University of Northampton


The University of Northampton is a higher education institution in the heart of England, providing undergraduate and postgraduate education to over 14,000 students in the fields of Education & Humanities, Business & Law, Technology & the Creative Industries and Health & Society. The University is committed to delivering outstanding life-changing opportunities in education, underpinned by a culture of research and social enterprise. It is one of the top four UK Universities for employability (Destination of Higher Education Leavers, 2015) and the first UK University to be awarded ‘Ashoka U Changemaker’ status in recognition of its commitment to driving positive change through education, research and social enterprise.

The Faculty of Health and Society brings together expertise in the health and social sciences to deliver innovative Research Council, EU funded research. The faculty’s interdisciplinary focus ensures that it can address a wide range of real-world problems, collaborating with other universities, health and social care providers, service users and stakeholders to ensure innovative, evidence–based solutions. Discipline based expertise is supported by the full breadth of research expertise, including qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. We specialise in user- centred engagement, co-production and participatory methods, including with children, vulnerable and marginalised communities.

The Faculty of Education and Humanities provides teacher education and training in Early Years and Secondary education, Master’s Level programmes and PhD studentships. Many students within the faculty are already working within education, from teaching assistants to head teachers, ensuring that the department is connected with the real needs of schools and teachers. Staff are actively immersed in practice and work in collaboration with schools and governing bodies, providing training, consultation and advice locally and internationally. The department has strong ties with UK schools and across Europe (e.g. Greece, the Baltic States, Italy, Malta) and worldwide (e.g. India, Thailand, Australia and Brazil) through its research and teaching. The Centre for Education and Research (CeSNER) is based within the School of Education and allows active researchers to collaborate on a broad range of subjects and topic areas.

Dr Jane Murray
Jane works in the Centre for Education and Research at the University of Northampton. She was a teacher and a teacher educator before joining the Centre. Jane’s research focuses on education, particularly social justice issues in education and early childhood education. She has led and worked on many research projects in the UK and internationally, including studies about children’s play, two-year-olds in schools, early literacy, parent-partnership in early childhood settings, children’s views of school and children as agents of change. Her funded work has included UNICEF projects about attitudes to children with disabilities and children’s social and emotional learning and she specialises in participatory approaches in research with children, for example, the Young Children as Researchers (YCAR) project. Jane has advised ministries and government departments on educational matters in countries including Ethiopia, Estonia, Bhutan, Finland and the UK. She also brings her experience of other European projects to the CyGen project: the AllInHE project focused on social inclusion in European learning and working environments and Below 10 addresses new pedagogical strategies to prevent early school leaving. Jane has written extensively in peer-reviewed journals and academic books, with two new books published by Routledge in 2017: ‘Building Knowledge in Early Childhood: Young Children are Researchers’ and ‘Early Childhood Pedagogies: Creating Spaces for Young Children to Flourish’.
Dr Michelle Pyer
Michelle is a Senior Researcher at the University of Northampton. She has completed over thirty research/ evaluation projects since her appointment in 2009 and these have been disseminated via national and international conferences and journals. Dr Pyer’s particular research interests are in research with children and families, health services research, research ethics and research with those deemed ‘vulnerable’. She specialises in qualitative data collection and analysis. Dr Pyer has worked on a number of research projects focussing on the needs of carers and families; her PhD focussed on the experiences of wheelchair users in their access to leisure opportunities, family relationships and mobility. She is particularly proactive in developing projects which engage members of the public in their development. She was a member of a Midlands NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC), sits on both the University and School RECs and as part of her work for the Institute regularly provides support and guidance to researchers applying for ethical review. Michelle is the key contact for ethical queries relating to CyGen. Dr Pyer leads postgraduate research provision for the Faculty of Health and Society, including programme leading the Doctor of Professional Practice in Health and Social Care. She supervises to doctoral level.
Paul Bramble
Paul Bramble is a Research Project Manager at the University of Northampton, where he works within the Research and Strategic Bidding Office. Paul currently project manages three Key Action 2, Strategic Partnership funded Erasmus+ programmes. These are Equity and Social Inclusion through Positive Parenting (ESIPP) (2015-1-UK01-KA204-013397), SEN Employment links: Working with Employers and Trainers to support Young People with Special Educational Needs/Disability into Employment (SENEL) (2015-1-UK01-KA202-013651) and Cybersafe Generation: Digital Education by Design (CyGen) (2016-1-UK01-KA203-024399). Paul is also currently involved in School and University Partnership for Peer Communities of Learners (573660-EPP-1-2016-1-EG-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP) and a range of funded research locally and internationally and he also supports the development of grant proposals; in particular Erasmus+ funded programmes. Paul has recently successfully project managed Success at School; a European funded Life Long Programme and has supported project IRIS, Inclusive Research in Irish Schools; funded by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).
Helen Caldwell
Helen has over 15 years teaching experience and held an ICT Co-ordinator role for nine years, working across a group of schools to develop their capability with ICT. She was an assistive technology advisor for Milton Keynes Council and a regional and web portal manager for the Open University Vital CPD programme. Helen’s university teaching and CPD work covers the use of technology across primary school subjects, implementing the computing curriculum and assistive technologies for SEND. She is a member of the Primary National Curriculum for Computing in ITT Expert Group supporting tutors and trainees in ITT in preparing for the new curriculum and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Her research interests include eLearning and social networking in Higher Education, and computing and digital literacy in Primary Education.