Dr Mel Hughes is Principal Academic in Social Work at Bournemouth University (BU). Mel champions lived experience expertise through her roles as Academic Lead for the PIER (Public Involvement in Education and Research) partnership and Deputy Lead for the Research Centre for Seldom Heard Voices. Mel is committed to ensuring that those who are most affected by social, economic and health inequalities have a voice in shaping and informing research, education and practice. She is editor and co-author of the textbook: ‘A Guide to Statutory Social work interventions: the lived experience’. Chapters are co-authored with people with first-hand experience of statutory interventions including having a child removed; being detained under the Mental Health Act; and going through the adoption process. Mel is an editorial board member of the British Journal of Social Work and an Advance HE National Teaching Fellow.


Principal investigator: Parents Story Project: Gaining insight into parental substance use

Principal investigator: evidencing the impact of service user involvement in professional health and social work programmes

The impact of service user and carer involvement on students' subsequent social work practice: a follow up study

Principal Investigator. Gaining insight into the lived experience of older male carers (over the age of 85)

Principal Investigator. Exploring the relationship between rough sleepers and primary care services

Democratising Public Involvement in Research (ESRC bid)

Experiences of separated families (tender bid)

Proper Jobs (funding bid)

Narrative insights for seldom heard voices at risk of digital exclusion in access to healthcare

Research into Inclusive Ageing (ESRC call)