I am Director of Social Research & Practice and Education Ltd. and Associate Professor in Education at the UCL Institute of Education, London. At UCL, I currently lead the modules “Literacy, Language and Communication”, “Researching Education and Society: Qualitative Methods” and “Disabilities, Chronic Illnesses and Neurodivergences in Contemporary Society”, I am the ethics coordinator for the department of Culture, Communication and Media and I am a member of the UCL Academic Board and Education Committee. Most recently, I worked as academic head of learning and teaching in my department and as programme leader, lecturer and tutor on a secondary teacher education programme.
I was awarded my PhD in Sociology at the University of Kent for my thesis “The ‘I’ in fibromyalgia: the construction of academic identity under the influence of fibromyalgia”. I hold the Master of Teaching from the Institute of Education, and a Magister der Philosophie in Anglistics & Americanistics and French from the University of Vienna, Austria. I also hold the Postgraduate Certifcate in Higher Education and Master in High Education from the University of Kent and the postgraduate IoLET Diploma in Translation. I am a Fellow as well as Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor.
After my first degree I worked as a secondary teacher of modern foreign languages and taught English and French in Austria and German and French in the UK. Having gained several years of practical experience in the classroom I made the move from secondary to higher education.
The underlying principle for my work is that research, teaching and social activism are inextricably interconnected. As a consequence, my personal practices in research, teaching and dissemination are also interwoven. The constant in the narrative of my work is to give voice to the unheard and empower the marginalised. I aim to provide those with quieter voices with means and tools to explore the unexplored and express the in-expressible. My research interests therefore lie with advancing learning and teaching and ways of improving knowledge generation:
- Participatory, multi-sensory and immersive research, in particular through arts-based approaches, material and physical representations and metaphors
- Student experiences and learning
- Teacher education and development in the primary, secondary and tertiary sector
- Identity and identity construction in general, but more specifically in higher education including the identities of those in precarious positions and with disabilities and/or chronic conditions
- The performative and communicative role of the body
My most notable publications
Brown, N. (2021). Making the Most of Your Research Journal. Bristol: Policy Press.
Leigh, J. S. & Brown, N. (2021). What is Embodied Inquiry?. London: Bloomsbury.
Brown, N. (ed.) (2021). Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia: Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education. Bristol: Policy Press.
Brown, N. & Leigh, J. S. (eds.) (2020). Ableism in Academia: Theorising Experiences of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Higher Education. London: UCL Press.
Brown, N. & Ramlackhan, K. (2021). Experiences of ableism in academia: A constructivist inquiry. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-021-00739-y.
Brown, N. (2021). Scope and Continuum of Participatory Research. International Journal of Research and Method in Education. DOI: 10.1080/1743727X.2021.1902980.
Brown, N. (2019). Identity boxes: using materials and metaphors to elicit experiences. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 22(5), 487-501. DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2019.1590894.
Brown, N. (2019). Partnership in learning: how staff-student collaboration can innovate teaching. European Journal of Teacher Education, 42(5), 608-620. DOI: 10.1080/02619768.2019.1652905.
Brown, N. (2022). “It is…, it stands for…, it shows…”: arts-based representations in data generation and analysis. In: Hinsliff-Smith, K., McGarry, J., & Ali, P. (eds.). SmitArts Based Health Care Research: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. SpringerNature.
Brown, N., & Morgan, C. (2021). Rhythmanalysis as a method to account for time in qualitative research. In: Clift, B.C., Gore, J., Gustafsson, S., Bekker, S., & Batlle, I. C. (eds.). Temporality in Qualitative Inquiry: Theories, Methods, and Practices. Routledge. 111-126.
Open educational resources
Brown, N. (2021). Introduction to qualitative research. Moodle materials: https://open-education-repository.ucl.ac.uk/581/
Brown, N. & Janssen, R. (2019). Workshop materials for the preventing plagiarism workshop: https://open-education-repository.ucl.ac.uk//567/