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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Paula Holland supervises 16 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Paula Holland

Senior Lecturer

Faculty Of Health And Medicine



Tel: +44 1524 594762

Research overview

My research focusses on: the relationship between work, disability and health; barriers to disabled people’s employment; and interventions to support disabled workers’ employment, including workplace adjustments. Disabled people have lower employment rates than non-disabled people, and are also more likely to be employed in insecure, lower-skilled and low-paid work. These employment inequities have severe consequences for their financial independence, health and wellbeing, and provide a mechanism for producing and exacerbating social inequalities in health.

I am a member of the Versus Arthritis/MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work  which aims to find cost-effective ways to reduce work disability among individuals with musculoskeletal disorders.

Current and recent research includes:

  • Mixed methods research funded by the City Bridge Trust and the Nuffield Foundation on designing remote and hybrid working arrangements so that they are inclusive of disabled workers’ needs and preferences;
  • Qualitative research funded by the Versus Arthritis/MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work on the challenges disabled entrepreneurs face when establishing their businesses
  • A trial of job retention vocational rehabilitation for employed people with inflammatory arthritis (the WORKWELL trial);
  • Qualitative research and evidence synthesis on the role of workplace adjustments and organisational policies in facilitating work retention for people with musculoskeletal disorders.

PhD supervision

◦Gender and social inequalities in health;
◦Chronic illnesses (including musculoskeletal disorders) and their impact on employment, income and quality of life;
◦Impact of work on health; impact of health on work;
◦Long-term sickness absence and its management in the workplace;
◦Workplace adjustments for people with chronic illness/long-term conditions;
◦Lifecourse research.

External Roles

Editorial Board member of the Disabilities journal. 

Board member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, chaired by Lisa Cameron MP. Secretariat for this APPG is provided by Universal Inclusion, which campaigns for the interests of disabled entrepreneurs and for inclusive economic growth.

Current Teaching

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). 

I am module convenor for DHR403 Principles of Research Designa core year 2 module on the Division of Health Research’s Blended Learning PhD programmes .

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