Fulfilling Lives, Fairer World

We are working with our partners to tackle inequalities in all aspects of society, striving to make change for a fairer world and one in which people can enjoy a fulfilling, rewarding life.

Inequalities exist in all aspects of our society, including disability, income, ethnicity, and access in opportunity. Our research addresses these challenges so that everyone has a chance for a better life and a fairer future.

In recent years, our research has progressed the fight for gender equality in the Republic of Ireland. The work of Professor Fiona de Londras and Dr Máiréad Enright has offered practical proposals for policymakers and reform advocates, including creating model legislation ahead of the referendum, which finally gave women the right to lawful abortion.

Professor Nick Crowson’s work has transformed the public understanding of those who experience homelessness. His research informed the practice of national homelessness NGOs as they lobbied to repeal the 1824 Vagrancy Act, which the Government has now committed to do.

Read more about our real-world impact, and how our research identifies inequalities and addresses their damaging effects on people across the world.  

Addressing gender inequality

Gender inequality is one of the most pressing global issues of our time. Our Institute for Global Innovation is spearheading efforts to confront gender inequality, ranging from violence against women, children and other vulnerable people in sub-Saharan Africa, through to safe access to maternal health, and tackling political rights and participation.

Closing gaps in educational achievement

The Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) is challenging the prevalent misconceptions around autistic children and young people. ACER is offering knowledge of autism to staff in education settings, supporting them to steer away from generalist understandings of what makes for ‘good’ education of autistic students.

The Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research focuses on the social and educational inclusion of people with vision impairment. It has conducted studies in developing countries aimed at increasing access, promoting inclusion, and improving the curriculum and teaching methods. This work is taking place alongside research in the UK, which is empowering young people with greater educational and social inclusion as they transition through to adulthood.

Changing asylum policy to support victims of sexual and gender-based violence

Our Institute for Research into Superdiversity is currently examining how the health and social effects of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are addressed for victims in refuge. In 2020, over 82 million people were forcibly displaced. Just under half were female. Of these, as many as 50% have experienced SGBV.  Many victims who are seeking asylum are trapped within the UK’s system for years after arriving in country, struggling with personal finance, work, and healthcare due to their status.  The SEREDA Project offers policy recommendations on how systems could be improved to protect, rather than harm, vulnerable victims. 

Children Born of War is a network aimed at enhancing our understanding of the challenges experienced by children born of war in volatile societies. The network informs the debate and policies on the reintegration of children born of war into post-conflict societies.

A data-driven approach to understanding inequality

Through the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI, we are developing data-driven approaches to understanding inequality by integrating data across boundaries, including economic, healthcare, education, and both social and traditional media. With the increasing use of black box algorithms, which produce decisions that cannot be easily explained, there is an urgent need for better methodological approaches and regulatory and ethical discussions.

Adult Social Care – better outcomes for all

The IMPACT (Improving Adult Care Together), led by Professor Jon Glasby, will put evidence into practice to promote and maintain people’s independence and wellbeing during their time in care. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, and the Health Foundation, it will be the first implementation centre of its kind in the UK.

"Migration is a global phenomenon that transforms societies, connects distant places, and generates new opportunities and challenges.

The Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) aims to contribute to a better understanding of migration and superdiversity leading to the creation of more inclusive and equal societies.

The SEREDA project is looking to shed light on the issues that migrants face when they are within the UK’s asylum system, with many trapped in the system for years.

Those who have been or are victims of sexual and gender-based violence can often face new trauma or have old trauma resurface. We are looking at what policy changes can be made to better protect vulnerable asylum seekers."

Professor Jenny Phillimore

Professor Jenny Phillimore

Professor of Migration and Superdiversity

Discover more...

  • Our Research Impact

    Read more about our real-world impact and how our research is seeking to identify inequalities and address their damaging effects on people across the world

  • Institute for Global Innovation

    Working to achieve sustainable improvement in women’s health and human rights through a network of global research, policymakers, governmental and non-governmental partnerships.

  • The Centre for Research in Race and Education

    Working to close gaps in educational achievement and improve the educational experiences and career outcomes of Black and minority ethnic people.

  • Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research

    To understand better, and reduce the barriers to, learning and participation that may be experienced by people with vision impairment.

  • Sexual and gender based violence in the refugee crisis

    This is a major new research initiative to understand the incidence and nature of SGBV experienced by women, men and child refugees who have fled conflict in the Levant Region.

  • The Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI

    We are ensuring new technologies do not amplify existing inequalities, by designing ethical and regulatory frameworks for responsible and fair use.

  • Birmingham Stories

    We are working with local schools, young people, businesses and cultural organisations on a series of engaging activities to spread awareness of the importance of storytelling and literacy at every stage of life.

  • The IMPACT Centre

    ‘IMProving Adult Care Together’ is a new £15 million UK centre for implementing evidence in adult social care.

Our researchers

  • Policy experts

    University of Birmingham researchers and academic experts are working across all major policy areas, this guide aims to enable policy makers to contact researchers quickly and efficiently.

  • Media experts

    The University of Birmingham is one of the UK's leading universities for research and can offer expertise to the media on many different subjects.