Portrait of Professor Helen Lomax Professor Helen Lomax

h.lomax@hud.ac.uk | 01484 478274


Qualifications: PhD (Sociology); BSc (Hons) (Psychology)

I joined the University of Huddersfield as Professor of Childhood Studies in February 2017 and am also Director of Research for the School of Education and Professional Development.

Prior to joining the University I was Professor of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Northampton (2014-2017) and held Senior Lectureships at the Open University (2010-2014) and University of Hertfordshire (2008-10). I was Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University (2005-2008) following the award of my PhD (University of Sheffield) in 2005.

My research explores the everyday lives of children, young people and families. Recent grants include an Arts Council award with Milton Keynes Gallery exploring the impact of arts-based interventions on children’s wellbeing and an ESRC grant for advanced postgraduate training in visual methods. I also lead an Erasmus+ Key Action 2 project ‘Cyber Safe Generation’ (CyGen) which brings together expertise from four European countries to co-design educational resources with children to support their online safety.  My methodological interests are focused on developing methods for researching with children. These include: participatory film-making, drawing and photography and incorporate working with film-makers and artists as a method of co-production and engagement.

My publications bring together my interests in creative participatory research, visual culture and research ethics. Recent publications include, ‘Sharing images, spoiling meanings? Class, gender and ethics in visual research with girls’ in Girlhood Studies (2016) with Professor Janet Fink and ‘Seen and heard? Ethics and agency in participatory visual research with children, young people and families’ in Families, Relationships and Societies.

My previous teaching includes: Programme lead (years 1-3) for the Doctorate in Health Research at the University Hertfordshire and module lead for advanced qualitative methods and research leadership, taught as part of the Professional Doctorate and Doctorate in Business Administration at the University of Northampton. Whilst at The Open University I designed and led undergraduate teaching in Health and Wellbeing and Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care. I currently teach on the Doctorate in Education.

Research and Scholarship

My research is focused on understanding the everyday lives of children and on the development of methodologies to support children’s involvement in the generation, analysis and dissemination of research. 

Current grants include:

Lomax, H; (PI); Murray, J.; Pyer, M; Bramble, P.; Awouters, V.; Jans, R; Jans, S.; Tallaros, G; Anagnostopoulou, A.; Georgsen, M and Jönsson, L. and Pilgaard, M. ‘Cyber Safe Generation: Digital education by design’, Erasmus+ Co-operation for innovation and the exchange of good practices.

CyGen works co-productively with children, teachers, and parents to design child-led educational resources aimed at enhancing the digital citizenship and wellbeing of children in Europe.  The project is inspired by the European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids, framed around supporting children to make use of the Internet in order to enhance their learning and social connectivity while staying safe.

Lomax, H, (PI); Campbell, J.; Wilson, J;. Pyer, M. Horton, J.:  Al-Sherbaz, A.; Bird. L.; Hewitt. A.; Ward. A.; Mackley, J. ‘HART: Wellbeing through Heritage, Arts and Technology’, funded by the Vice-Chancellors (UoN) Social Impact Fund and matched by external funding from wellbeing and arts organisations.

HART brings together an interdisciplinary team of academics to address wellbeing inequalities. Working with stakeholders in heritage, arts and health and social care, leisure and education, the project aims to develop and trial new, efficacious methods of community engagement which address the health and wellbeing needs of diverse, multigenerational local, including diaspora communities across the life-course.

Rose, G.; Lomax, H. (Co-I); and Mahoney, N. (2014-17) ‘Advancing Image-elicitation Methods in Social Sciences’, ESRC (Advanced Training Initiative 2014.

Meets a growing demand for advanced international training in creative and visual methods. Three online modules engage with contemporary debates and practices in visual methodology, drawing on the team’s original research and using innovative online teaching to support the academic development of early career academics and practitioners in health, education and social care.


Research grants (delivered):

Williams, G. Elliot, E.; Lomax, H. (Co-I); Seaman, P.; Barker, C.; Murray, M.; Saltus, R. (2012) Communities in history: representing and building the creative power of people to improve health and well-being, Connected Communities Research Programme AHRC AH/J012904/1.

This project worked with academic, third and public sector and community networks to focus on what sustains wellbeing in low -income neighbourhoods across England, Wales and Scotland. As Methodological Lead and England Lead I worked with communities and stakeholders to develop the participatory framework for the project as well as leading the England team of academics. Research outputs were published in methodological, social science and health journals.

Lomax, H. (PI); Fink, J; Rose, G.; Whiting, L. (2009-2011) Visual Dialogues: New Agendas in Inequalities Research, ESRCRES-451-26-0722 .

