Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite

Research Associate


Kayleigh has a BA (Hons) in Sociology; an MA in Social Research Methods (Social Policy); and a PhD in Human Geography (2013), all from Durham University.

Kayleigh joined the Institute of Health and Society in March 2017 as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate. Her research interests focus on inequalities, welfare reform, and austerity, with a specific focus on stigma. She is currently working on a five year ethnography of health inequalities in contrasting areas of Stockton-on-Tees.

Kayleigh's ethnographic research in a Trussell Trust foodbank - 'Hunger Pains: life inside foodbank Britain' - was published by Policy Press in June 2016. It came second place in the 2017 BSA/BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed' ethnography award shortlist, and was also chosen as Times Higher Education's 'Book of the Week'


Research interests 

  • Foodbanks and food poverty
  • Welfare reform
  • Stigma
  • Spatial inequalities
  • Lay perspectives on health inequalities
  • Qualitative methodology 
  • Lived experience


  • 2014: McKie et al. 'Revitalising the Health Equity Agenda', ESRC seminar series, 2014-2017 (£27,000)

Professional membership

  • British Sociological Association (2017 - current)
  • Social Policy Association (2009 - current)


Postgraduate Supervision

With Professor Clare Bambra (IHS, Newcastle) and Professor Linda McKie (SASS, Durham) I co-supervise Amy Greer Murphy, currently in her second year of PhD. Amy's research focuses on the experiences of austerity and welfare reform for mothers living in Stockton-on-Tees.  

I am happy to supervise students with an interest in poverty, inequality and welfare reform.