Who we are
We are a group of interdisciplinary researchers from three UK universities, Warwick, Bedfordshire and Newcastle, working in collaboration with the Care Leaver Association in the UK and Monash University in Australia.
Below a team structure explaining the relations of the Principal Investigator, Research Fellows and Co-Investigators on the EXIT study (click the image to expand).
Please also see everyone's profile to get more insight into who we are.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
The EXIT research team.
Professor of Public Management
Graeme Currie is Professor of Public Management at Warwick Business School and Deputy Director of National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Centre West Midlands (NIHR ARC WM). Graeme is Principal Investigator for the ESRC funded EXIT study. His expertise lies with understanding what inhibits and enables the implementation and scale up of evidence-based innovation in health and social care.
Graeme dot currie at wbs dot ac dot uk
EXIT Study employs a team of five part-time Research Associates who have care experience and are in the process of transitioning to adulthood. Research Associates bring their lived experience to the study and support all aspects of empirical data collection and analysis arising from our case-study field work. Research associates have been fully inducted into research methods and the EXIT study and are mentored by Research Fellows and the National Care Leavers' Association.
Alongside, we have two Study Advisors who sit on the EXIT study Strategic Advisory Board. They play a vital role in representing voices of young people transitioning from care to adulthood and ensuring the research keeps care leavers at the forefront of all our research activities.
Study Board Adviser
River is passionate about creating understanding and change for care leavers of all ages, explicitly those who are often marginalised such as those with disabilities, LGBTQ+ and those with parental responsibilities. River is excited to be part of the advisory group for the EXIT study to ensure the voices of the most vulnerable are considered throughout the research study.
Study Board Adviser
Leah currently works as a customer communications executive. Leah is excited to be on the EXIT study as an advisory board member because they are working hard to make changes for other care leavers.
Mariam is studying Law at the University of Warwick. They are excited to work on the EXIT study because it provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on their experiences and to contribute this knowledge to an organisation that promises change
Tia is a research associate and currently a student at the University of Warwick studying Biomedical Science. Tia is excited to work on the EXIT study because Tia wants to raise awareness for other care leavers and use their experience to help make a change.
Shahin is a research associate and student at University of Warwick studying Maths. Shahin is excited to work on the EXIT study because after having experienced care themselves, they would love to make a difference for other care leavers.
CJ works as a research associate for EXIT while studying Health and Social Care at City University of London. CJ is excited to work on the EXIT study because they want young people to be better enabled to overcome the barriers experienced during the leaving care process to living fulfilling and rewarding lives.
Jibril is a research associate for the study and student at the University of Warwick studying History and Politics. Jibril is excited to work on the EXIT study because it will give them the opportunity to provide a care experienced perspective, which will ideally lead to a positive impact for other care leavers.
Research Fellows and Co-Investigators
We are a diverse group of academic and practice-experienced researchers representing organisational science, healthcare and public health, social work and implementation science.
Amy Lynch is Research Fellow at the Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care at the University of Bedfordshire and is a researcher on the EXIT project. Amy’s expertise lies in practice-near child and family social work research and her experience includes evaluation of projects within the Department for Education's Children's Social Care Innovation Programme. Recent research projects have included exploration of young people’s and social workers’ experiences of innovation for young people leaving care.
amy dot lynch at beds dot ac dot uk
Camille Warrington is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire with a particular interest in participatory research practice, creative and inclusive methodologies and service user involvement. In recent years her work has focused on children with experiences of sexual violence in the UK and in particular their experiences of service responses including police, social care and third sector support. She is particularly interested in how children’s decision-making informs or is marginalised from these processes and the implications for children’s safety.
Camille dot Warrington at beds dot ac dot uk
Debbie Smart is a Research Assistant in the Population Health Sciences Institute at Newcastle University and a researcher on the EXIT study. She has a research interest in the health and social care needs of vulnerable children, young people and families, their experiences of accessing services, and interventions that can support them to improve their life chances. She has a practice background in the voluntary sector, managing and delivering services to young carers and their families, with an expertise in involving young people in the development of services.
deborah dot smart at newcastle dot ac dot uk
Fiona Newlands is a Research Fellow at the Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care at the University of Bedfordshire and is a researcher on the EXIT project. She specialises in child and family social work, with a focus on programme implementation and evaluation in child protection, looked after and leaving care settings.
fiona dot newlands at beds dot ac dot uk
Gary Kerridge is a Research Fellow within Warwick Business School after having been awarded his PhD in 2016. His research interests lie in psychology and organisation science with a passion for social justice. As an historical care leaver, Gary brings a perspective from lived experience alongside applied research expertise in both leadership and innovation practices in health and social care.
