Dr Adriana Sandu

Senior Research Fellow

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Education and Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Social Work and Social Policy

Research Supervision:Yes

Dr Adriana's main research interests relate to gender, migration, transnational living, identity and belonging using qualitative methodology with a focus on visual ethnography.



For the past ten years Dr Adriana's research has been focused on issues of inequality, child poverty, gender and ethnicity, diversity, migration, citizenship and identity. Her methodological interests and experience include mixed methods and qualitative inquiry, particularly ethnographic approaches, such as biographies and visual narratives.

As a Senior Lecturer in the Education and Social Care Department at Anglia Ruskin University, Adriana is involved in teaching, PhD, Masters and undergraduate supervision as well as research focused on social justice, inequality and diversity, addressing issues of representation, participation and voice of excluded and vulnerable groups.

Research interests

  • Gender, migration, refugees
  • Health inequalities, public policy
  • Visual ethnography, qualitative methodology

Areas of research supervision

Adriana would be pleased to consider supervising doctoral students with the following research interests/topics:

  • Migration, transnationalism, refugees 
  • Gender, migration and ethnicity, participation and voice
  • Home, identity and belonging 
  • Health inequalities, public policy
  • Visual narratives, ethnography

Recent and current doctoral supervision as second supervisor:

  • Volunteering with the undeserving and the Big Society (near completion)
  • Women with complex needs and their pathways into and out of prostitution
  • Child protection inter-agency collaboration
  • Women’s movement in India (Indosow Student)


  • BA (Hons) Social Policy: Comparing Welfare Systems, Living in Contemporary Society, Sexuality, Family and Childhood; Health and Social and Care; Social Policy Internship
  • MSc International Social Welfare and Social Policy: Globalisation, Social Policy and Social Work


  • PhD Public Administration, Syracuse University, New York, 2006
  • Certificate in Women’s studies 2005
  • MA in Public Administration, Syracuse University, New York, 1999
  • BA in Social Work, Bucharest University, 1994

Memberships, editorial boards

  • International Sociological Association (2005).
  • RC 19 Research Council on Poverty and Social Exclusion (2005).
  • Social Policy Association (2007).

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Fordham University – Gender Studies research group
  • CLEAR – Children’s Legal Education, Adapted Resources ( JUST/2012/FRAC/AG/2769)- consultancy.

Selected recent publications

Sandu, A. 'The use of visual methodologies in social work and social policy research ' (in preparation).

Sandu, A., 2014. Transnational Home-Making Practices: Identity, Belonging and Informal Learning. International Journal of European Studies, 21(4), Dec 2014 (access online.)

Sandu, A., 2013. Participation, Representation and Voice in the Fight against Gender Violence: The Case of the Women's Movement in Spain. Journal of International Women's Studies, 14(1), 24-39. (access online.)

Nyhagen Predelli, L., Halsaa, B., with Thun, C. and Sandu, A., 2012. Strategic Sisterhood: A Comparative Study of Contemporary European women's movements. Palgrave.

Sandu, A., 2010. Rules from above, Views from below: Accessing and Using child health services in post-communist rural Romania, in Poverty, Urbanity and Social Policy, Nova Science Publishers Inc.

Hartfree, Y., Whitfield, G., Waring, A., Sandu, A. and Hill, K., 2010. Tenants' and advisers' early experiences of the Local Housing Allowance national rollout. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Research Report No. 688. Norwich: HMSO.

Recent presentations and conferences

Sandu, A. presented: Transnational Home-Making Practices: Identity, Belonging and Informal Learning at The British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE) Conference on Education, Mobility and Migration; Churchill College, 8-10 September 2012.

Sandu, A. presented: Transnational Home Making Practices, Integration, Citizenship and Community Cohesion Reconsidered at the 9th Annual Espanet Conference, Valencia, Spain, Sept 8-10 2011.