The series had significant national and international impact, generating high impact journal articles, including from early career academics. Contributions, which spanned sociology, social policy and health, focused on the methodological contribution of visual methods for advancing understanding of health and social inequalities within these fields. The series had significant societal impacts, generating a programme of research with low-income neighbourhoods and stakeholders (health and social care providers, arts and third sector organisations) in order to understand and address health and social inequalities.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Lomax, H (2017) Participatory visual methods for understanding children's lives in marginalized neighborhoods Sage (In Press)


Fink, J. and Lomax, H. (2016) ‘Sharing images, spoiling meanings? class, gender, and ethics in visual research with girlsGirlhood Studies , 9 (3), pp. 20-36. ISSN 1938-8209

Lomax, H. and Sharp, M. (2016) We love Tinkers Bridge [Video]


Lomax, H (2015) ‘Seen and heard? Ethics and agency in participatory visual research with children, young people and familiesFamilies, Relationships and Societies , 4 (3), pp. 493-502. ISSN 2046-7435


Lomax, H (2014) ‘'It's a really nice place to live!': The ethnographic encounter as a space of intergenerational exchange’. In: Intergenerational Space. Abingdon, UK and New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 65-78. ISBN 978-0-415-85531-0

Fink, J. and Lomax, H. (2014) ‘Challenging images? Dominant, residual and emergent meanings in on-line media representations of child povertyJournal for the study of British cultures , 21 (1), pp. 79-95.


Simons, J. and Lomax, H. (2013) ‘Leadership and vision’. In: Leading, Managing, Caring: Understanding Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care. : Routledge. . ISBN 9780415658508

Lomax, H (2013) ‘Troubled talk and talk about troubles: moral cultures of infant feeding in professional, policy and parenting discourses’. In: Family Troubles? Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Family Lives of Children and Young People. Bristol, UK: Policy Press. pp. 97-106. ISBN 978-1447304432


Lomax, H (2012) ‘Shifting the focus: children's image-making practices and their implications for analysisInternational Journal of Research & Method in Education , 35 (3), pp. 227-234. ISSN 1743-727X

Lomax, H (2012) ‘Contested voices? Methodological tensions in creative visual research with childrenInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology , 15 (2), pp. 105-117. ISSN 1364-5579

Fink, J. and Lomax, H. (2012) ‘Inequalities, images and insights for policy and researchCritical Social Policy , 32 (1), pp. 3-10. ISSN 0261-0183

Lomax, H (2012) ‘Book review: Visual research methods in the social sciences: Awakening visionsVisual Studies , 27 (1), pp. 111-112. ISSN 1472-586X


Lomax, H (2011) ‘Visual identities: choreographies of gaze, body movement and speech in video-based mother-midwife interaction’. In: Visual Methods in Psychology: Using and Interpreting Images in Qualiative Research. Hove, UK: Routledge. pp. 153-169. ISBN 9780415483483

Lomax, H., Fink, J., Singh, N. and High, C. (2011) ‘The politics of performance: methodological challenges of researching children’s experiences of childhood through the lens of participatory videoInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology , 14 (3), pp. 231-243. ISSN 1364-5579


Lomax, H. and Fink, J. (2010) ‘Interpreting images of motherhood: the contexts and dynamics of collective viewingSociological Research Online , 15 (3). ISSN 1360-7804


Co-convener: British Sociological Association’s (BSA) Visual Sociology Study Group

Advisory board: National Childbirth Trust Research Advisory Group

Guest editorship: Fink, J. and Lomax, H. (eds) (2012) Images and inequalities: Implications for policy and research, Critical Social Policy, 32 (1)

Editorial boards: Sociological Research On-line (2011- 2016); Visual Methodologies (2010- present).

Visiting Chair: Visiting Professor, University of Northampton

Peer review (journals): Children and Society; Families, Relationships and Societies; Children’s Geographies; Visual Studies; International Journal of Social Research Methodology; Journal of Contemporary Ethnograohy

Peer review (book manuscripts/proposals): Sage, Routledge.

Peer review: Research awarding bodies: Academy of Medical Sciences; ESRC Peer Review College; NIHR; AHRC; Leverhulme; British Academy.



  • Shortlisted for the Sage prize for Innovation and Excellence for Lomax, H. and Fink, J. (2010) ‘Interpreting images of motherhood: The contexts and dynamics of collective viewing’ Sociological Research Online, 15 (3).
  • Winner - Best Participatory Film, ‘Coffee Hall Friends’ Open University, 2011.


