Global Urban Research Unit

Staff Profile

Dr Jayne Jeffries

Research Associate



I joined the school in September 2014, working on ‘MyPlace: Mobility and Place for the Age-friendly City Environment’ with Prof. Rose Gilroy and Prof. Tim Townshend. The case study, in collaboration with Henshaws: Beyond Expectations, a charity that supports anyone with sight loss, focused on mobility as a multi-sensory experience. We have co-authored a journal article detailing the challenges blind and visually impaired users encounter when negotiating the urban realm; drawing attention to the relationship between the senses and mobility; the need to educate the public, as well as those involved in the design, management and maintenance of the urban realm regarding the complexity and diversity of multiple users needs. 

I am a human geographer by training and use in-depth qualitative and participatory approaches to gain an understanding of disabled people's life-worlds. Using Participatory Action Research (P.A.R) I have developed suitable, relevant and appropriate methodologies, including Photovoice, diary writing, body mapping, participatory diagramming, mobile ethnography and interviewing to explore the role of time in disabled people lives, mobility and sensory experience, contemporary and historical practices of care, recovery and acquired spinal conditions. 

I am currently working on the following projects:

  • Recipe for Success. ESRC Impact Accelerator Account, Co-production Fund, Newcastle University (2018). PI: Dr Jane Midgely. 
  • Negotiating everyday spaces of inaccessibility: Collective action with disabled people to make changes happen. ESRC Impact Accelerator Account Follow on Funds (2018-19). PI: Prof Derek Bell (Politics); CI: Dr Jayne Jeffries and Prof Janice McLaughlin (Sociology). Exploring the individual and collective circumstances that impact on disabled people of all ages, this joint award is working with three voluntary sector organisations and local authorities across the region to coproduce a participatory video on issues such as Changing Places and mobilities, as well as an accessible Best Practice Guide and Community Toilet Strategy. 


2013 PhD Human Geography, Durham University. Thesis Title: Becoming Disabled.

2008 MA (Merit) Human Geography, Manchester University.

2007 BA (Hons) 1st Class. Geography, University of Northumbria.


Research Interests

Disability and Time:

I’ve developed a growing interest in the way that disabilities, health conditions and illnesses play out in day-to-day life, from the mundane and banal practices that make up daily routines to the histories that continue to shape uncertain medical, social and financial situations. I’m interested in the ‘becoming’ of disabled people’s identities and view disability as an unfolding process of continuous change, using empirical material to examine the role of time and temporalities. My work explores the past, the present and the future in disabled people's lives and in particular the way that 'lived' temporalities can disrupt chronological (clock)time. I examine themes as they develop, including: recovery, mobilities, care, emotion(s) and affect, memories, rhythms, temporalities, technologies and disabilities (physical, sensory and/or neurological), to name a few.

Participatory and Feminist Approaches:

Using Participatory Action Research (P.A.R) and feminist methodologies my research themes often unfold iteratively through a process of listening to and working with participants over time, developing suitable approaches and methods to explore a topic. I’m interested in more ‘gentle’ approaches to research, the smaller scale ‘action’ that shapes (disabled) people’s day-to-day lives and the inherent temporalities associated with participatory work. In my work I have tailored individual and small group methods to explore the role of change over time through 'drawing' participatory timelines, 'writing' diaries, 'talking' informally and 'taking' visual images using photo voice. I'm a member of the RGS-IBG Participatory Geographies Research Group (PyGyRG), attending events and contributing to discussions based on participatory work, ethics, teaching and practice.

Research History (Projects)

Reinvigorating the policy and practice arena by facilitating workshops between disabled users with mobility needs and city place makers.  ESRC Impact Accelerator Account, Co-production Fund, Newcastle University, (2017 - 18). The project provides opportunities for the public to engage with local policy and practice, enabling a comparative analysis of original MyPlace findings with issues raised in the Newcastle Street Charter. The Charter offers guidance on engaging with disabled people and is currently being considered by Newcastle City Council.

Hidden Histories: Disabled children's hospital lives in north east England 1920s - 1970s. Humanities, Arts and Social Science, Faculty Research Fund (FRF), Newcastle University (2017). A pilot project exploring archival material relating to the WJ Sanderson Home for Crippled Children, Gosforth (1888 - 1974) at the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museum Service (TWAM), Discovery Museum. The work examined the changing role of social policy in shaping spaces of treatment and care for disabled children in the 1920s-1970s, and is being used to develop a Wellcome Trust bid with TWAM.

MyPlace: Mobility and Place for the Age Friendly City Environment. EPSRC-funded post-doctoral research, Newcastle University (2014-17). I'm currently thinking about designing mobilities and the politics of designing with participants (users) in the context of an interdisciplinary project on ageing, mobilities, technologies, co-production and futures.

Inter-agency Approaches to Health and Social Care. ERC-funded post-doctoral research, University of Exeter in Cornwall (2014). Ethnographic work examining the role of volunteers in older people's health and social care. 

Becoming Disabled. ESRC-funded PhD research, Durham University (2009-13).  



I contribute to undergraduate teaching in APL:

TCP1025: Social Worlds

  • Disabilities, Health Conditions and Illnesses: Social Worlds of Difference
TCP2027: Research Skills
  • Archival Research
  • Visual Methodologies: Context, Methods, Analysis and Interpretation

TCP3099 Dissertation

  • Dissertation Tutor

Past teaching experience at Newcastle, in the School of Computer Science as part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training.

CSC8602: Research Methods for Digital Civics (SCS)

  • Visual Methodologies