Meet Our Team

Core Team:

hannah smithson‌Professor Hannah Smithson

Professor of Criminology & Youth Justice
Director of MCYS

Hannah has worked within the field of criminology for over 15 years and she always ensures real-world relevance and impact for all research she conducts. She works collaboratively with a host of local, national and international communities/stakeholders. The majority of her work involves engagement with a number of communities in and outside of the university, including professionals, activists and the Third Sector. She has directed projects funded by the YJB, ESRC, AHRC, local authorities, police forces and charities. Her research has been instrumental in shaping agendas in research and policy across three interconnected areas: Youth Justice, Youth Gangs and Community Safety and Crime prevention. Young people’s participation is at the heart of the research Hannah carries out and she am committed to developing research methods that enable this.    

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‌‌‌Dr Paul Gray

Senior Lecturer in Criminology
Deputy Director of MCYS 

Paul has been a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University since 2011. In the 15 years prior to that, he was involved in conducting applied criminological research in the private, public and voluntary sectors. He has managed, and contributed to, numerous multi-method evaluations for a wide range of funders - including the Home Office, the Youth Justice Board, the Welsh Assembly, and the Ministry of Justice. His work has focussed primarily on youth justice, resettlement, substance misuse, and youth engagement


‌‌‌‌Professor Melanie Tebbuttmelanie-t

Professor of History
Head of Youth History at MCYS‌

Melanie has written widely on British social and cultural history in works which include the history of pawnbroking and working-class credit, women’s social networks, gossip and leisure in working-class communities and regional identities. Her research in the last decade has turned to focus on the history of childhood and youth in the modern era and projects which have a strong community-facing focus through involvement in collaborative engagement work with young people and local communities. Her most recent books include Being Boys:Youth, Leisure and Identity in the Inter-War Years (Manchester University Press, 2012) and Making Youth: A History of Youth in Modern Britain (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016).


‌‌Dr Deborah Jump

Senior Lecturer in Criminology
Head of Youth Justice at MCYS

Deborah has over ten years experience of working in youth justice as both a practitioner and service manager. Deborah has implemented sporting programmes such as Splash and Positive Futures, and was the recipient of a Winston Churchill Memorial Fund grant evaluating the impact of sporting programmes on communities in the U.S.A. Deborah’s current research focuses on sport and desistance from crime, and she has recently completed an ethnography looking at the impact of boxing on young offender’s attitudes towards violent crime. She has published on qualitative research methods and national sporting policy evaluation.


‌‌Dr Rob Drummond

Senior Lecturer in Linguistics
Head of Youth Language at MCYS

Rob is a sociolinguist who works primarily within the area of language and identity, with a particular focus on the language of young people who live in urban environments. His most recent youth-oriented project, funded by The Leverhulme Trust, explores the ways in which young people in Pupil Referral Units enact identities through language and other social practices. A book about the project: Researching Urban Youth Language and Identity is due to be published in March 2018. Through his research, publications, and media involvement, Rob is committed to challenging the negative associations that so often surround urban youth language and other non-standard varieties.


‌‌Dr April Pudsey

Senior Lecturer in Ancient History
Head of History and Archaeology of Youth & Childhood at MCYS

April's primary research interests are in children’s lives, agency and cultures in classical Antiquity, particularly Graeco-Roman Egypt, and in the demography of the ancient world. She is currently working on two internationally collaborative projects relating to ancient childhood. Growing Up in an Ancient Metropolis. Children in Roman Oxyrhynchos (with Ville Vuolanto, Oslo/Tampere), is the first project of its kind, systematically examining thousands of Greek papyri from the Egyptian city to reconstruct the lives and experience of children in a variety of domestic, political, religious and community contexts. April is also co-Investigator on a major AHRC-funded project (led by Ellen Swift, Canterbury, Kent with the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL), which reconstructs everyday lives of the inhabitants of Roman and Late Roman/Early Christian Egypt through its artefacts. Her other ongoing projects and publications relate to the cultures and materiality of infant care in the past: feeding, weaning and wet-nursing practices across the Graeco-Roman world. April is developing a network of scholars working on Children’s Cultures and Agency, Past and Present, which has seen two international events through the Centre for Youth Studies.

Alex Wheatle‌‌

Lecturer in English 
Head of English at MCYS

coming soon!


Anna-Christina Jones‌

Senior Research Assistant at MCYS‌

Anna-Christina is an interdisciplinary researcher working in the area of criminology and youth justice. Anna-Christinahas a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Investigative and Forensic Psychology from the University of Liverpool. She is currently completing a PhD in Youth Justice at MMU. Anna-Christina led the Greater Manchester Youth Justice University Partnership (GMYJUP) Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project, an initiative that facilitated the bi-directional transfer of ideas and initiatives between academia and practice and led the collaborative development of effective practice within the Greater Manchester YJS. This pioneering project focuses on enhancing evidence-based, assessment-led early intervention for those receiving out of court disposals, as well utilising Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) to champion young people’s voices and explore their direct experiences and journeys towards desistance from crime.


Full team:

Dr John Bellamy

coming soon

Dr Ben Bowman

Ben is an interdisciplinary researcher with an interest in young people’s everyday lives, everyday politics and the place of young people in democratic society. In his PhD research, young participants used digital photography to talk about everyday life as a political arena: about inequalities, inclusion and exclusion, change and opportunities for change in the UK. He has contributed to policy on the Vote at 16 as expert consultant to the European Youth Forum and constituent bodies, including the British Youth Council. His contributions to public debate on young people in politics have included work for the BBC, The Times, the Times Higher Education, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post and other online outlets like The Conversation. Ben is co-convener of the Young People’s Politics Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association (PSA) and continues to engage in public debate on young people in politics in Britain and internationally.

Dr Jenny Cromwell

coming soon

Dr Blanka Grzegorczyk

coming soon

Elsie Whittington

coming soon 

Meet Our Team