Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science
(023) 8059 9223

Dr Andrew Power BA Geography & Anthropology; MA Geography; PhD Geography

Associate Professor in Human Geography, Doctoral Programme Director and Chair of Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team for Geography

Dr Andrew Power's photo

Dr Andrew Power is Associate Professor of Human Geography at Southampton. He joined the School of Geography and Environmental Science at Southampton in April 2011. He studied for his PhD at the Department of Geography at Maynooth University, Ireland. Prior to coming to Southampton, he was a Research Associate at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (Faculty of Law) at the National University of Ireland Galway, and an ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Lancaster. 

Personalisation has sought to change the emphasis from what service people want, to what kind of life people want. My research has sought to tell the difference.

Andrew has broad research interests around the geographies of disability, welfare and social care provision, the voluntary sector, and family caregiving. He has led on major research projects working on the personalisation of social care and has advanced the understanding of relational geographies of disability and voluntary and community-based support. He has served as Chair of the Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Research Group RGS-IBG (2016-2020; previously Vice-Chair 2013-2016). During this time, he led the incorporation of wellbeing into its name and constitution. This helped to reach out to a broader range of early-career and established scholars and to enliven debates within health geographies more widely. He is currently a member of the ESRC and Irish Research Council Peer review college and on the Editorial Board for Social Science & Medicine and Scandinavian Journal of Intellectual Disability.

B.A. (Geography and Anthropology) Maynooth University, 1999
M.A. in Geographical Analysis, Maynooth University, 2001
Ph.D. (Geography) (Landscapes of Care: International Perspectives on Support for Informal Carers. Supervisor: Prof. Rob Kitchin), Maynooth University, 2005

2008 – 2011 Research Associate, Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP), National University of Ireland Galway.
2007 – 2008 ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University.

2007-2008 Postdoctoral Fellowship UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
2001- 2005 PhD Fellowship - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, Maynooth University

Google Scholar research profile

Research interests

There are three core inter-related strands to Andrew’s research interests:

Geographies of disability, welfare and social care

This field of work is particularly focused on inclusive research with disabled people (preferred term in UK). A key interest is on the personalisation of social care and the reform of conventional services to become more responsive and flexible to meet people’s needs. He has helped advance a relational approach to personalisation, with his research highlighting the ways in which disabled people can be supported through networks of advocates and local allies to build meaningful lives.

This work has developed through the co-founding of a disability research platform, SPIRIT (Southampton Platform for Inclusive Research and Ideas Together) with Prof. Melanie Nind, Southampton Education School. The intention was to build a long-term working relationship with disabled people and their respective organisations across the south coast. This platform has enabled all its members to feed into a future research agenda by identifying key challenges that could be addressed through participatory research.

Through SPIRIT, Andrew has led a collaborative ESRC-funded research project examining how people with learning disabilities 'self-build' their lives with the support of family, advocates, and community assets. This project has produced several resources, including a film, two resource packs and a report, designed to create and sustain a national impact amongst disability support and advocacy organisations and social care commissioners.  

More recently, Andrew has been awarded funding by the School for Social Care Research (National Institute for Health Research) to examine the experiences of homeliness and autonomy amongst people with learning disabilities living within the residential care (‘group home’) sector.

He has published widely in this field with papers in international top-ranking journals, including Health & Place, Social Science & Medicine, Journal of Intellectual Disability, and a monograph Active Citizenship and Disability (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Geographies of the Voluntary Sector

This research area focuses largely on the management, funding, and politics of the community and voluntary sector, particularly within the context of welfare and support provision. His work in this area has helped to enhance understanding of the relational axis of voluntary sector organisations, both externally with the state and its client groups, and internally with volunteers and staff. This work critically engages with debates over the extent to which the sector is co-opted by the state by highlighting how it can and does enact localised responses. A key paper in this field has been DeVerteuil, G., Power, A., & Trudeau, D. (2020). The Relational Geographies of the Voluntary Sector: disentangling the ballast of strangers. Progress in Human Geography, 44(5): 919–937.

His interest in the voluntary sector also extends to understanding how groups come together and create networks for social encounter, informal learning, support and wellbeing. Recent work in this field involved an AHRC funded project examining the processes and strategies of community voluntary organisations involved in local heritage projects (see list of projects below).

Care & Family Caregiving

Finally, Andrew has an established research interest in the geographies of care, particularly family caregiving. He is particularly interested in the dynamic and contested nature of care as a concept within different contexts of disability, mental health and ageing.

He has published widely in this field, including a recent book chapter on the impact of Covid-19 on family carers (Routledge, forthcoming), a special issue on “Placing Care in Times of Austerity” in Social & Cultural Geography (2017), a monograph Landscapes of Care (Routledge, 2010) and a chapter on informal care in the Routledge Handbook of Health Geography (Routledge, 2018).

PhD Supervision

Andrew has co-supervised seven PhD students to completion, including Angharad Butler-Rees (2020), Eliza Garwood (2020), Sinead O’Donnell (2019), Eleni Bourantani (2018), James Lowe (2017), Josh Green (2017), and Bevis Fenner (2016).

He is currently involved in supervising the following PhD students:

  • Abigail Croydon: Finding an alternative way to work: the social inclusion and capabilities young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Rachel Houweling: Exploring relationships between inequality and mental health and how families experience mental health risk factors, resilience and support in England.
  • Charlotte Owen: Researching access to healthcare for people with disabilities in Cambodia.
  • Haozhe Pei: Examining the role of Social Enterprises in Taiwan.
  • Sarah Belben: Exploring the feasibility of nature-based wellbeing interventions within primary schools in England.

Prospective students with ideas for PhD projects in any of my research areas should feel encouraged to contact me for an informal chat.

