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Thesis title: Financial Insecurity in the UK: Debt, Decision Making and Financial Resillience Amongst Low Income Families

The PhD aims to develop new understandings of how those on low incomes manage debt and financial decision making across the life course. The study responds to increasing levels of poverty in the UK and the limited provisions those from low income backgrounds experience in their everyday lives. This PhD is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council through the North West Doctoral Training Centre.

 Close Up Photography of Gold-colored CoinsDoor decision


Graham joined the University of Manchester in September 2018 as a PhD student in Social Statistics funded by an ESRC NWDTC Studentship. He holds a Master of Science in Applied Quantitative Methods from Manchester Metropolitan University, with funding awarded by the MMU Q-Step Centre in 2016. During his master's, he was involved in multidisciplinary social science research and training, web communications support for the department and faculty, and applied research within Manchester. As part of a small research team, he assisted Manchester Action on Street Health (MASH) in assessing the support needs of hard-to-reach online workers. This research aimed to inform the provision of a netreach service to be run by MASH, to meet the highlighted needs around safety, wellbeing and advice. His master’s dissertation was titled Social Capital and Civic Action, which involved using multivariate statistical modelling to understand the relationship between structural and attitudinal factors of social networks and trust and people’s involvement in civic actions. Using a government dataset, the study built on an existing body of research with proposed recommendations for policy.


Prizes and awards

2018 ESRC CASE NWDTC +3 Studentship - University of Manchester

2016 Q-Step MSc Studentship Bursary - Manchester Metropolitan University

Research interests

Mixed methods | Inequality | Families | Social capital | Civic engagement 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society 

Member of Political Studies Association 

Member of the Radical Statistics Group


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Science, Applied Quantitative Methods, Manchester Metropolitan University

Certificate in Social Sciences, University of Cambridge

Bachelor of Arts, Film and Digital Media, Liverpool John Moores University

Areas of expertise

  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • HA Statistics
  • HM Sociology
  • G Geography (General)

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Policy@Manchester
  • Global inequalities


  • Families
  • Decision making
  • Financial Crisis
  • Resilience
  • Debt
  • Social Capital
  • Support needs


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