Emeritus Professor Bren Neale

Emeritus Professor Bren Neale


Bren Neale is Emeritus Professor of Life course and Family Research (University of Leeds, School of Sociology and Social Policy, UK) and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (elected in 2010). 

Research interests

Bren specialises in research on the dynamics of family life and inter-generational relationships, and has published widely in this field. Her recent publications focus on findings from the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Following Young Fathers study. She is a founding member of the journal Families, Relationships and Societies, and currently chair of the journal’s Editorial Management Board.

Bren is a leading expert in Qualitative Longitudinal (QL) research methodology. From 2007 to 2012 she directed the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Timescapes Initiative, as part of which she advanced QL methods across academia, and in Government and NGO settings. Over the past decade, she has developed an international role as advisor to QL projects across a variety of fields, including health, education, sociology, social policy, employment, criminology, housing, migration and socio-legal research. She continues to provide advice, consultancy services and training in QL methods for new and established QL researchers, both nationally and internationally, including regular training programmes for the White Rose Doctoral Training Pathway and other DTPs in the UK.  Recent and forthcoming roles include Chair of the Advisory Board for the Welfare Conditionality Qualitative Panel Study  (ESRC, Dwyer, York, 2013-2018); Visiting Professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Vienna (2017); Consultant to the World Health Organisation funded Health Utilisation Dynamics Study, a programme of research on the delivery and uptake of a new malaria vaccine in three sub-Sarahan African states (2017-18); European Social Fund support to deliver a QL training programme for doctoral students at SWPS University (Warsaw 2019); and professional development training in QL methods for Israeli researchers (Tel Aviv, 2019). Bren's introductory book on Qualitative Longitudinal research is currently in press (Bloomsbury 2018).

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

Student education

Bren is no longer taking on new doctoral students but is always happy to provide advice for those using QL methodology.

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>