Dr Aimee Grant

Dr Aimee Grant

Research Associate - Qualitative

School of Medicine

+44 (0)29 2068 7622
Neuadd Meirionnydd
Media commentator

I am a qualitative researcher with a longstanding interest in health, wellbeing and social justice.

Following completion of my ESRC funded PhD (social policy), I have undertaken research for Government, the third sector (notably ASH Wales), and the NHS.  Since 2013, I have been employed in research roles within Cardiff University.

I am currently most excited about:

  • qualitative methodological innovation - documentary analysis, online research, participatory and visual methods
  • pregnancy and motherhood
  • the use of discretion by health professionals
  • smoking

Education and qualifications

2011: PhD Social Policy, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

2007: MSc Social Science Research Methods, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

2006: BSc (Econ) Criminology & Social Policy (First Class Hons), Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Member of the Social Policy Association
  • Member of the British Sociological Association

Previous academic positions

  • 2016-present: Research Associate, South East Wales Trials Unit, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University
  • 2013-2016: Research Fellow, Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • 2015: Hourly Paid Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Society, University of South Wales
  • 2012-2013: Senior Health Promotion Practitioner, Policy, Research and Development Division, Public Health Wales NHS Trust
  • 2013: University Teacher, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Cardiff University
  • 2013: Honorary Tutor, Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • 2011-2012: Research and Policy Officer, ASH Wales
  • 2011: Research Assistant, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University
  • 2011: Research Assistant, Policy and Enterprise in Creative Industries, University of Glamorgan
  • 2008-2011: Graduate Tutorial Assistant and Hourly Paid Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2008: Tutor, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Cardiff University

I am currently in a role which is 100% research, but I have previously taught extensively on a range of subjects related to research methodology, social policy and health and wellbeing.  I have been module convenor on two courses:

  • Approaches to Criminological Research, 20 credit masters module, University of South Wales (2015-2016)
  • Pathways to Social Sciences (social policy), 20 credit level 1 module, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Cardiff University (2013)

I also developed a 10 credit module in early years public health as part of first year medical student's literature review project.

I have also recently contributed towards teaching on the Masters in Public Health and the medical undergraduate.  I have supervised masters and undergraduate dissertations to completion.

I am interested in supervising PhDs focsing on health and wellbeing, particularly those using documents (including online content and participant created materials) as data, and/or participatory, visual and creative methods.   My empirical areas of interest are pregnancy and motherhood, health behaviours (including smoking) and social class.

I am a qualitative researcher with interests in health and wellbeing, particularly around pregnancy and the early years.  I am involved in a broad range of projects.

Current projects

I am the co-lead of an emerging work stream between the Early Years research team and the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University.  Dawn Mannay and I have completed two pilot research projects, funded by ESRC/WISERD and CYPRN and have a current project funded by the ISSF Wellcome Trust.  In these projects,  a range of participatory and visual methods are used to understand the context of parenthood and its impact on health risk behaviours which impact on infants and children.  I am currently leading a project in which mothers from deprived areas use lifehistory interviews and visual methods in order to discuss health and wellbeing.

I am also part of the study management group on a number of studies examining the feasibility and acceptability of complex interventions to improve health.   This includes a maternal smoking cessation project with Public Health Wales, Models for Access to Maternal Smoking cessation Support (MAMSS), a Breastfeeding Peer Support for Breastfeeding Maintenance study (Mam-Kind) funded by the NIHR, and an NIHR funded feasibility study of a youth drug prevention programme, ASSIST+Frank, led by DECIPHer.

I am also working as a qualitative researcher on the PUMA project.  In this project I use an ethnographic approach to understand the way in which deterioration among patients is detected and escalated by staff on paediatric wards.

My previous research has been focused on: long-term work absence due to ill health; tobacco control (including waterpipe smoking), smoking cessation and prevention; and infant feeding.  I led the evaluation of ASH Wales’ youth smoking prevention project, The Filter.  Methodologically, I focus on qualitative approaches with a specific interest in ethnography, documentary analysis, online research and participatory approaches to interview studies.

Research funding

Principal investigator:

  • Contextualising deprived women’s risky health behaviours within pregnancy: a qualitative longitudinal study using visual methods to inform future intervention codevelopment. Wellcome Trust ISSF Public Health Award. £19K, 2016. (PI: Aimee Grant, co-applicants: Dawn Mannay, Shantini Paranjothy)
  • An independent evaluation of 'The Filter' a youth smoking prevention and cessation service. ASH Wales. £18K, 2014-2015. (PI: Aimee Grant, co-applicant: Lisa Hurt)
  • Understanding the portrayal of waterpipe (shisha, hookah, narghille, hubble bubble) smoking on social media. T. Maelgwyn Davies Bequest Fund, £2K, 2014. (PI: Aimee Grant)

  • Inter-generational views and experiences of breastfeeding in deprived areas. Children and Young People’s Research Network (CYPRN).  Summer studentship, £1K, 2014. (PI: Aimee Grant, co-applicant: Dawn Mannay)
  • Exploring Pathways to Work for Incapacity Benefit claimants. ESRC 1+3 studentship: PTA-031-2006-00079. £60K, 2006-2010 (PI: Aimee Grant, co-applicants: Mark Drakeford, Gareth Williams)


  • Bliesemann de Guevara, B, Alsop, C, McDermott-Rees, Y, Grant, A, Davies, N and Fflur-Huws, C. Borrowed Truths: Exploring transfers of expertise and evidence across science, justice and politics. Welsh Crucible Small Grants Scheme, £7K, 2015-16.
  • Mannay, D. and Grant, A. (2015).  Young Parents and the Media: Exploring Visual Representations and their Everyday Impacts. Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP). £2K 2015.
  • A novel peer-support intervention using Motivational Interviewing for breastfeeding maintenance: a UK feasibility study. NIHR Health Technology Assessment. £293K, 2014-2016. (PI: Shantini Paranjothy)
  • Adapting and piloting the ASSIST model of informal peer-led intervention delivery to the Talk to Frank drug prevention programme in UK secondary schools (ASSIST+Frank): an exploratory trial. NIHR Public Health Research Programme. £491K, 2014-2016 (PI: James White)
  • Negotiating Young Parenthood: A study exploring the ways in which mediated stereotypes of teenage parents impact on their perceptions of their parenting practices and their engagement with service providers. ESRC/WISERD. £3K, 2014 (PI: Dawn Mannay)

Specialist areas