Margaret Hardiman


Margaret Hardiman is a Global Challenges funded PhD student at the Institute for Mental Health, University of Birmingham. Margaret's research focusses on self-harm in young Pakistani women in Karachi and Birmingham.

PhD research

Understanding the development and experience of self-harm in young Pakistani women in Karachi and Birmingham

Funded by the Global Challenges Scholarship scheme under the theme youth mental health, the aim of the research is to explore conceptualisations and experiences of self-harm in Pakistan, and in the UK in those of Pakistani heritage. By exploring culturally driven and migration influenced factors associated with self-harm, Margaret hopes to provide the evidence base for more effective prevention and treatment strategies.

By employing a multiple comparative case design, the research will involve semi-structured interviews analysed via a thematic analysis. Interviews will be held with young Pakistani women who have self-harmed, family members of young Pakistani women who self-harmed and community stakeholders (e.g. teachers, Imams, NGO workers) who have had professional contact with or have a significant understanding of self-harm in Pakistani populations. The interviews will be conducted in Birmingham and in Karachi in Pakistan. Particularly during her fieldwork in Karachi, Margaret will be working closely with keycollaborators the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL).


Dr Maria Michail

Dr Anna Lavis

Professor Rachel Upthegrove


In 2016, Margaret received a First Class Joint Honours MA from the University of Aberdeen in Psychology and Sociology. She then completed my Masters at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna in Advanced International Studies (encompassing courses in Politics, Law, Economics and History taught in English, German and French) with a GPA of 3.78 out of 4.00. During her Masters she worked as a Research Assistant and Translator at the Institute for Advanced Studies. Additionally, she has worked with the Lower Austrian Red Cross in drafting Mental Health First Aid courses for the general public. She is also currently the head of the Setup, Sustainability and Expansion team in the Nightline Association. Since she has been at Birmingham she has taught on undergraduate courses, and has been involved as a Research Assistant in a College of Policing bid looking at evaluating vulnerability and violent crime programmes.

Research interests

Margaret has lived in seven countries across three continents (Switzerland, Kenya, Austria, India, China, Scotland, and England), and has a particular interest in global youth mental health; particularly research looking at suicide and self-harm in low and middle income countries.