Sharanya Nama Mahesh

Department of Social Work and Social Care
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Sharanya is a Research Fellow in the Department of Social Work and Social Care.  She is currently working on an applied research project funded by the West Midlands ARC that aims to evaluate strengths based practices adopted and implemented by Local Authorities in Adult Social Care.


  • MSc Social Policy (Research) London School of Economics and Political Science (2018)
  • MA Social Work St. Joseph’s College, India (2015)


Sharanya is a double master degree holder in Social Work and Social Policy (Research). Prior to joining the University, she worked as a social worker and a qualitative researcher for rights based not-for-profit organisations. She has a range of social work field experiences including working with some of the most vulnerable communities in India such as the snake charmers, manual scavengers and domestic workers. Most of her social work was around doing rights based work that involved trying to understand the disparity between policy and ground realities and the layered challenges associated with policy implementation. 

As a qualitative researcher, Sharanya has undertaken research projects with manual scavengers, studied the power of community engagement in the reduction of domestic violence and how burnout disproportionately affects social workers/case workers. Sharanya is currently working on a mixed methods applied research project funded by the West Midlands Applied Research Collaboration. The project aims to evaluate strengths based practices implemented by local authorities within adult social care.  


Sharanya is currently co-investigating an applied research project funded by WM ARC. The project is set for a period of three years and aims to evaluate processes and strengths based interventions adopted and implemented within adult social care by local authorities. The projects seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of these implementations and their impact on the wellbeing of beneficiaries. The project also aims to provide practical recommendations to better the implementation of strengths based practices.


For a period of two years (2015-17), Sharanya was an active member of the manual scavengers’ policy advice committee. The sole purpose of the committee was to bring together a range of stakeholders who would help advice State governments on eradication of manual scavenging. As a working member, Sharanya represented the views of NGOs and other community partners where, she had opportunities to present ground realities and practical challenges associated with the eradication of the profession