Dr Alex Kaley

School of Health and Social Care
Dr Alex Kaley



Alex Kaley is Lecturer in Global Public Health (teaching and research) in the school of health and social care. Alex is a qualitative researcher with research interests in the health and social inequalities experienced by disabled people – as well as innovations in health and social care to address these inequalities. Recent work is examining the intersections of disability and gender, and reproductive health and rights. In exploring these issues, Alex has developed expertise in the use of creative and participatory methodologies to elicit the views and experiences of people who may be considered marginalised or whose narratives often go unheard. She is particularly interested in developing innovative and creative methods to elicit ‘unspeakable’ health experiences – including for people who are nonverbal, or for those seeking to explore or describe a particular experience or life event that is difficult to express in words. Alex has an established track record for generating external research income from charitable and major grant funders (e.g. ESRC, NIHR) for research projects on learning disability, dementia and young people’s mental health, in the UK and international contexts. She has published academic output at international levels of recognition in the fields of disability studies, public health and qualitative health research. Before joining Essex University, Alex was Lecturer in Health Inequalities at Lancaster University. Current and recently funded research projects include: • SHI Foundation, Capacity, context, and consent: a co-designed exploration of ‘capacity’ through the provision of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) (Co-Investigator) • NIHR SPHR Health Inequalities programme, Co-creating knowledge partnerships with minoritized and marginalised communities (learning disability work strand) (Co-Investigator) • NIHR Three Schools Dementia Research Programme, Inequalities in access to 'green care' initiatives for people living with dementia in England: a mixed-method study (Co-Principal Investigator)


  • PhD Health Research Lancaster University,

  • MSc Applied Social and Community Research University of Brighton,


Other academic

  • Research Ethics Officer, University of Essex (1/9/2023 - present)

  • Programme Director MSc in Global Public Health (January intake), University of Essex (1/1/2024 - present)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Introduction to Global Health (HS887)

  • Public Mental Health (HS958)

  • Dissertation (HS982)


Publications (1)

McDermott, E., Kaley, A., Kaner, E., Limmer, M., McGovern, R., McNulty, F., Nelson, R., Geijer-Simpson, E. and Spencer, L., (2022). Reducing LGBTQ+ adolescent mental health inequalities: A realist review of school-based interventions

Journal articles (15)

Macpherson, H., Hall, E., Power, A. and Kaley, A., (2023). Debilitating landscapes of care and support: envisaging alternative futures. Social and Cultural Geography. 24 (1), 140-156

Curtin, EL., Widnall, E., Dodd, S., Limmer, M., Simmonds, R., Russell, AE., Kaley, A. and Kidger, J., (2023). Exploring mechanisms and contexts in a Peer Education Project to improve mental health literacy in schools in England: a qualitative realist evaluation.. Health Education Research. 39 (1), cyad026-cyad026

McDermott, E., Kaley, A., Kaner, E., Limmer, M., McGovern, R., McNulty, F., Nelson, R., Geijer-Simpson, E. and Spencer, L., (2023). Reducing LGBTQ+ adolescent mental health inequalities: a realist review of school-based interventions.. Journal of Mental Health, 1-11

McDermott, E., Kaley, A., Kaner, E., Limmer, M., McGovern, R., McNulty, F., Nelson, R., Geijer-Simpson, E. and Spencer, L., (2023). Understanding How School-Based Interventions Can Tackle LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health Inequality: A Realist Approach.. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 20 (5), 4274-4274

Power, A., Coverdale, A., Croydon, A., Hall, E., Kaley, A., Macpherson, H. and Nind, M., (2022). Personalisation policy in the lives of people with learning disabilities: a call to focus on how people build their lives relationally. Critical Social Policy. 42 (2), 220-240

Kaley, A., Donnelly, JP., Donnelly, L., Humphrey, S., Reilly, S., Macpherson, H., Hall, E. and Power, A., (2022). Researching belonging with people with learning disabilities: Self‐building active community lives in the context of personalisation. British Journal of Learning Disabilities. 50 (3), 307-320

Milligan, C., Chalfont, G., Kaley, A. and Lobban, F., (2021). Wilderness as therapeutic landscape in later life: Towards an understanding of place-based mechanisms for wellbeing through nature-adventure activity. Social Science & Medicine. 289, 114411-114411

McGarrol, S., Kaley, A., Eastham, R., Whitehead, M. and Limmer, M., (2021). Disgusting disruptions: Capturing the everyday experience and burden of managing gastrointestinal infections in the home. Health & Social Care in the Community. 29 (1), 284-293

Power, A., Hall, E., Kaley, A. and Macpherson, H., (2021). Voluntary support in a post-welfare state: Experiences and challenges of precarity. Geoforum. 125, 87-95

Eastham, R. and Kaley, A., (2020). “We’re Talking About You, Not to You”: Methodological Reflections on Public Health Research With Families With Young Children. Qualitative Health Research. 30 (12), 1888-1898

Foley, R., Bell, SL., Gittins, H., Grove, H., Kaley, A., McLauchlan, A., Osborne, T., Power, A., Roberts, E. and Thomas, M., (2020). “Disciplined research in undisciplined settings”: Critical explorations of in situ and mobile methodologies in geographies of health and wellbeing. Area. 52 (3), 514-522

Preston, N., Hasselaar, J., Hughes, S., Kaley, A., Linge-Dahl, L., Radvanyi, I., Tubman, P., Van Beek, K., Varey, S. and Payne, S., (2020). Disseminating research findings using a massive online open course for maximising impact and developing recommendations for practice. BMC Palliative Care. 19 (1), 54-

Kaley, A., Hatton, C. and Milligan, C., (2019). Health geography and the 'performative' turn: making space for the audio-visual in ethnographic health research. Health & Place. 60, 102210-102210

Kaley, A., Hatton, C. and Milligan, C., (2019). More Than Words: The Use of Video in Ethnographic Research With People With Intellectual Disabilities. Qualitative Health Research. 29 (7), 931-943

Kaley, A., Hatton, C. and Milligan, C., (2019). Therapeutic spaces of care farming: Transformative or ameliorating?. Social Science & Medicine. 227, 10-20

Book chapters (3)

Nind, M., Kaley, A. and Hall, E., (2022). Focus Group Method: Doing Research Inclusively and Supporting Social Inclusion. In: Handbook of Social Inclusion Research and Practices in Health and Social Sciences. Springer. 1041- 1061. 3030895939. 9783030895938

Nind, M., Kaley, A. and Hall, E., (2022). Focus Group Method. In: Handbook of Social Inclusion. Springer International Publishing. 1041- 1061. 9783030895938

Kaley, A., Hatton, C. and Milligan, C., (2019). Exploring Inclusive Therapeutic Soundscapes. In: Sounding Places More-Than-Representational Geographies of Sound and Music. Edward Elgar Publishing. 21- 36. 1788118936. 9781788118934

Grants and funding


Sense NPO Evaluation



Examining Access to Social Farms for People Living with Dementia: A mixed-methods study.

London School of Economics and Political Science (Funder)



Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

By appointment