The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Emily Rainsford

Research Associate



I moved to England from Sweden in 2006 to study Politics and Philosophy at Shefffield University. After my undergraduate studies I was awarded an ESRC 1 3 PhD scholarship to do my PhD at Southampton University. I completed my thesis in 2014 and joined Newcastle University in August the same year.

During my time at Southampton I got involved in various projects on the side of my research. I contributed to both qualitative and quantitative research projects as a research assistant. I mainly contributed to the data collection and input of the UK team of Caught in the Act: Contextualising Contestation, which is also where I got my data collection methodology and some data for my thesis from. I also got involved in public engagement and outreach and initiated and organised two outreach events for local schools, as well as giving lectures for the Learn With US programme. I took time out during my PhD studies to work on the Active Citizenship in Europe project, and take up an ESRC funded internship in the Cabinet Office's Mutuals Team, especially in the secretariat for the Mutuals Taskforce


BA Politics and Philosophy, University of Sheffield

MSc Citizenship and Democracy (research), University of Southampton

PhD Politics and International Relations, University of Southampton

Roles and responsibilities

Founding convenor of the PSA Young People's Politics specialist group.

Previous posts

CRN Visiting Fellow at Canberra University, Australia. Providing a youth perspective on the Murray Darling Futures project.




Research interests

My research interests are youth political participation, activism and citizenship. My thesis focused on young people who were active in political parties youth factions, the British Youth Council and attended the 2010 Student demonstrations in London, so I have a particular interest in these organisations/outlets for participation for young people. I conducted a contextualised survey at these events to gather my data, inspired by the Caught in the Act: Contextualising Contestation project. 

Current research

I am currently working as a researcher on the CUPESSE project investigating youth unemployment and social capital in Europe.