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Rebecca joined the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University as a Lecturer in Criminology in September 2022. Rebecca teaches and supervises on undergraduate Criminology programmes. Prior to joining ENU, she worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Stirling, based in the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research (within Social Sciences). In that role, she was primarily involved in leading and supporting research projects relating to problem substance use, in both Primary Investigator and Co-Investigator capacities. Funders for these projects included the National Institute for Health Research, and the Scottish Government/Drug Deaths Taskforce. Before that, she worked as a social researcher in the Scottish Government in the crime research team.

While Rebecca’s research interests are varied, inequality and marginalisation and the manifestations and experiences of these, are common themes. She is particularly interested in the lived experience of the criminal justice system (especially prison), problem substance use and homelessness. Methodologically, she is particularly interested in qualitative research, creative methods, ethnographic approaches and peer research.

Rebecca has a PhD in Criminology from the University of Glasgow. She also holds an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and LLB (Hons) (First Class), both from the University of Edinburgh.

Recent publications

Foster, R., Carver, C., Wallace, J., Dunedin, A., Burridge, S., Foley, P., Pauly, B., and Parkes, T (2021). “PPI? That sounds like Payment Protection Insurance”: Reflections and learning from a substance use and homelessness study Experts by Experience group.” BMC Research Involvement and Engagement. 7(82). https://researchinvolvement.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40900-021-00324-8

Mercer, F. Miler, J.A., Pauly, B., Carver, H., Hnizdilova, K., Foster, R. and Parkes, T. (2021). “Peer Support and Overdose Prevention Responses: A Systematic ‘State-of-the-Art’ review.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18 (22), 12073. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/22/12073

Barkas, B., Deacon, K., Foster, R., Jardine, C., Primrose K., Troy, V. (2021). “Getting it right for families affected by imprisonment: Lessons from ten years of research, Briefing Paper.” Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research. https://www.sccjr.ac.uk/publications/getting-it-right-for-families-affected-by-imprisonment/



Edinburgh Napier University

Research Themes

Violence, Drugs and Alcohol

June 2021

Getting it right for families affected by imprisonment

Getting it right for families affected by imprisonment: Lessons from ten years of research This briefing paper draws on five […]

‘Doing the wait’: an exploration into the waiting experiences of prisoners’ families

Waiting is a universal experience and a ‘taken for granted’ form of time. However, it is given a social specificity […]


Knife Crime Interventions: ‘What Works?’

In recent years, there has been growing concern over knife carrying and associated knife crime, in Scotland and elsewhere. Despite […]

No Projects Available

13th February 2024

SCCJR Funding Announcement

29th October 2019

Updated Learning Resource for Schools

28th September 2015

Knife crime interventions: What Works?

Imprisoned mothers: experiences of motherhood between detention facilities and children’s schools

26th June 2024


Hybrid: Edinburgh Napier & Microsoft Teams