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Dr Susie Weller BSc, PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Susie Weller's photo

Dr Susie Weller is a Senior Research Fellow in the Clinical Ethics and Law (CELS) research group in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. Since 2000, she has been conducting qualitative research with children and families across a range of publicly funded, high profile studies.

As a social scientist, I am excited at the prospect of having the opportunity to apply my expertise in qualitative longitudinal research to understand ethical preparedness and the implications of rapidly advancing genomic technology on families and healthcare professionals.

Susie has a background in social geography and sociology and expertise in youth and family research, particularly creative, participatory and qualitative longitudinal (QLR) approaches. Throughout her career, she has worked at the interface between theoretical advances in family and youth research, and applied research that has policy and practice relevance. Much of this work has been in inter- and multidisciplinary teams straddling different social science disciplines, and the social and biomedical sciences.

Susie is currently working on a Wellcome Trust funded project exploring ethical preparedness in genomic medicine (EPPiGen) and is co-developing a QLR study of healthcare professionals’ and patients’ experiences of genetic medicine.  She has recently applied her expertise to the international Transforming Adolescent Lives Through Nutrition (TALENT) collaboration to develop new knowledge on adolescent nutrition in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (GCRF, 2017-19).

Her previous research included a novel study of the impact on carers of a long-term childhood health condition (NIHR HTA, 2015-17) and an analysis of qualitative data to understand how doctor-patient communication about cancer can be improved (Cancer Research UK, 2019). She has applied her own innovative forms of analysis to study care and intimacy across the lifecourse (ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, 2015-19). Her post-doctoral work comprised a 12-year study of young people’s trajectories to adulthood in the UK (2003-15).

Susie has a growing international reputation for QLR and applied family research. She has made a significant contribution to methodological advances in QLR data collection, analysis and ethical research practice in data sharing. She was the Principal Investigator of a prestigious Methodological Innovation Project (NCRM, 2013-15), after which she worked in the National Centre for Research Methods where, with colleagues, she pioneered a new breadth-and-depth method for large-scale qualitative analysis (NCRM, 2015-19) and co-founded the Big Qual Analysis Resource Hub (

She has published over 55 papers and has built capacity in qualitative and qualitative longitudinal research delivering over 50 training events, including to biomedical scientists in LMICs. She has worked with cultural industries, policy-makers, practitioners and charities.

Research interests

  • Childhood, youth and family studies
  • The impact of health interventions on families
  • Ethics of care
  • Caring relations, identities and practices
  • Social networks
  • Citizenship and participation
  • Creative, participatory and qualitative longitudinal methods
  • Data sharing practices

Research group

Cancer Sciences

Affiliate research group

Clinical Ethics and Law (CELS)

Research project(s)

Ethical Preparedness in Genomic Medicine (EPPiGen)

EPPiGen is a Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award in Humanities and Social Science, jointly held by CELS and Brighton and Sussex Medical School. This research takes places as genomic approaches to diagnosis and treatment become embedded within the UK health care system, providing a unique opportunity to examine how the promise and challenge of genomic medicine is understood and experienced by those providing and engaging with the service. This five-year programme will combine empirical bioethics research, conceptual and theoretical analysis, and professional and public engagement to examine the concept of ethical preparedness in the context of genomic medicine. Genomic medicine uses broad (rather than targeted) genomic information about an individual as part of their clinical care. We define ethical preparedness as the ability and willingness to work in morally-appropriate ways, even within emerging, rapidly-changing, and complex fields such as genomic medicine.

  • Internal examiner, University of Southampton, doctoral thesis progression review, 2019.
  • Consultant, Sociology in the Archives, British Library, London, 2017.
  • Consultant, User Experience and Design team, BBC, 2017.
  • Internal examiner, University of Southampton, doctoral thesis progression review, 2017.
  • External examiner, doctoral thesis, University of Bedfordshire, 2016.
  • Advisory group member, PASAR Participatory theatre project, Universities of Durham, East London, Greenwich and the OU, 2015-17.
  • Internal examiner, doctoral thesis, London South Bank University, 2015.
  • Impact Coordinator, London South Bank University, 2014-15.
  • External examiner, doctoral thesis, UCL Institute of Education, 2012.
  • Consultant, Youth Citizenship Commission, Ministry of Justice, 2009.
  • Consultant, Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, 2009.
  • Consultant, Poppy Project; a programme for women trafficked into prostitution, 2009.
  • External examiner, doctoral thesis, University of Sydney, Australia, 2009.
  • Coordinator, Women’s Workshop: Qualitative Family and Household Research, 2008-11.
  • Acting Co-Director, Families & Social Capital ESRC Research Group, London South Bank University, 2008-09.
  • Consultant, Enquiring minds project, Futurelab, 2008.
  • External examiner, doctoral thesis, University of Brighton, 2008.
  • Advisory group member, Home and away project, AHRC/University of Sussex, 2006-10.
  • Advisory group member, Secondary school admissions project, The Runnymede Trust, 2006.
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Book Chapters

Creative Media and Artefacts

Working Papers

Susie has delivered advanced research methods training via her roles in the:

  • MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
  • ESRC National Centre for Research Methods
Dr Susie Weller
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO171BJ

Room Number : SGH/ Room AB209, MP801/MP127

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