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Elliott Johnson

Senior Research Fellow

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

I am a Senior Research Fellow in Public Policy at Northumbria University.

My research currently focuses on basic income, in particular, understanding its health impact, economic feasibility, public acceptability and the development of narratives capable of persuading opponents. Another key strand of my work lies in examining how basic income can be formulated to take into account the additional needs of disabled people and others. I am currently a CI on an NIHR-funded project following on from work supported by the Wellcome Trust.

I lead-authored a proposal for community-led local basic income pilots in England that received widespread national and international media attention and responses from policymakers across the UK.

Having previously worked in the third sector, my research has often been interdisciplinary, cutting across public health, disability, inclusion, welfare, education and workforce, always with an emphasis on policy development and communication of findings. Throughout, I have managed significant research budgets, forged collaborative relationships and achieved impact, creating sector-wide standards, shaping organisational approaches and influencing national policy. My work has often depended on deploying innovative research and communication methods to include and amplify the voices of underrepresented groups.

An exemplar of my work in the third sector is the Activity Trap. I used this report to create policy proposals and then lobbied Government with national partners to remove disincentives to activity for those on needs-based benefits.

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

Elliott Johnson

My primary research interest is basic income, otherwise known as Universal Basic Income (UBI). 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

Outside of basic income, I also have expertise on inclusion, disability and inclusive physical activity.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A Big Local Basic Income: Proposal for a locally led basic income pilot, Johnson, E., Goodman, C., Kellam, J., Johnson, M. 3 Jun 2023
  • A Big Local Basic Income: Resident Perspectives, Johnson, E., Goodman, C., Johnson, M. 19 Jun 2023
  • Are ‘red wall’ constituencies really opposed to progressive policy? Examining the impact of materialist narratives for Universal Basic Income, Johnson, M., Johnson, E., Nettle, D. 1 Mar 2023, In: British Politics
  • A socially secure, fully funded Britain: evidence on Basic Income and wealth tax, Johnson, E., Nettle, D., Pickett, K., Johnson, M. 31 Oct 2023
  • Assessing the prospective impacts of Universal Basic Income on anxiety and depression among 14-24-year-olds, Johnson, M., Cookson, R., Villadsen, A., Mujica, F., Stark, G., Pickett, K., Johnson, E., Nettle, D. 2023
  • ‘Basic income is our generation’s NHS. Labour needs to get on board’, Johnson, M., Johnson, E., Nettle, D. 26 Jun 2023
  • Breaking the Overton Window: on the need for adversarial co-production, Johnson, E., Hardill, I., Johnson, M., Nettle, D. 23 Oct 2023, In: Evidence and Policy
  • Building on foundations of evidence and intuition: a reply to commentaries on ‘Fairness, generosity and conditionality in the welfare system: the case of UK disability benefits’ by Elliot Johnson and Daniel Nettle, Johnson, E., Nettle, D. 1 Sep 2023, In: Global Discourse
  • 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. 10 Jan 2023, In: British Journal of Politics and International Relations
  • Can Universal Basic Income work for disabled people? An examination of existing UK organisational and academic positions, Johnson, E., Reed, H., Johnson, M. 14 Jul 2023, In: Disability & Society

  • 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 June 27 2023
  • Politics MA November 18 2009
  • Classics BA (Hons) June 27 2008

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