Dr Clare Gunby

Dr Clare Gunby

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow

Contact details

Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Clare is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Applied Health Research, working on the NIHR funded study ‘supporting survivors of sexual violence: a mixed-methods, co-research study of the role, funding and commissioning of specialist services provided by the voluntary sector in England’ - the first national study of its kind.

Clare’s research interests focus on sexual violence, sexuality, gender, mental health and emotional labour. She has over 10 years’ experience researching these areas (qualitatively and quantitatively), writing on them and managing related research projects. She has held grants from a range of funders and works across disciplines. She started her career is psychology, moving to public health and into the fields of law and sociology. She worked as a lecturer in criminology, prior to joining the Institute. Her work has examined legal, criminal justice and public health responses to sexual violence (and gender-based violence more broadly) and how these can be used (often in tandem) to reduce/prevent abuse. She is committed to the adoption of participatory research methods and the co-production of knowledge. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 2013
  • PhD in Public Health 2011
  • MSc in Forensic Psychology 2005
  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology 2000


Clare joined the Institute in October 2019, having spent the previous eight years as a lecturer, most recently in the School of Criminology at the University of Leicester. Clare’s expertise centre on sexual violence, mental health, gender and  justice. She has significant experience conceiving, implementing, managing and delivering high quality research in these areas, independently and as part of a team.

Clare is currently working on an NIHR-funded study examining the role of specialist voluntary sector services in supporting survivors of sexual violence. She has previously led research examining the 2003 Sexual Offences Act and as part of this, the emotional labour of practitioners who prosecute and defend in rape cases. This work has been pivotal to highlighting the problems of rape law and policy implementation and the politicisation of related reforms. She has collaborated with Liverpool City Council to develop their strategy for preventing sexual offences in bars and nightclubs and is currently co-leading a Nottingham City CCG-funded study that will inform how mental health services can best be commissioned to meet the needs of LGBT people in Nottingham.

Clare has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, partners and practitioners in the delivery of research and used qualitative, quantitative, ethnographic and participatory research approaches. She has a wealth of experience interviewing criminal justice practitioners, commissioners and survivors of multiple forms of gender-based violence. She has developed outcome measures for Nottinghamshire OPCC and Leicester Rape Crisis to help track women’s recovery following sexual and domestic violence. Due to the action focused ethos of projects she had been involved in her work has fed directly into the development and refinement of national interventions.


Research funding and project management:

  • Nottingham City CCG,Improving metal health outcomes for LGBT people in Nottingham (2017-2020), Co-I with Dr Barnes and Dr Ayres (University of Leicester) and Professor Johnson (University of Brighton/RMIT Melbourne).
  • Collaboration Ready Scheme, La Trobe University,Waiting for Justice: Mapping Emotional Labour in the Criminal Justice System (2018-2019), Co-I with Dr Carline (University of Liverpool) and Dr Kirsty Duncanson (La Trobe University).
  • ESRC Impact Acceleration,Preserving and Protecting Rape Complainant Memory: Establishing Evidence-Based Forensic Medical Examination Interviews (2017-2019), Co-I with Dr Flowe (University of Birmingham) and Dr Carline (University of Liverpool).
  • British Academy/Leverhulme, Evaluating Rape Law Effectiveness (2014-2016), PI with Dr Carline (University of Liverpool).
  • Nottinghamshire OPCC,Protect, Support and Respond to Repeat Female Victims of Medium Risk Domestic Abuse (2013-2016), Joint PI with Dr Barnes and Dr Ayres (University of Leicester).

Impact and engagement:

  • Let’s Talk About Sexual Violence, Office for Students funded sexual violence educational intervention (4th-10th Feb 2019), with Dr Carline (University of Liverpool) and Harriet Smailes (University of Leicester).  Leading on the conception, development and execution of a six-site cross University of Leicester exhibition using arts-based media to educate the campus community on sexual violence. Working closely with academic colleagues, students, specialist support services, practitioners and artist to challenge rape myths and misconceptions.
  • Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in the Night Time Economy (NTE), Liverpool City Council (2010-2015), with Dr Carline (University of Liverpool). Working with Liverpool City Council to develop a strategy to raise awareness (and reduce) sexual offences in the NTE. Working with the council to develop two media campaigns aimed at educating young men on alcohol-involved consent and unwanted sexual touching in bars and nightclubs. This research formed the 2014 REF impact case study for the Law Department at Liverpool John Moores University.

