Research Centre for Learning and Teaching

Staff Profile

Lydia Wysocki

Research Associate


I am an educational researcher. I use a range of qualitative and quantitative methods, with a specialism in comics as a method in social science research. My main research interests are: the role of comics in constructions of understanding, and a co-production methodology for making comics that communicate critical research to specific audiences. 


  • I began my part-time PhD in Education in January 2015, due to complete in 2022 (ESRC, NINEDTP/NEDTC funding awarded from 2015/16).  My research is about British comics (newspaper strips, political cartoons, children’s comics, graphic novels…) 2005-2017 and readers’ constructions of Britishness.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods (2017)
  • Master's in Education (MEd, Newcastle University 2010).  My dissertation was about 'classroom talk' in Higher Education.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA, 2007)
  • BA in History (University of York, 2003), which included an exchange year at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Memberships and affiliations:

  • British Educational Research Association (member)
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UKPSF). As a Professional Standards Advisor I mentor staff at Newcastle University applying for their own UKPSF accreditation
  • Newcastle University's Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (core member)
  • Honorary Contract with Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust (non-clinical Research Associate, Children's Services)
  • Comics Studies Society (member)
  • Joint coordinator (with Ian Horton London College of Communication, and John Swogger) of the Applied Comics Network, a network for anyone working with comics or graphic narrative and information
  • School governor - Newcastle University representative on the governing committee of Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College, North Tyneside


Current projects: 

  • VOICES project - Children and young people living in poverty: Covid-10 needs and policy implications (I am Co-I, working with PI Liz Todd and team; ESRC Covid-19 Rapid Response)
  • Accelerating collaborations between comics creators and researchers (PI; ESRC IAA ABC)
  • Research and comics seminar series (PI, working with Jorge Catala-Carrasco and Mel Gibson; NU Institute of Social Science)
  • Patient information comics with the Great North Children's Hospital (I am Co-I with Janice McLaughlin, working with clinical teams at GNCH; GNCH Foundation)
  • Gertrude Bell Archive comics Gertrude Bell: Archaeologist, Writer, Explorer (collaboration with Mark Jackson, John Miers, Helen Berry, Sana Al-Naimi, Saziye Tasdemir, Sara Qaed, Brittany Coxon)

Recent projects:

  • Freedom City Comics (Overall project lead: Matthew Grenby).
  • evidence gathering and co-writing a REF ICS
  • work with Children North East to extend the evaluation of their work Poverty Proofing the School Day(PI is Liz Todd, working with Laura Mazzoli-Smith)
  • InHarmony evaluation with Sage Gateshead (PI: Karen Laing)
  • ROMtels Erasmus project (PI: Heather Smith). 


Teaching experience

  • 2020/21 - (ongoing) Critical Realism session, HSS8007 team-taught module as part of Faculty PGR provision
  • 2017/18 -2019/20 (ongoing) Seminar leader for educational theory seminar, as part of BA Education module EDU3002 Social Justice and Education
  • (ongoing) Supervision of M-level students in ECLS
  • (ongoing) Workshop leader for archives-based comics workshops with children, young people and adults
  • 2015-2021 (ongoing) Professional Standards Advisor for UKPSF: mentoring academic staff applying for D1-D3 accreditation; assessing applications for fellowship; taking part in Single Recognition Panel
  • 2013 Deputy course leader, CASAP course for academics visiting Newcastle University
  • 2011-2015 Contributing teacher for CASAP Certificate of Advanced Studies in Academic Practice, Newcastle University
  • 2008-2009 Module Leader for undergraduate English majors at Southeast University, Nanjing; also Teacher at English First language school, Nanjing; and summer school teacher at Fushan Lu primary school, Shanghai
  • 2007 English language summer school teacher, Greenwich, London