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Nicola Standen

My research vision

I have a particular interest in participatory research and engaging with groups often referred to as vulnerable and through this research aim to provide a voice to those whose voice is often marginalised both in research and wider society. Much of the research in which I have been involved has a social justice focus which aims to promote social change and increase equality. 


Over the previous 16 years Nicola has been actively involved in social research, primarily with a focus on health and social care inequalities. During this time she has held a number of research posts within the academic, statutory and voluntary and community sectors and has gained experience of working on a variety of diverse commissioned research projects. 

Nicola Standen

Research Assistant


Nicola has a particular interest in participatory research and engaging with groups often referred to as vulnerable or marginalised and has recently led on an NHS Trust research programme to actively engage users of mental health services in research related activity. She also has practical experience of working alongside service users and community groups and organisations in the design, development and undertaking of research. This includes recent experience of working in partnership with users of mental health services to develop a research study exploring the notion of quality in mental health service provision and co-facilitating focus groups with ‘peer’ researchers.  As part of this work Nicola has worked with service user groups and community organisations to identify support needs and has provided training and mentoring to ‘peer’ researchers to enable their meaningful engagement and participation in research. 

Selected outputs

  • Brown, G., Standen, N. and Khilji, K. (2013) Dementia Advocacy in a Time of Austerity. Working with Older People. Peer Professional, Hove. Vol.17, Issue.2. 
  • Brown, G., Standen, N. and Khiliji, K. (2012) Dementia Advocacy in a Time of Austerity. Ageing Society Research Centre Seminar Series, Coventry University. 
  • Brown, G. and Standen, N. (2011) Advocacy for Older People with Mental Health Needs. Working with Older People. Peer Professional, Hove. Vol.15, Issue.1. 
  • Standen, N. (2011) Involving Service Users in Clinical Research. West Midlands RDS PPI Conference, Birmingham. 
  • Bailey, N*. (2006) Chair of the Intellectual Disability Parallel Session.PC-CRTU, MIDREC Working Together Annual Research Conference Postgraduate Centre, City Hospital, Birmingham. 
  • Brown G., Dimarco, H ., Wilson, C., Letherby, G. and Bailey, N. (2005) Teenage Pregnancy: views and experiences Community Practitioner. 
  • Bailey N., Brown G., DiMarco H., LETHERBY G and Wilson C., (2004) ‘Teenage Pregnancy and Young Motherhood: Medical Encounters’ British Journal of Midwifery 12:11. 
  • Brown, G., Grant, P., Bailey, N., Patel, R. and Sohanta, D. (2004) Is Institutionalised Anti-Racism a Barrier to Social Justice for BME Communities? Centre for Social Justice Annual Conference, Coventry University, January 2004. 
  • Bailey, N., Brown G., Letherby, G., and Wilson, C.  (2002)  The Baby Brigade in Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering Spring/Summer 2002 Vol.4:No1.

Selected projects

  • Understanding yound people in Coventry's knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, behaviours, and Influences in relation to the use of contraception, the use of contraception services and to pregnancy.
  • Young People's Understanding of Sexual Consent and Sexual Exploitation: exploring young people's nderstanding of sexual consent using qualitative research methods
  • Identifying and Understanding Inequalities in Child Welfare Interventions:comparative studies in four UK countries. 
  • Evaluation of the Engage Youth Empowerment Service, REAL Talk project: An evaluation of a community arts programme with young people. 
  • An Evaluation of the Focused Implementation Site (FIS) Programme: The aim of this project was to undertake an evaluation of the 17 national Focused Implementation Sites implementing the action plan for ‘Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care’ (Department of Health, 2005). 
  • Dementia Advocacy in a Time of Austerity: This study explored Voluntary and Community (VCS) organisations capacity to provide advocacy to people with dementia in a time of funding cuts for VCS organisations. 
  • The Advocacy Needs of Older People with Mental Health Problems: This study employed a survey methodology to explore older people with mental health problems need for advocacy with a range of key stakeholders including older people, service providers and carers. 
  • Co-Creating Health: The overall aim of the Co-Creating Health programme was to support people to take a more active role in managing their health. The first phase of the programme ran in eight sites over three years, starting in 2007. Each site focused on one of four clinical services – long-term pain management, depression, diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). My role within this project was as a comparator site reporter exploring the self-management of depression within a local Mental Health Service NHS Trust. 
  • Prisoner Resettlement Good Practice Idea Guide: The aim of this project was to gather information around the housing needs of offenders and ex- offenders across the West Midlands area, to map the agencies and organisations involved in providing such housing support and to produce a good practice guide based on the research findings. 
  • A Needs assessment of Semi-Supported Housing for Young Mothers Under the Age of 18: The aim of this project was to conduct a needs assessment of semi-supported housing for young mothers under the age of 18 in the Coventry area.


 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023