Sarah Gillborn

Research interests

Sarah conducts qualitative research related to issues of inequality and social justice. In particular, Sarah's research focuses on analyses of discourse and voice, particularly in relation to education policy and practice, in order to understand how social issues are officially constructed and (re)negotiated by those implicated by them. In addition, Sarah's work takes a critical look at the role of psychology as a discipline in (re)producing and challenging oppression.


After completing her BSc (Hons) Psychology at Leeds Beckett University in 2015, Sarah worked as the Vice President (Welfare) at Leeds Beckett Students' Union, where she engaged in campaigns and policy changes related to student welfare at university, particularly in relation to sexism and sexual violence.

In 2016, Sarah began her PhD in Psychology at Leeds Beckett. Sarah's PhD investigated discourses of fatness and motherhood (re)produced through UK government 'childhood obesity' policy. As part of this project, Sarah interviewed mothers and used Feminist Relational Discourse Analysis to analyse their stories and voices in order to understand how women negotiate and navigate the discourses in within this 'childhood obesity' policy. Sarah completed her PhD in 2020.

During her PhD, Sarah was also a core member of the Curriculum Decolonisation Project, working with students and staff to highlight the lack of diversity and issues of colonisation within Higher Education curriculums, particularly within psychology, and to understand staff possibilities and resistance with regards to decolonisation.

From 2019, Sarah worked at Staffordshire University as a Lecturer in Psychology, where she developed and led a module in critical psychology before joining the University of Birmingham as a Lecturer in Psychology in Education in 2021.