I am an established social researcher with over 18 years of experience in applied qualitative research. I first came to York in 1998 as an undergraduate studying Linguistics and Educational Studies. Since then have worked in a number of varied research roles around the University.
Prior to my current posts, I spent 12 years as a Research Fellow in the Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU). My research over this time focused on ill health, disability and employment in the context of UK social security policy. I contributed to over 20 commissioned research projects for funders including the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department of Health, the Department for Education, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and organisations within the private and voluntary sectors.
I have a particular interest in mental health as it relates to employment, job retention and return to work. In 2015 I was awarded a PhD by Publication, drawing on my empirical research on the complexities of managing common mental health problems in the workplace.
I am skilled in qualitative research methods and have contributed to advances in methodological knowledge through the comparative study of telephone and face to face research interviews.
I am currently tutoring participants completing their Practice Research masters module on the Think Ahead programme. Alongside this, I am engaged in two multidisciplinary research projects: Enhancing the quality of psychological interventions delivered by telephone (EQUITy), based in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science and Mental Health in Small Businesses, based in the York Management School.
EQUITy is a five-year programme of research funded by NIHR, which aims to improve the way that psychological interventions are delivered over the telephone. We are using the methodology of conversation analysis to explore the interaction between patients and practitioners in telephone-mediated therapy sessions, within the UK Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Service.
Mental Health in Small Businesses is backed by the University Priming Fund and is exploring the first-hand experiences of small and micro-business managers who have supported a member of staff through a period of mental ill health. This ground-breaking project is the first UK study to look in depth at the impact of employee mental health problems in small businesses.
I am keen to collaborate on new projects exploring mental health and employment interactions, and social understandings of mental distress.
Irvine, A., Drew, P., Bower, P., Brooks, H., Gellatly, J., Armitage, C.J., Barkham, M., McMillan, D. and Bee, P. (2020) Are there interactional differences between telephone and face-to-face psychological therapy? A systematic review of comparative studies. Journal of Affective Disorders, 265C, 120-131.
Irvine, A. (2018) Reflection/Commentary on a Past Article: “Duration, Dominance, and Depth in Telephone and Face-to-Face Interviews: A Comparative Exploration”, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17, 1-2.
Irvine, A. (2016) Social, Economic and Health Impacts of WaveLength's Work with Loneliness and Isolation. York: Social Policy Research Unit.
Irvine, A., Allen, L. & Webber, M.P. (2016) Evaluation of the Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Street Triage Service. Department for Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, York.
Toerien, M., Sainsbury, R., Drew, P. and Irvine, A. (2015) Understanding Interactions between Social Security Claimants and Frontline Employment Advisers – Public and Private Provision in the UK, Social Work & Society, 13, 1.
Member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Peer Review College