Social Care and Society

A leading research group in social care, ageing, long-term care and global mental health.



Social Care and Society at The University of Manchester is a leading research group for social care research, in the UK and internationally.

We collaborate with academic partners and with the infrastructure supporting research in care and health. A growing portfolio of research is linked to capacity building of social care university and practitioner-researchers.

SCS logo 2021


Our work programmes

At SCS Manchester, our work programmes are framed around four themes:

  1. long-term social care;
  2. social and health care in the criminal and civil justice system;
  3. innovative use of data to improve social care practice;
  4. mental health social care.

We aim to:

  • provide a focus and leadership for adult social care research within The University of Manchester;
  • conduct high-quality peer-reviewed research to produce new knowledge to inform the development of social care practice;
  • encourage and support collaborative research for social care across the University, other universities and funders, primarily the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR);
  • develop research capacity in social care through the development of staff.

Learn more about us.


About us

Social Care and Society receives funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), UKRI and other research funders.

SCS collaborates and partners with:

  • The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Greater Manchester
  • Institute for Health Policy and Organisation, University of Manchester
  • The South Asia Self Harm Initiative (SASHI) Research
  • The Clinical Research Network (CRN), Greater Manchester
  • The national Specialist Centre for Social Care, part of the NIHR Research Support Service (RSS) Hub delivered by the University of Lancaster and Partners
Our history

From 2019 Social Care and Society has led on a growing focus for social care research across the University of Manchester, collaborating with a range of academic and service delivery partners and institutions on applied research.


What we do

Our work programme leads are responsible for research activities in four different areas. These activities are competitively funded and include research projects, collaborations and core developmental activities for research staff.

We work with research staff across The University of Manchester, promoting and undertaking social care research.

Collaborations include those with:

We work with other parts of the NIHR to promote social care research and develop capacity. This includes the Research Support Service (RSS) Hub and national Specialist Centre for Social Care, and the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network (CRN), including the Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) initiative.

We also work with Greater Manchester local authorities in developing their social care research capacity, including a portfolio of studies aiming to use routinely generated data on social care for evaluation and service development and through the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy. 

Who we are

The Manchester SCS Group is:

Professor Catherine Robinson

Catherine Robinson(Professor of Social Care Research, Director of Social Care and Society); Capacity-Building Lead; management team

Catherine is Professor of Social Care Research and Director of Social Care and Society which is a leading research group in social care, long-term care and global mental health.

Catherine’s research interests have centred on the interface between health care and social care, family care, mental health social care, and self-harm and suicide. She has led a series of funded research capability strengthening initiatives in Wales, England and more recently internationally. Her current research portfolio includes research on the social care needs of people serving custodial sentences and on release; the effects of COVID-19 on the social care workforce; self-harm surveillance in South Asia; mental health and social care; and, the use of routinely collected social care data.

Catherine is the social care research lead for a number of infrastructure initiatives, including the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Greater Manchester and the NIHR Patient Safety and Research Collaborative. She is the academic lead of the newly formed NIHR Specialist Social Care Centre as part of the Lancaster University and Partners NIHR Research Support Service (RSS) Hub.

Catherine leads the NIHR Mental Health Social Care Research Incubator which will launch in January 2024. She is passionate about developing strong and sustainable careers and is supervisor and mentor to a number of emerging research leaders and early career researchers in the UK.

Read Catherine’s research profile.

Dr Paul Clarkson

(Senior Lecturer in Social Care/Deputy Director of Social Care and Society). Capacity-Building Team, management team

Dr Paul Clarkson is Deputy Director of SCS at Manchester. He leads on collaborative research in Manchester and other universities with a focus on digital social care and data analytics using routine data, dementia support, trials and observational studies. He is part of international partnerships in ageing assessment and promotes innovative public participation methods.  He is also social care specialty lead for the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network (CRN) and senior advisor for the Research Support Service Specialist Social Care Centre. 

Read Paul’s research profile.

Dr Katrina Forsyth

(Research Fellow, Social Care and Society). Management team

Read Katrina’s research profile.

Dr Rebecca McPhillips

(Research Fellow, Social Care and Society). Management team

Read Rebecca’s research profile

Sioned Davies

SASHI Programme Administration Manager


Kim Barnett

(Research Assistant Social Care and Society)

Noor Butt

(Research Assistant Social Care and Society)

Read Noor’s research profile

Dr Saqba Batool

(Honorary Research Fellow, Social Care and Society)

Read Saqba’s research profile 

Dr Reena Lasrado

(Research Fellow Social Care and Society)

Read Reena’s research profile 


Helen Chadwick

(Research Assistant Social Care and Society)

Sue Davies

(Research Associate Social Care and Society)

Read Sue’s research profile 


Dr Christopher Murray

(Honorary Research Fellow Social Care and Society)

Read Christopher’s research profile 

Adam O'Neil

(Research Assistant Social Care and Society)

Read Adam’s research profile

Amelia Pearson

(Research Assistant Social Care and Society)

Read Amelia’s research profile

Professor Vimal Sharma

(Professor of Global Mental Health Social Care and Society)

Read Vimal’s research profile  

Kate Stalker

(Research Assistant, Social Care and Society)

Bethany Warwick

(PhD Student Social Care and Society)

Read Bethany’s research profile 

SCS is also home to a number of local authority social care, third sector and NHS Trust collaborators.

Contact us

If you have any questions about SCS at Manchester, please contact one of our Social Care and Society Directors. Or email us at:

Catherine Robinson (Director)

Paul Clarkson (Deputy Director)

Twitter iconFollow us on X/Twitter: @SCSManchester