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 Phil Smith

Phil Smith

Research Associate, CASCADE

School of Social Sciences

Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Research Associate in the Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE), currently working on a HCRW funded fellowship. This research explores the post-16 transitions and destinations of care experienced young people in Wales, who have been excluded from mainstream school and have attended a pupil referral unit (PRU). 

Prior to this fellowship I worked on a number of important research projects within CASCADE, including the Child Welfare and Inequalities Project (CWIP) and the Social Workers in Schools (SWIS) Trial.

My research interests mainly centre on the educational experiences and lives of young people and the roles and practices of the professionals who work with them. My background is in youth and community work and childhood studies and I have experience of using a range of qualitative research methods, including creative and participatory methods and those from the ethnographic tradition.


Education and Qualifications

  • PhD, Cardiff University
  • MSc Social Science Research Methods, Cardiff University
  • PGDip/MSc Youth and Community Work, Manchester Metropolitan University

Academic positions

2019 - present: Research Associate, CASCADE, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

2015-2018: Research Assistant, CASCADE, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University






My research interests include:

  • Children and young people
  • Professional roles and identities
  • Poverty and child welfare
  • Youth and community work
  • Alternative education provision
  • School exclusion
  • Educational transitions 
  • Creative and participatory research with young people