Dr Ben Heaven
Visiting Researcher

  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3808
  • Address: Institute of Health & Society,
    Newcastle University
    Baddiley-Clark Building
    Richardson Road
    Newcastle Upon Tyne
    NE2 4AX


PhD. Medical Sociology: ‘Epistemological authority and hidden work: negotiated meaning in the conduct of a randomised controlled trial’, Newcastle University, (2009).

Master of Arts (Hons), Psychology, Second Class Honours, First Division (2:1): ‘Prostate Cancer and the Lives of Current Survivors: A Phenomenological Study’, Massey University, New Zealand, (2002).

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Massey University, New Zealand, (2000)

Previous Positions

2009- Research Associate, Institute of Health & Society

2006- Junior Research Associate, Institute of Health & Society

2002- Junior Research Associate, Centre for Health Services Research


Membership and Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society.

Informal Interests

'Traditional' film-based photography using medium and large format cameras (landscape and portraiture)


Brewing ales and lager using traditional methods and 'raw' ingredients.

Research Interests

My research interests fall into two specific areas;

1) Diversity in the interests of clinicians, researchers and patient/lay groups, regarding the conceptualisation, development and implementation of new health care technologies for older people (from pre-retirement through to the older-old). In particular I am interested in both the logics that underpin, and functional effects, of these differences and how they are negotiated in practice across research settings and the clinical-research encounter.

2) I have an interest in the manner in which problems of health and social care are enacted within clinical interactions, the forms of knowledge that are drawn on to shape these interactions, and the way in which clinical practices and conditions are problematized and reconfigured by researchers situated outside the clinical encounter.

Combined, these interests lead to a central question: how are knowledge’s, identities and practices coordinated and negotiated in health, social care and research?

Other Expertise

Qualitative and Ethnographic research, including participant observation.

Current Work

Currently I work as a Research Associate on the LiveWell programme:  a study funded for 5 years by the Life Long Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) stream, a cross research councils intiative managed by the MRC.  Livewell aims to promote health and wellbeing in later life by developing both an integrated suite of interventions and suitable outcome measures targetting people in a retirement transition (people aged approximately 55-70).  LiveWell interventions address three domains: physical activity, mediterranean eating patterns, and social relationships.   

Postgraduate Supervision

I currently co-supervise a PhD student and continue to offer support in areas of ethnography and qualitative research in clinical/medical settings

Esteem Indicators


Sociology of Health and Illness 2013
British Journal of Health Psychology 2007 & 2008
Implementation Science, 2008
Social Science & Medicine 2007


Undergraduate Teaching

Course Tutor (2008): Undergraduate Module: Medicine in the community