Ryan Bellinson, PhD Student

Ryan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield’s. His research focuses on innovative urban governance models that may be used to develop socially just and scientifically robust climate change policy. Ryan is currently leading the environmental governance project that investigates coproductive policy development in Greater Manchester, UK.

Prior to joining the Realising Just Cities programme, Ryan earned a B.SC. in environmental studies from the University of Oregon (2015), and an M.Sc. in urban studies from the University of Amsterdam (2017). Ryan has also worked as a constituent affairs intern for United States Senator Jeff Merkley and was a land use planning and air toxins policy fellow in the State of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s Natural Resource Policy Office.


Kristina Diprose, Research Associate

Kristina is a Research Associate at the Urban Institute. Her current research projects within the Realising Just Cities research programme focus on what 'just' sustainability means for Sheffield and local implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  Her recent research and publications have focussed on: urban residents' views on intergenerational justice, consumption and sustainability; media representations of sustainability; local narratives and moral geographies of climate change; and intergenerational community-based research.


Dr Victoria Habermehl, Research Associate

Victoria is a Research Associate in the Urban Institute and works on the ESRC Whose Knowledge matters? as part of the international MISTRA Urban Futures. Her research to date has focused on Latin American Cities where she researched how the economy is understood and reshaped through crisis, narratives of economic informality and everyday economic practices such as economic solidarity initiatives, autogestion and popular economy.


Dr Ione Hine, Research Impact Office for Jam and Justice

Iona joined the Urban Institute in July 2018 as Research Impact Officer for Jam & Justice. She has been based at the University of Sheffield since 2009, having previously studied at Roehampton (PGCE Secondary, 2007), Anglia Ruskin (MA Jewish-Christian Relations, 2003) and Cambridge (BA Hons, 2001). In recent years, Iona has worked in the University of Sheffield's Digital Humanities Institute, on a range of projects: modelling changes in words and meaning in early modern English with Linguistic DNA, surveying social sciences publications for Ways of Being in a Digital Age, quantifying data from YouTube comments for Militarization 2.0, and analysing court records for Intoxicants and Early Modernity.


Dr Sophie King, Research Fellow

Sophie is a Research Fellow at the Urban Institute and a Sheffield-Manchester Local Interaction Platform Coordinator. In this role Sophie helps to coordinate the programme of work and the design, delivery and evaluation of co-production projects in Greater Manchester. Sophie’s research is focused on community-led organising in and between low-income neighbourhoods in the UK, and on working with neighbourhood-based groups in Greater Manchester to learn from urban social movements in the Global South.


Professor Tim May, Director of Research

Tim is Professor of Social Scientific Methodology at the Sheffield Methods Institute. He is the international methodological advisor to the SMLIP and is working on the role of boundary agents and the circulation of knowledge and decision-making in research practice. His interests lie in interdisciplinary working; collaboration with non-academic partners; policy-related research; management and organizational change; methodological innovation; reflexivity in social research and social life; philosophy of social science and social and political theory. He has written widely in these areas and also worked with many organisations in the public and private sectors.


Alexandra McVicar-Payling, PhD Student

Alexandra’s PhD will be focused on understanding the limits and possibilities of universities as agents of change in realizing just cities. It focuses upon the social organisation of knowledge production in the university in relation to its contribution to social justice. 


Jenny Patient, PhD Student

Jenny’s PhD proposal aims to engage trade unions around climate change. Making connections through the fringe programme around COP21 in Paris led to conversations with trade unions in energy-intensive industries, such as steel, glass and cement, that underpin the cities of Leeds, Hull and Sheffield. Jenny will look to develop knowledge that can help trade unions play their full role towards an energy transition that brings both sustainability and justice. 


Professor Beth Perry, Professorial Fellow

Beth is a Professorial Fellow at the Urban Institute. She is the Director of the Sheffield Manchester Local Interaction Platform and sits on the Mistra Urban Futures International Board. Her research focuses on urban governance, transformation and the roles of universities, with an emphasis on socio-environmental and socio-cultural transitions.


Dr Bertie Russell, Research Associate

Bertie is a Research Associate in the Urban Institute and works on the ESRC Jam & Justice Project and as part of the international MISTRA Urban Futures. His research interests are in participatory and deliberative democracy; utopianism and directional demands; the dismantling of post-politics; the organisation of the commons and post-capitalist transition; and the rise of new forms of urban internationalism.


Dr Vicky Simpson, Research Programme Coordinator

Vicky is the Research Programme Coordinator of the Sheffield-Manchester Local Interaction Platform for Mistra Urban Futures and works at the Urban Institute. Drawing on her research background, Vicky coordinates support across a portfolio of UK and EU research grants at the Urban Institute. 


Charlie Spring, Research Associate 

Charlie is a Research Associate at the Urban Institute. has alternated between academic and non-academic roles, including for the University of Salford’s Environmental Sustainability Team, campaign organisation ATD Fourth World and immigrant rights association AMSED in Strasbourg. Before moving to Manchester, her Masters studies in Sustainable Development Advocacy focussed on thinking critically about ‘corporate social responsibility’ (and cider sustainability!). Her BA in Social Anthropology at Cambridge introduced her to critical development theory, which she has applied to her academic and practical roles since. In her spare time she is co-chairing the ‘Measuring and Monitoring’ sub-group of the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance and co-editing a Handbook of Food Waste. Charlie will be assisting various projects within Realising Just Cities, including Self-organsing Action for Food Equity.


Dr Nick Taylor Buck, Research Fellow

Nick is a Research Fellow at the Urban Institute and a Sheffield-Manchester Local Interaction Platform Coordinator. In this role he helps to coordinate the programme of work and the design, delivery and evaluation of co-production projects across two city-regions in the North of England. His research interests are in: urban ecology, food systems and co-production, including urban innovation processes and demonstrators. He has a PhD in the natural sciences and leads on collaborative research and publications between the faculties of Social Science, Science and Engineering. He is a qualified Chartered Surveyor with substantial real estate practice experience, specialising in sustainable design and assessment. He currently sits on several urban design advisory panels. Nick is leading on the Self-Organising Action for Food Equity (SAFE) and Sustainable Development Goals projects.