Research team

The academic members of the research team are based in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield. The project is supported by an advisory board of experts.

Research team

Julie Walsh - Project lead

Julie Walsh is the principal investigator of this research project and a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sheffield.

Julie has a long history working in both the third and public sector, in youth and community work, family support and patient and public engagement. Her research interests grew from her previous career and include using participatory approaches to explore experiences of family, migration, belonging and multi-culture.

She is committed to research that has a real impact and she is particularly interested in how government policy impacts on the everyday lives of migrant families, and other marginalised people.

Before starting the Everyday Bordering in the UK project, Julie worked as a Researcher on the NORFACE funded Family Complexity and Social Work project, after completing her PhD in Sociology, Anthropology and Gender Studies at the University of Hull. The focus of her PhD was the role of family in relationships between diverse communities.

Julie has published her research in various academic journals, and she is a co-convenor of the BSA Families and Relationships Study Group. She is also an active member of the Migration Research Network, a University of Sheffield faculty research network.

University of Sheffield staff profile

Maria Teresa Ferazzoli - Project researcher

Maria Teresa has been a research associate at the University of Sheffield since 2018 and she completed her PhD at the University in 2019.

Maria Teresa’s research interests include the provision of mental health support in different countries, and she previously worked as a project co-ordinator for the mental health charity, Mind.

As a research associate, Maria Teresa has worked on research projects that explore particularly sensitive subjects, including the role of faith-based organisations in anti-trafficking, and parent’s experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth and unexplained neonatal death.

She is committed to conducting research that has the potential to make a real difference to people, and in these roles she has become skilled at extending research engagement to health professionals, charities and members of the public.

University of Sheffield staff profile

Professor Sarah Neal - Project mentor

Professor of Sociology, Sarah Neal provides project mentorship to Julie. Sarah is the Director of Research in the Department and her research interests include ethnicity, race and multi-culture, and community and belonging in rural and urban spaces.

Most recently, she was the principal investigator for research concerned with urban Living Multi-culture, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and the co-investigator for a study considering rural identities, funded by The Leverhulme Trust.

Sarah is also co-editor of the International Sociological Association Journal, Current Sociology, and she is a member of the Editorial Board of Ethnic and Racial Studies.

University of Sheffield staff profile

Advisory board

The study is supported by a group of experts that have agreed to be members of the project’s advisory board. These experts include:

  • Representatives from each of the collaborating organisations (workers and/or members of migrant families).

  • Academics with expertise in migration, family and social care.

  • Professionals working in cohesion, migration and social care in each of the study areas.

The role of the board is to make sure that the study is shaped by academic knowledge, the collaborating organisations, and people that understand how it is to live and work in the urban areas of the north of England in which the study is taking place.

Members will also help the team to share what we learn with people that influence local and national decisions.