Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Michelle Addison

Research Associate


I am a Social Scientist currently working across several research studies examining health and social inequalities, substance use behaviours, gender, and wellbeing.

I am project manager of ATTUNE: Understanding Pathways to Stimulant Use: a mixed-methods examination of the individual, social and cultural factors shaping illicit stimulant use across Europe; working alongside Dr Amy O' Donnell (PI), Prof Eileen Kaner (PI). This study examines pathways to stimulant use in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic. We explore why some individuals exposed to amphetamine types stimulants (ATS) do not start to consume, some users manage to keep their stimulant consumption on a comparatively controlled level and/or stop consumption altogether, while others switch to risky consumption patterns and/or develop dependency. 

I am lead researcher developing the Equal North Network, a community of academics, researchers and practitioners across the north of England who share a common interest in addressing health and social inequalities. This network specifically aims to support PHE in taking forward the Due North Report recommendations. The team includes Prof Eileen Kaner and Prof Clare Bambra.

I am part of a team exploring the Impact of Universal Credit (UC) on Wellbeing and Health in the north east alongside Dr Suzanne Moffatt (PI) and Dr Mandy Cheetham (fuse). This study looks at social exclusion, access to welfare, and mental and physical wellbeing.

Previous studies:

I was co-investigator for the study: 'Exploring Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) use and its consequences for police practitioners and substance users in the North East of England', working alongside Prof Eileen Kaner, Dr Iain McKinnon, Dr Ruth McGovern, Dr Kelly Stockdale (York St John University), Dr Will McGovern (Northumbria University), Dr Lisa Crowe, and Chief Inspector Lisa Hogan (Northumbria Police). This study has drawn the attention of the Home Office and the Advisory Council for Drug Misuse.

Check out:

I was project manager of ACCEPT - A pilot feasibility randomized control trial of alcohol screening and brief intervention in the police custody setting. This study was funded by the School for Public Health NIHR and covered 6 police custody sites across two locations. It also involved follow up in HM prisons across the north east.  

I am interested in research linked to social and health inequalities, stigma and substance use. I would be happy to supervise students interested in the following: 

  • Social and health inequalities
  • Stigma
  • Illicit substance use
  • Intersections of social inequality, gender and crime
  • Identity formations
  • Gender construction
  • Social Relations - game-playing, logic of practice
  • Social theory

Previous to this I worked as a Researcher in the private sector for several years, conducting research for clients such as Northumbria Police, BBC, ITV, UTV, The Children's Society and EMAP. I moved into academia to work as a Researcher on the ESRC funded study: ‘From the coal to the car park?’ with Professor Yvette Taylor (PI) looking at gender intersections within a post-industrial climate. I have also worked on the 'Bright Lights, Big city?', looking at queer identity and scene space within a post-industrial landscape (PIs Prof Yvette Taylor and Dr Mark Casey). I have extensive qualitative experience working with hard to reach demographics, 'elite' groups, and vulnerable groups of people across multiples themes.


  • Social Sciences (BA Hons) Durham University
  • Social Research (MA) Newcastle University, 1st Class
  • PhD, Newcastle University

Grant Awards

Bambra C, Kaner E, Whitehead M, Salway S, Addison M, Moffatt S, Carr S, Powell K, Barr B, Holland P, Taylor-Robinson D, Popay J, Hatton C, Orton L, Collins M, Johnson P. Equal North 2: Taking forward the Due North research agenda, 2017, £91,793

McGovern R (PI); Kaner, E.; Gilvarry, E.; Lingham, R.; Alderson, H.; Addison, M.; Geijer-Simpson, E.; Minos, D. 'Addressing the impact of parental substance misuse on children', Public Health England, 2016, £59,903.37

M.Addison (co-I); Kaner, E. (co-I); Crowe, L.; McGovern, R.; McKinnon, I.; French, J.; Benson, K. Exploring Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) use and its consequences for police practitioners and substance users in the North East of England. investigator, N8 Police Research Partnership, 2016, £23,500