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The Research Department works with organisations and universities to collate and review existing data, conducting and commissioning peer reviewed research for Mermaids and the wider sector, which aims to improve the lives of young gender-diverse people and their families.

Hi, I’m Abby, and I’m a Researcher for Mermaids. I have a PhD from the University of Brighton, which asked trans and non-binary people about their lived experiences of participating in sport and exercise. Working alongside colleagues at Mermaids to create research and collaborating with external organisations and universities means our research is both driven by the young people and families we help, and makes a positive impact on improving lives.”

Dr Abby Barras (She/Her)

The Research Department works to conduct relevant research which aims to improve and support the lives of young gender diverse people and their families. This is across a number of sectors and fields, including health, employment, sport and education.

The Research Department is directly involved in creating and collaborating on a number of projects with the support of academics from a number of UK Universities.

You can read more about these below.

Current research projects

  • ‘Sports Research’ – identifying the barriers facing young gender-diverse people in sport in the UK (with Loughborough University)
  • ‘Clinical Care Research’ – examining the experiences of trans young people and their families when accessing clinical care in the UK (with Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • ‘Parental Support Research’ – the parental support experiences of gender-diverse young people (with Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham)
  • ‘Identifying the operation needs and experiences of our service user’ – a longitudinal study’ (with the University of Brighton and the Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender)
  • ‘Primary Care (GP) Research – exploring the primary care experiences of gender-diverse young people and their families (with De Montford University)

Completed Research Projects

2020 ‘Conversion Therapy’ & Gender Identity Survey

This report presents ground-breaking data on the effects of Gender Identity Conversion Therapy (GICT) in the UK. Its publication comes at critical period for the LGBT+ community as the current Government is designing a way to “ end conversion therapy against LGBT+ people”, as it set out in its 2018 LGBT Action Plan. In March 2021, the Minister for Women and Equalities stated publicly that the government will “shortly be bringing forward plans to ban conversion therapy”.

Read research

Exciting PhD opportunity

Mermaids is excited to announce our collaboration with the University of Brighton (Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender) on a fully-funded PhD scholarship funded through the Techne DTP.

Our Researcher, Dr Abby Barras will be an external supervisor on this project, alongside Dr Olu Jenzen and Dr Lara Perry.

“Resourcing Gypsy, Romany, Traveller (GRT) trans young people in the UK: An exploration of gender diversity and GRT intersectionality using the arts, heritage and culture as a vehicle for advocacy and empowerment.”

Application deadline: 31 January 2022 (successful student will start October 2022).

Apply now

Wanted! Your views on sport!

Are you aged 11 – 16? Do you play sport, used to play sport, or want to play sport?

We would love to hear your views on sport, so that we can work to make it more inclusive.

If you would like to take part, please get in touch!

Email Abby
Get in touch

If you have a research enquiry or wish to submit a research request, please get in touch.

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