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Dr Elliott Johnson

Senior Research Fellow

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

I am a Senior Research Fellow in Public Policy at Northumbria University and CAPE Policy Fellow with the North of Tyne Combined Authority. I serve on Northumbria's Disability Equality Steering Group and on the Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing's Ethics Review College. I am co-ordinating work within the department to publish the underpinning research produced by the Common Sense Policy Group on Beveridge-style transformative public policies.

My work focuses on inequalities and social determinants of health, particularly the impact of work and welfare and especially in relation to disabled people. This includes understanding health impact, economic feasibility, public acceptability and the development of narratives capable of persuading opponents of evidence-based policy. A core project within this has been my examination of the public health case for Basic Income.

My work has often depended on deploying innovative research and communication methods to include and amplify the voices of underrepresented groups. This has been supported by more than £1.4m in research funding.

My background as a research leader in the third sector, which involved senior leadership team membership and management of large research budgets, means that I have a fundamental commitment to achieving impact in my work. Over the past nine years, these partnerships have achieved impact in creating sector-wide standards, shaping organisational approaches and influencing national policy. In the third sector, I used my Activity Trap report – which identified a fear among a large proportion of disabled people of being more active in case they were to lose disability benefits – to create policy proposals and lobby Government with national partners to remove such disincentives.

My work has been covered by the Guardian, Independent, Times, Telegraph, Spectator, FT, BBC, Sky News, Channel 4 News, ITV News, Channel 5 News and CNBC.

Elliott Johnson

My primary research interest is the social determinants of health, and the public policy means of addressing them. Much of my work has focused on work and welfare, in particular with regard to Basic Income. Specifically, my work examines the following areas:

  • Health impact
  • Economic feasibility
  • Public acceptability
  • Narratives to ‘sell’ the policy
  • Additional needs, including those of disabled people

I also have broader expertise on inclusion, disability and inclusive physical activity.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Act Now: A vision for a better future and a new social contract, Johnson, M., Dorling, D., Driscoll, J., Hardill, I., Hobbs, C., Johnson, E., Lawson, N., Nadel, J., Nettle, D., Pickett, K., Polanski, Z., Pollock, A., Reed, H., Robson, I., Stark, G., Taylor-Robinson, D., Wilkinson, R. 1 Jul 2024
  • After nudging: the ethical challenge of post-pandemic policymaking in the UK, Degerman, D., Johnson, E., Flinders, M., Johnson, M. 29 Mar 2024, In: Humanities and Social Sciences Communications
  • Can the ‘downward spiral’ of material conditions, mental health and faith in government be stopped? Evidence from surveys in ‘red wall’ constituencies, Johnson, M., Johnson, E., Reed, H., Nettle, D. 1 Feb 2024, In: British Journal of Politics and International Relations
  • Gordon Brown wants £3 billion for the ‘austerity generation’. But the UK needs a more enduring solution, Johnson, E., Nettle, D., Johnson, M. 16 May 2024
  • How Far Can Interventions to Increase Income Improve Adolescent Mental Health? Evidence From the UK Millennium Cohort Study and Next Steps, Villadsen, A., Johnson, E., Cookson, R., Johnson, M. 2024, In: Journal of Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Prospective Health Impacts of a Universal Basic Income: Evidence From Community Engagement in South Tyneside, UK, Howard, N., Gregory, G., Johnson, E., Goodman, C., Coates, J., Pickett, K., Johnson, M. 4 Apr 2024, In: International Journal of Social Determinants of Health and Health Services
  • Rishi Sunak wants to cut the cost of ‘sicknote’ Britain. But we’ve found a strong economic case for benefits, Johnson, E., Reed, H., Johnson, M. 25 Apr 2024
  • The health case for basic income, Johnson, E., Johnson, M., Nettle, D., Reed, H., Stark, G. 5 Feb 2024
  • What’s the point of co-production when all your participants agree with you?, Johnson, M., Johnson, E., Hardill, I., Nettle, D. 11 Mar 2024
  • A Big Local Basic Income: Proposal for a locally led basic income pilot, Johnson, E., Goodman, C., Kellam, J., Johnson, M. 3 Jun 2023

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Invited talk: Universal Basic Income and health – strong support and distinctive concerns from a deprived community in NE England 2023
  • Invited talk: What are the impacts of universal basic income on mental health? A microsimulation economic modelling study 2023
  • Invited talk: Winning the Vote with Universal Basic Income: Lessons for Progressive Politicians 2022

  • Health and Social Research PhD July 26 2023
  • Politics MA November 18 2009
  • Classics BA (Hons) June 27 2008


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