The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Student Profiles

Clare Vaughan

Postgraduate Research Student


Clare Vaughan is an ESRC-funded postgraduate Sociology student at Newcastle University. Her PhD research examines youth homelessness in England from the perspective of gender, class and age. The research offers a feminist perspective on the gendered issue of homelessness and poverty in post-industrial cities. More information on this research project can be found in 'Research'.

Outside of the PhD, Clare has volunteered for youth homeless charity Depaul for over 4 years, running weekly debating and communication workshops as part of the national educational program 'Get up and Go'. Clare has worked alongside Depaul to develop the Get up and Go program, and has led consultations with young people attending the annual Youth Homeless Parliament.

Clare works part-time as a programmes officer at a community development charity, designing and delivering programmes for women in the east of Newcastle around skills development, well being and isolation, and domestic abuse.

Clare was Sociology PgR rep from 2017-8, and has previously sat on the Humanities and Social Sciences student staff committee.

Clare delivers training on domestic abuse and gender-based violence in the North East, and has previously delivered domestic abuse and healthy relationships training to regional staff at youth homeless charity Depaul. This training sought to improve awareness and responses to gender-based issues in accommodation services, based on her research.

In addition to this, Clare was Chair of local film organisation Cinema Politica Newcastle for 4 years, running monthly educational, community film events at the Northern Stage theatre. Committed to engaging wide local audiences, screenings covered issues such as: young people in conflict zones, local art collectives and combating sexual and gendered violence. Events were held in collaboration with a number of organisations including Rape Crisis, Newcastle University and Grand Gestures Dance Collective.


2015-Current: PhD Research - "We all stand together": Young Women, Homelessness and Gender-Based Violence - Newcastle University

This postgraduate research project aims to evaluate the role of gendered violence in the lives of young homeless women in austere times, and how violence in the lifecourse both causes and proliferates homelessness. The project also examines the role of social networks and support services in preventing and mitigating homelessness. Much of the current literature on homelessness fails to account for gender and age when examining the homeless experience, which has resulted in homelessness being construed largely as an older, male social issue (Radley, Hodgetts and Cullen, 2006; Young, 2010).

This research project aims to fill this literary gap, proposing an alternative, feminist lens through which to assess the gendered dynamics of youth homelessness in the UK. Utilising a feminist methodology, the research employs biographical interviews and the visual method photovoice (Harrison, 2004), offering a unique contribution to sociological research into homelessness.

2019-2019: Researcher - Evaluating the Stand With Girls Programme - Plan International UK

Co-leading an evaluative research on behalf of Plan International UK to investigate the success of their first UK-based girls' rights programme. This research project utilised focus groups, semi-structured interviews, surveys and digital content analysis to understand the successes and limitations of the Stand With Girls programme, on behalf of Plan International UK. The main output of this work is a summary report, to be published in winter 2019.

2018-2019: Research Assistant - 'The State of Girls' Rights in the UK' - Plan International UK

Part of a national research team, this research project seeks to assess the state of girls' rights through engaging a broad demographic of girls across the UK. The research employed creative zine-making workshops, alongside focus groups, to offer a multi-modal platform for girls aged 11-25 to express their thoughts on the challenges and joys of being a girl in 2019.

2017-2017: Research Assistant - 'Reaching Out: Influencing the Wider Determinants of Health' - NLGN

This research project sought to explore the transition of the public health remit from NHS to Local Government post-2013. It assessed the engagement of public health with other areas of the local authority and the challenges of developing new community relationships in a climate of austerity.


  • HSS8001: Thinking About Research
  • SOC3045: Regulating Sexuality
  • SOC2070: Researching Social Life II
  • SOC1032: Politics & Society
  • Sociology Summer School
  • Debate workshops @ Depaul North

Conference Presentations and Talks

Title: PIE4Shelters: Making Shelters Psychologically-and Trauma-Informed
Location & Date: Depaul, Whitley Bay - 30th May 2019

Title: "The Lady of the Garden": An intimate Story of Youth Homelessness, Precarious Housing and Violence against Women
Location & Date: Spaces of Poverty Conference, Salzburg - 13th September 2018

Title: "A Day in the LIfe": Using Photovoice Methods to Explore Young Women's Homelessness
Location & Date: UNIFESP, Sao Paulo - 21st March 2018

Title: Capturing Violence in the Lives of Young Homeless Women: Biographical and Participatory Visual Methods
Location & Date: Interpersonal Violence Interventions: Social and Cultural Perspectives International Conference, Jyvaskyla, Finland - 14th June 2017

Title: Problems of Positionality
Location & Date: Positioning Research Symposium, Newcastle - 14th March 2017

Title: Violent Encounters in the Everyday: Young Homeless Women in the North East of England
Location & Date: II International Conference on Justice and Levels of Interaction: Gender Identity, Citizenship and Social Distance: Markers of sociability and policy-making - 18th November 2016