Dr Oli Williams

Research Associate

Dr Oli WilliamsDepartment of Health Sciences
University of Leicester
George Davies Centre
University Road

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3720
Email: osw3@leicester.ac.uk




After completing undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Loughborough University, in 2010 Oli undertook a PhD in the University of Leicester’s Department of Sociology. His doctoral research was an ethnography of health promotion (particularly the promotion of physical activity) in a deprived neighbourhood. He was subsequently awarded an NIHR CLAHRC West Dan Hill Fellowship in Health Equity, hosted by the University of Bath between 2016-2017 before returning to the University of Leicester in 2017, when he joined the SAPPHIRE Group in the Department of Health Sciences.

His research more generally focuses on health inequalities. He engages with the disparity in opportunity and possibility presented to people throughout British society. He is particularly interested in the experiences of those living in deprived areas and is critical of the current conceptualisation of a ‘healthy lifestyle’ and its promotion as a set of individual choices.

Oli is committed to using research for social change that promotes equitable outcomes. As part of this endeavour, he co-founded the art collective, Act With Love (AWL). AWL works collaboratively to produce work that challenges inequality and injustice. By harnessing the power of good design, they are able to communicate messages in meaningful ways to audiences within and beyond academia. They have received funding from the British Sociological Association (BSA), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Wellcome Trust for creative projects, public engagement events and exhibitions. The latest AWL project was a collaboration with illustrator Jade Sarson (winner of Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel competition with For the Love of God, Marie!) to visualise Oli’s research on the social determinants of obesity and lived experience of weight-based stigma. They created a comic that tells the story of how stigma associated with body weight and size gets under the skin and is felt in the flesh. To accompany the comic, AWL created a series of limited edition, hand-numbered and stamped screen prints which were exhibited at Attenborough Arts Centre as part of the DeStress Fest.

Useful Links

Twitter: @OliWilliamsPhD

Video about the AWL project, Equity is the Answer

Doctoral Inaugural Lecture

PhD Thesis

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