Conference organisation:

  • Co-convenor of the 2nd International Visual Methods Conference (2011), The Open University
  • Co- convenor of a series of interdisciplinary seminars and public events organised as part of ESRC funded Visual Dialogues: New Agendas in Inequalities Research
  • Convenor: ‘Citizenship, identities & governance: methodological perspectives’ (2008). International Postgraduate Conference, The Open University.
  • Convenor: ‘Reflexivity, Truth and Method’ (2005) Postgraduate Conference, The Open University.


Keynote lectures:

Lomax, H (2017) ‘Creative visual methods in the field’, School of Education, University of Girona, Spain, March 2017.

Lomax, H. (2016) ‘Visual methods for researching the outdoors’, Evaluating the Outdoor Learning Experience, University of Cardiff, 23nd September.

Lomax, H (2016) ‘Transforming health and wellbeing through methodological innovation’, Annual Research Conference, The Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, University of Hertfordshire, 15th July.

Lomax, H (2016) ‘Creative visual research: Methods, analytics and ethics, 2nd International Summer Workshop on Alternative Methods in Social Research, San Sebastian, 12th June.

Lomax, H (2015) ‘Windows on the world? Images, audiences and productive contexts re-framed’, The XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology,17th August. 

Lomax, H (2014)What can we do in Milton Keynes to make sure that children experience the outdoor, Milton Keynes Play Association Annual Conference’, Milton Keynes Gallery, 12th March.


Invited presentations:

Lomax, H. and Fink, J. (2015) ‘Analysing, Generating and Disseminating Visual Data’ ‘Doing and Communicating Qualitative Research’, School of Psychology, Criminology & Sociology, Kingston University, 13th July. 

Lomax, H (2015) ‘Seeing Childhoods? Participatory visual research with children and young people’ Hackney as Home: Exploring Youth and Belonging in the City’, The Open University, London, 6th March.

Lomax, H (2014)Picturing place: ethical challenges for participatory visual research with children, young people and families’, Children, Young People and Changing Urban Spaces, University of Northampton (3rd-4th September).

Lomax, H (2012) What’s in a picture? Participatory visual methods with Children, Health, Well-being and Social Care / Childhood Research Group Seminar, Cardiff University, 25th January.

Lomax, H (2012) ‘Participatory Methods in Community research’, Festival of Social Science: Practising community-engaged research, University of Glamorgan, 31st October.

Lomax, H.; Gabriel, J.; Lay, C.; Lay, C. and Lay, J. (2011) ‘Bringing the spaces and places of community life into view’, Exhibition of photographs and film (with young people as co-researchers- presenters), International Visual Methods Annual Conference, 14th Sep.


Invited workshops:

Lomax, H  (2016) (with J. Fink and D. Mannay) ‘Visual methods: Reflecting back and looking forward’ (Keynote), ‘Visual Innovation: A Methods Workshop’ 22 November, University of Staffordshire, BSA Postgraduate Forum & Visual Methods Study Group.

Lomax, H. (2015) ‘Creative research: methods, ethics and analytics’, McPin Foundation, London, 9th December.

Lomax, H. (2015) ‘Imagined childhoods? Images and audiences in children’s visual research in ‘natural’ settings’, The Great Outdoors? Children, young People and families in natural and Rural spaces, The Centre for Children and Youth annual conference, University of Northampton, 9th Sep.

Lomax, H. (2015) ‘Lost in translation: Images, audiences and identities’ (invited workshop) ‘Constructing and Deconstructing selfhood’: Families, Identities and gender research network/ ESRC Wales DTC workshops, Cardiff University 30th May.


Research Degree Supervision

I am interested in supervising research degrees in the following areas:

  • Everyday lives of children and young people
  • Participatory visual research methodology and arts based methods
  • Qualitative, ethnographic and creative methodologies

Current PhD students:

  • ‘Creative methods for people with young onset dementia’
  • ‘Patient and Public Involvement in Health Care’


  • (2016) ‘Moving on: The transition from social worker to supervisor’
  • (2015) ‘The lived experience of adults with a learning disability in a rural area’.

Enterprise Activities

Lomax, H 2016-2017: (PI) Research Lead (Evaluation –Childhood impacts), MK Gallery, matched funding from Santander to support student internships.

Explores the impact of arts-based interventions on children’s engagement with neighbourhood and school. ‘Playing out’, an intervention led by artists Townley and Bradby and ‘Meet-back here’ a co-produced school-based intervention are evaluated (with children as co-researchers) to explore critical questions about the role and the impact of arts based interventions on children’s and wellbeing and educational engagement.


Administrative Responsibilities

I am a member of the editorial board for FIELDS: journal of Huddersfield student research.

Teaching and Professional Activities

I am Admissions Tutor for the Doctorate in Education (EdD) and teach on the module ‘Data Collection and Analysis’ and contribute to the Undergraduate framework.