Gary dot Kerridge at wbs dot ac dot uk
Hayley Alderson is a Research Associate at Newcastle University and is a researcher on the EXIT study. Hayley’s professional background specialised in drugs and alcohol treatment and working as part of a multi-disciplinary Emergency Duty Team. Academically, she has expertise in the development and evaluation of behaviour change interventions for alcohol and drugs users.
hayley dot alderson at newcastle dot ac dot uk
Dr Renée O’Donnell is an Early Career Research Fellow at the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation. She is an expert in program implementation, evaluation and scale-up of community-based services. At present she is leading the implementation of two state-wide programs which support marginalised groups in the community (i.e., persons from low socioeconomic backgrounds and persons with lived experience of out of home care) to improve their health and wellbeing.
renee dot odonnell at monash dot edu
Young Peoples Project Coordinator
Carrie is care experienced and has worked in the sector of social care for over 10 years. She has a BA degree in International Relations from The University of Leicester and is currently undertaking a Masters degree at Loughborough University in Childhood, Youth and Social Policy. Carrie works directly with those at the leaving care age, up to the age of 30, to improve the current system and to support those going through the transition process.
carrie dot wilson at careleavers dot com
David Graham is the National Director of The Care Leavers Association and a Co-Investigator on the EXIT study. The CLA is a national user-led charity working to improve the lives of care leavers of all ages. David brings extensive experience of working in user-led settings and with communities experiencing disadvantage.
david dot graham at careleavers dot com
Honorary Associate Clinical Professor in Child Health
Doug Simkiss is Medical Director of Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and an honorary Associate Clinical Professor at Warwick Medical School. He is designated doctor for looked after children in Birmingham. Doug is a Co-Investigator on the EXIT study and brings expertise on the health issues in transition for looked after children to the team.
D dot E dot Simkiss at warwick dot ac dot uk
Professor of Public Health & Primary Care Research
Eileen Kaner is an applied behavioural scientist and Professor of Public Health and Primary Care Research at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is also the Director of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) for the North East and North Cumbria. She is a co-applicant on EXIT, with research expertise in developing and evaluating complex interventions to reduce substance use and wider health risk including social disadvantage and inequity.
eileen dot kaner at newcastle dot ac dot uk
Goldberg Professor of Social Work Research
Emily Munro is Goldberg Professor of Social Work Research, Director of the Institute of Applied Social Research and Director of the Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care at the University of Bedfordshire. She is also Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care (INTRAC: https://globalintrac.com). Emily is Co-Investigator on the EXIT study. Her expertise lies in child and family social work, with a focus on children in and leaving care. She also has expertise in participatory research methodology.
Emily dot Munro at beds dot ac dot uk
Helen Skouteris is the Monash Warwick Professor in Health and Social Care Improvement and Implementation Science, and Deputy Director, Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University. Her research focuses on building agency/capacity in "the consumer' to make healthy lifestyle choices across preconception, pregnancy, preschool, and childhood, including our most vulnerable young people living in out-of-home care, to reduce the prevalence of obesity. Furthermore, her work focused on social service and educational sector improvement that translates to better health outcomes for children, young people, adults and families and is critical to transforming policy across these sectors.
helen dot skouteris at monash dot edu
Assistant Professor in Youth Mental Health
I am interested in young people and their mental wellbeing in high and low/middle income countries. I have an interest in schools as settings for promoting mental wellbeing, identifying problems and supporting young people. I am also interested in the role of parents and primary care in caring for young people with mental health problems and supporting them access care, especially during late adolescence/early adulthood. Due to my background in food/nutrition, I am also interested in the links between food/eating and mental health and wellbeing.
Helena dot Tuomainen at warwick dot ac dot uk
Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Jacky Swan is Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Warwick Business School and co-founder of the Innovation Knowledge and Organizational Networks Research Centre (IKON). Jacky is a Co-Investigator on the EXIT study and brings expertise on the diffusion and implementation of evidence-based innovation to the team.
Jacky dot Swan at wbs dot ac dot uk
Assistant Professor in Public Health
Rebecca‘s research interests lie in the intersection of public health practice, epidemiology and the social sciences. She focusses on three areas of study: mixed methods data integration; the implementation and evaluation of health interventions, and knowledge mobilisation: the movement of research knowledge into active use. Rebecca has published in Public Health including child obesity, mental wellbeing, health intervention effectiveness and implementation, knowledge mobilisation in health services, and in mixed methods research.
r dot johnson dot 7 at bham dot ac dot uk
Lecturer in Public Health Research
Ruth McGovern is a Lecturer in Public Health Research at the Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University and a co-applicant on the EXIT study. Her research has a strong interdisciplinary focus and aims to promote social justice through improving health and social care for vulnerable children and families. Much of her work is concerned with the development and evaluation of public health interventions delivered within social care to address parental risk factors and bring about benefit to the affected child. Ruth has a professional background in social work and counselling.
r dot mcgovern at newcastle dot ac dot uk
Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry
Professor Swaran Preet Singh initially trained as a surgeon in New Delhi, changing to psychiatry after witnessing the effects of violent trauma on children and young people. He moved to UK in 1991, and as lecturer at Nottingham University, conducted research in first-episode psychosis and ethnic influences in mental health.
He spent five years at St George’s University of London as senior lecturer developing ETHOS early intervention in psychosis service, which was widely acknowledged for improving outcomes of young people experiencing their first episode of psychosis, with special focus on getting them back into education or work.
In 2006, he joined Warwick University and where he is Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Mental Health & Wellbeing Research and also works as an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist with the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust. He was Commissioner for Equality & Human Rights Commission (2013-19, mandated by the UK Parliament. He is currently leading several large-scale projects transforming mental health services in the Indian subcontinent and sub-Saharan Africa.
S dot P dot Singh at warwick dot ac dot uk