Other activities

  • 2013 – current: Clare is a peer reviewer for a range of journals including Feminist Criminology and Crime, Media and Culture.
  • 2014 – current: Clare sits on the East Midlands Violence against Women and Girls Scrutiny Panel, acting as a critical friend to the Crown Prosecution Service about their decision-making in Violence against Women and Girls cases.
  • 2015-2019: In Clare’s prior lectureship position she held a number of programme leadership roles at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has acted as advisor/examiner for programmes at external institutions, using her programme expertise to ensure the proposed courses were robust, contemporary and competitive.


Recent publications


Carline, A, Gunby, C & Murray, J 2020, Rape and the criminal trial: reconceptualising the courtroom as an affective assemblage. Palgrave Pivot, Palgrave.


Gunby, C, Isham, L, Damery, S, Taylor, J & Bradbury-Jones, C 2020, 'Sexual violence and COVID-19: all silent on the home front', Journal of Gender-Based Violence. https://doi.org/10.1332/239868020X15984631696329

Gunby, C & Carline, A 2020, 'The emotional particulars of working on rape cases: doing dirty work, managing emotional dirt and conceptualizing 'tempered indifference'', British Journal of Criminology, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 342-362. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azz054

Gunby, C, Carline, A, Taylor, S & Gosling, H 2020, 'Unwanted sexual attention in the night-time economy: behaviors, safety strategies, and conceptualizing “feisty femininity”', Feminist Criminology, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 24-46. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557085119865027

Combes, G, Damery, S, Gunby, C, Harlock, J, Isham, L, Jones, A, Maxted, F, Parmar, P, Schaub, J, Smith, D, Taylor, J & Bradbury-Jones, C 2019, 'Supporting survivors of sexual violence: protocol for a mixed methods, co-research study of the role, funding and commissioning of specialist services provided by the voluntary sector in England', BMJ open, vol. 9, no. 12, e035739. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035739

Carline, A, Gunby, C & Taylor, S 2018, 'Too drunk to consent? Exploring the contestations and disruptions in male-focused sexual violence prevention interventions', Social and Legal Studies, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 299-322. https://doi.org/10.1177/0964663917713346

Gunby, C, Carline, A & Taylor, S 2017, 'Location, libation and leisure: an examination of the use of licensed venues to help challenge sexual violence', Crime, Media, Culture, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 315-333. https://doi.org/10.1177/1741659016651751

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Carline, A, Gunby, C & Murray, J 2021, 'And that’s why street-wise complainants now always give evidence behind screens, live’: exploring the intensive affects of the courtroom. in K Duncanson & E Henderson (eds), Courthouse Architecture, Design and Social Justice. 1 edn, Space, Materiality and the Normative, Routledge, London. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429059858-11

Anna, C & Gunby, C 2021, The legal framework and practitioners' perspectives on alcohol and rape. in H Flowe & A Carline (eds), Alcohol and Remembering Rape: New Evidence for Practice. Palgrave, pp. 21-31. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67867-8_2

Carline, A & Gunby, C 2019, Justice for rape complainants: limitations and possibilities. in P Carlen & LA França (eds), Justice Alternatives. 1st edn, Routledge. <https://www.routledge.com/Justice-Alternatives-1st-Edition/Carlen-Ayres-Franca/p/book/9781138605336>

Book/Film/Article review

Gunby, C 2021, 'Interactional Justice: The role of Emotions in the Performance of Loyalty. By lisa flower (Routledge, 2020, 220pp. £36.99 pb)', British Journal of Criminology. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azab051


Bowring, J, Leavey, C, Ross-Houle, K, Carline, A & Gunby, C 2018, 'The UK Adult Film Performer Project–a case for being pro-performer voice', Porn Studies, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 457-460. https://doi.org/10.1080/23268743.2018.1524091

Commissioned report

Barnes, R, Gunby, C, Johnson, K & Ayres, T 2021, Improving the mental health outcomes of Nottingham’s LGBT+ populations: final report. Nottingham CCG , Nottingham County Council. <https://www.nottinghaminsight.org.uk/Document-Library/Document-Library/aAXKrhn#>

Ayres, T, Barnes, R, Gunby, C & Johnson, K 2019, Improving the Mental Health Outcomes of Nottingham’s LGBT Populations: Quantitative analysis of existing national and regional statistics concerning the mental health needs and healthcare experiences of LGBT people. University of Leicester. <https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/criminology/documents/ayres-et-al-lgbt-mental-health_statistical-analysis-final-june-2019>

Semlyen, J, Johnson, K, Barnes, R, Gunby, C & Ayres, T 2018, Improving the mental health outcomes of Nottingham’s LGBT populations: a rapid evidence assessment assessment. University of Leicester. <https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/criminology/documents/improving-the-mental-health-outcomes >

View all publications in research portal