In partnership with the Oak Foundation, I-SPHERE offers a series of internships for early career researchers.

The internship is a unique opportunity to undertake an independent research project with the support of the I-SPHERE team. The current focus of our internship programme is on research that tackles racial inequalities in housing and homelessness.

Nifemi Adesina (2024 Intern)

Nifemi is a graduate of Newcastle University with a degree in International Law and Global Challenges. She previously worked with an organization that seeks to empower and integrate the refugee and asylum-seeking community in the North East of England through skills and language acquisition, sports and creative arts. She also has experience working in legal aid, assisting in civil law and social welfare matters. Her previous work prioritizes low-income earners with employment, welfare benefit and housing matters. Nifemi enjoys impact-driven projects and has a passion for human rights-centered research and public policy.

Nifemi’s research project will look at interaction between homelessness and complex needs, like mental health or substance misuse, viewed through a race and ethnicity lens.

Christiana Ajai-Thomas (2023 Intern)

Christiana joined I-SPHERE as our Oak intern in January 2023 and is currently researching the housing and homelessness experiences of young black people in London with a focus on placelessness and the housing crisis. Christiana is a masters graduate from London School of Economics. Following on from her internship, Christiana is undertaking a PhD at LSE.

Hear about Christiana’s findings at our seminar here

Ionut Cioarta (2022 Intern)

Dr Ionut Cioarta has a PhD in Social Work and Social Policy from the University of Strathclyde, and BA and MA degrees in Social Work from the University of Bucharest. Ionut is a Roma originally from Romania, and lives in Glasgow. His research focused on Roma Homelessness in the UK, exploring in depth experiences of Roma people in two case study areas: Luton and Glasgow.  Following on from the research internship, Ionut took up an academic tutoring position in Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow.

Read Ionut’s research report here

Amy Bristow (2021 Intern)

Amy Bristow completed her internship in August 2021 Amy’s research project looked into how planning policy could be altered or improved in order to reduce racial inequalities related to housing in England. Amy graduated with a degree in German from the University of Edinburgh in 2017 and worked as a freelance translator before returning to Scotland in 2019 to complete a master’s degree in City Planning at the University of Glasgow. On leaving I-SPHERE Amy took a role with the Improvement Service working on strengthening planning policy and practice with authorities across Scotland.

Read Amy’s research report  here

Charlotte McPherson (2020 Intern)

Charlotte’s internship research focused on Young people’s experiences of, and perspectives on, food poverty and food banks in Edinburgh and London and the impact of COVID-19.
Dr Charlotte McPherson has a degree and masters in Social Policy and Research and her PHD at Stirling University on Working-class young people’s experiences of, and perspectives on, social justice during their youth transitions in contemporary urban Scotland. She left I-SPHERE to work as a Research Associate at King’s College London on an ESRC project exploring the experiences of young people who do not go too university in England.

Read Charlotte’s research report here

Chris Devany (2019 Intern)

Chris Devany completed an Oak internship with I-SPHERE between April and October 2019. His research explored the trends and connectivity in the use of psychoactive drugs and homelessness in Sheffield and Edinburgh. See a summary of findings and the full report here.
Chris moved on to a lecturer role in Sociology at Sheffield Hallam University teaching youth studies, drug use and qualitative methods.

Read Chris’s research report here

Megan Park (2018 Intern)

Megan Park has a background in law and previously worked in a legal aid practice assisting clients faced with eviction, homelessness or poor-quality housing. She completed a Masters in Social Policy at the London School of Economics, focusing on social security and inequalities, before joining I-SPHERE as our Oak intern in November 2018. Megan’s research explored the use of Discretionary Housing Payments by Local Authorities across England. Megan was asked to present her findings to the Department of Work and Pensions.

Read Megan’s research report here

Lynne McMordie (2017 Intern)

Lynne McMordie is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and worked in the homeless sector for more than 15 years managing a range of homelessness services, including: temporary accommodation, peripatetic care and support, floating support, crisis accommodation, drop-in centre and street outreach services. Lynne’s internship research project captured the experiences of families and individuals with repeated experience of homelessness living in temporary accommodation and placed these experiences in the context of the homeless sector in Northern Ireland.
Lynne’s internship research was published in 2018. Her research has directly informed the development of a Chronic Homelessness strategy for Northern Ireland. After studying for her PHD, Lynne is now a Research Associate with I-SPHERE.

Read Lynne’s research report here