DatesAward Holder(s)Funding BodyTitleValue

01 Oct. 20 – 30 Feb 2023

(original start date July 2020 delayed due to COVID19)

Dr Deborah Chinn, KCL (PI), Dr Andrew Power, Tony Levitan (Sussex Partnership Trust) National Institute for Health Research (School for Social Care Research) Promoting homelike environments for people with intellectual disabilities living in group homes: Using Photovoice visual methods to co-produce and explore the feasibility of a user-generated homeliness checklist and toolkit intervention. £271,341.78
01 Mar. 2020 – 30 Oct. 2020 Prof. Melanie Nind (PI, Education, UoS), Dr Andrew Power, Dr Andy Coverdale (Education, UoS) Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Award Co-designing activities and resources for enhanced accessibility and impact £15,974
22 Feb. 2018 – 21 Feb. 2020 Dr Andrew Power (PI), Prof. Melanie Nind (Education, UoS), Dr Ed Hall (Geog. University of Dundee) Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): ES/P011764/1 Reclaiming social care: Adults with learning disabilities seizing opportunities in the shift from day services to community lives £ 371,246
01 Sep. 2015 – 30 Aug. 2016 Dr Andrew Power (PI) & Prof. Melanie Nind (Education, UoS) Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Award SPIRIT – Southampton Platform for Involvement in Research and Ideas Transfer £10,000
01 Mar. 2015 – 21 Dec. 2015 Dr Andrew Power (PI) & Dr Mariela Gaete Reyes (Universidad de Chile) Santander Latin America – UK Award Geographies of Disability, Ageing and Housing in UK & Chile £5,000
21 Jan. 2015 – 21 Dec. 2015 Dr Andrew Power (PI) & Dr Ruth Bartlett (Health Sciences, UoS) The British Society of Gerontology ‘Averil Osborn’ Award SPARTAN – Self- and Peer-Advocacy Reinforced Through Active Networks £2,982
01 Oct. 2014 –30 Sep. 2015 Prof. Melanie Nind (Education, UoS) (PI), Dr Sarah Parsons (Education, UoS), Dr Andrew Power, Clare Hooper (IT innovation), & Barod Web Science Institute Research Collaboration Stimulus Fund PRICE – Participation and Responsible Innovation in Co-Design for Exchange £14,332
01 Jul. 2014 – 30 Jun. 2015 Dr Karen Smyth (PI; UEA), Dr Jon Gregory (UEA), Dr Andrew Power Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Preserving Place: A Cultural Mapping Exercise £66,310.47
01 Oct. 2012 – 30 Dec. 2013 Dr Andrew Power (PI), Dr Ruth Bartlett (Health Sci, UoS), Prof. Graham Crow (NCRM) Faculty Interdisciplinary Research Development Fund What Do Welcoming Communities Look Like for Older Adults with Autism? £8,567.36
01 Oct. 2012 – 30 Dec. 2013 Dr Andrew Power (PI), Dr Ruth Bartlett (Health Sci, UoS), Dr Jim Wright (Geog., UoS) Faculty Annual Adventures Research Grant Unveiling the Geographies of Personalisation & Direct Payments £5,000
01 Jun. 2011 – 30 Dec. 2012 Dr Doug Andrews (PI; Mathematics, UoS), Dr Andrew Power The Actuarial Profession Responding to the Dilnot Commission: Information Gathering Regarding Long Term Care in Ten Countries, 2011 £40,000
Nov. 2007 Dr Andrew Power Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness Workshop Grant 2007 Debates in Informal Caregiving Workshop. £1,000
01 Apr. 2007 –30 Mar. 2008 Dr Andrew Power Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship Landscapes of Care: An international study of informal care and care support £50,581
Nov. 2004 Andrew Power Royal Geographical Society (in association with the Institute for British Geographers) Conference Grant Emerging and New Research in the Geographies of Health and Impairment £500
01 Sep. 2001 – 30 Aug. 2004 Andrew Power National Institute for Regional & Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) Doctoral Research Fellowship 2001. (The Atlantic Philanthropies) Landscapes of Care: A Geographical Study of Informal Care & Care Support in Ireland using International Comparisons £50,000

Research group

Population, Health and Wellbeing (PHeW)

Affiliate research group

Economy, Society and Governance

Research project(s)

Care theme

PRICE (Participation and Responsible Innovation in Co-Design for Exchange)

The TimeBank is a community initiated concept from our external partner Barod aimed at matching people needing and offering skills and at addressing problems associated with payment.

SPIRIT (Southampton Platform for Inclusive Research and Ideas Transaction)

Reclaiming social care: Adults with learning disabilities seizing opportunities in the shift from day services to community lives

Doctoral Programme Director, Geography & Environmental Science (2019 - )

Director of Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team, Geography & Environmental Science (2019 - )

Previous Roles

ESRC South Coast DTP Pathway Co-ordinator for Population Change, Health and Wellbeing (2016 - 2018)

Ethics Reviewer for Faculty (FSHMS), Research Ethics and Governance Office (2016 - 2018)

External Examiners Scrutiny Group (University AQSC sub-group) (2016)

External Roles:

Chair of the Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Research Group (Royal Geographic Society / Institute of British Geographers) 2016 – 2020 (previously Vice-Chair 2013-16).

ESRC Peer Review College

Irish Research Council Peer Review College


GEOG1003 Society, Culture and Space (Convenor)

GEOG2035 Practising Human Geographical Research (Amsterdam Fieldtrip)

GEOG3053 Geographies of Social Justice, Welfare and Rights (Convenor)


Small group tutor for:

GEOG1010 Geographical Skills

GEOG2008 Researching Human Geography



Dr Andrew Power
Building 44 University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/2082

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings