michelle Pyer (Principal Investigator) & Kathleen Mortimer (Facilitator)

    Impact: 03: Good Health and Well-Being (UN SDG), Cultural impacts, Quality of life impacts, Health and Well-Being impacts


    The difference that difference makes: leisure, space and teenage wheelchair users

    Author: Pyer, M., 2009

    Supervisor: Horton, J. (Supervisor) & Tucker, F. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis