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Health Sciences

Dr Susie Weller PhD, BSc

Qualitative Research Fellow, Hip ‘Op trial., Research Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences.

Dr Susie Weller's photo

Dr Susie Weller is a Qualitative Research Fellow within Health Sciences. Since 2000 she has been conducting qualitative social research with children and families across a range of publicly-funded, high profile studies. Based in the Centre for Innovation and Leadership in Health Sciences she is currently working on the Hip ‘Op trial; a 9-year study exploring the impact of early versus intentionally delayed surgery for developmental dysplasia of the hip.

As a social scientist I am very excited to have the opportunity to apply my expertise in qualitative research to an important clinical trial examining the timing of surgery for developmental dysplasia of the hip.

Using in-depth telephone interviews she will be exploring parents’ experiences of having a child with dysplasia of the hip, and the impact of surgery on family life. Parents will be interviewed in the months following surgery and when their child reaches the age of 5. The work will complement a randomised control trial and economic analysis and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research: Health Technology Assessment Programme.

Dr Weller has 15 years’ experience of conducting qualitative research across a range of publicly-funded, high profile studies. She gained her PhD from Brunel University in 2004 having used creative and participatory methods to explore teenagers’ citizenship. Whilst completing her doctoral research she was also invited to work on a project funded by the then Department for Education and Skills exploring the impact of out of school care on children and their families.

Since 2003 she has been working on a major qualitative longitudinal study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The ‘Your Space’ project ( has used semi-structured interviews and a range of research tools (network maps, vignettes, photography, diary writing) to track a nationally distributed sample of 50 young people exploring change and continuity in their family lives over time, with a particular focus on care and well-being. Between 2003 and 2011 it successively formed part of two major research programmes; the Families & Social Capital ESRC Research Group (London South Bank University, 2003-07) and the ESRC Timescapes initiative (Edinburgh, Cardiff, Leeds, the Open and London South Bank Universities, 2007-11). The most recent phase (2013-15) was funded by the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods as a prestigious ‘Methodological Innovation Project’ for which she was Principal Investigator. The study assessed the potentials and pitfalls of using video telephony and telephone interviews in qualitative longitudinal research (

Dr Weller is based in the Centre for Innovation and Leadership in Health Sciences (Wednesdays and Thursdays).


Research interests

Dr Weller has in-depth knowledge of and standing in qualitative methods and analysis, including longitudinal work with young people.

Her past research projects include:

  • The potential of video telephony in qualitative longitudinal research: A participatory and interactionist approach to assessing remoteness and rapport, ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, Principal Investigator, £88,590, 2013-15.
  • Your Space: The changing nature of children’s lateral relationships, part of the ESRC Timescapes initiative, ESRC programme funding totaling £3.9m, Senior Research Fellow, 2007-11.
  • Locality, schools and social capital, part of the Families & Social Capital ESRC Group, programme funding totaling £3m, Research Fellow, 2003-07.
  • The impact of out of school care: A qualitative study examining the views of children, families and play workers, Brunel University, DfES-funded, Research Assistant, 2002-03.
  • Teenagers’ citizenship: Rural spaces of exclusion, education and creativity, 3-year PhD studentship, Brunel University, 2000-04.

She has authored/co-authored almost 50 publications in esteemed international outlets, and has given 70 presentations to national and international audiences.

She has a real passion for and commitment to applied research that has real-world impact(s) as demonstrated by her growing reputation for developing novel ways of fostering policy, practice and public engagement in research outcomes. Examples include:

You Tube: Learning about young people’s lives

You Tube: Using Skype in qualitative interviews with young people


Research group

Active Living and Rehabilitation

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Book Chapters

Working Papers

Dr Susie Weller
Health Sciences Student Office University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 58/2067

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