Dr Sally Paul


Social Work and Social Policy

Personal statement

I have been a lecturer in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Strathclyde since December 2014.  Before coming to the university, I worked for 10 years as a professional social worker in the statutory and voluntary sectors, both in Scotland and the USA.  These experiences underpin my current teaching and research and promoting and developing social work practice is a key priority.

I teach on both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in social work and am on the School’s Ethics Committee.  I am actively engaged in a number of research projects and knowledge exchange activities with specific interests in: death, dying and bereavement; loss; public health approaches to palliative care (including compassionate communities); children and young people; participatory research methods; and practice development.  Much of my work involves working with a variety of disciplines and I welcome opportunities to work collaboratively. I am a research consultant to the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ) and the Centre for Health Policy, both based at the University of Strathclyde, and a member of the Primary Palliative Care Research Group at the University of Edinburgh. I am also a stakeholder group member in the Good Life Good Death Good Grief Alliance and the Scottish Representative for the Association of Palliative Care Social Workers. 


Has expertise in:

    • Death, dying and bereavement
    • Loss
    • Public health approaches to palliative care (including compassionate communities) 
    • Participatory research methods
    • Research with children and young people
    • Practice and service development

Prizes and awards

HASS Early Career Impact Award

more prizes and awards


'It's knowing the right things to say and do' : challenges and opportunities for trauma‐informed practice in the prison context
Vaswani Nina, Paul Sally
The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice Vol 58, pp. 513-534 (2019)
When People Die : Stories from Young People
Gunn Abbie, Bradley Hannah, Taylor Kian, Maloy Amy, Gunn Emily, Kerr Steven, Moore Emma, Hipson Dillon, Paul Sally, Rasmussen Susan, Vaswani Nina, Nabizadeh Golnar, Murray Chris, Jindal-Snape Divya, Vaughan Phillip, Brown Mark, Burns Monica, Horner Rebecca, Mac Garry, Millar Norrie, Quinn Katie, Semple Lynsey, O'Connor Janet
Is death taboo for children? Developing death ambivalence as a theoretical framework to understand children's relationship with death, dying and bereavement
Paul Sally
Children and Society Vol 33, pp. 556-571 (2019)
Trauma, Bereavement and Loss : Key Learning and Messages from Research and Practice
Vaswani Nina, Paul Sally, Gillon Fern, Bennett Fiona, Hogg Lisa, Hogg Kirsten, Lawrence Nicki
Here and Now : An Evaluation of Barnardo's Trauma, Bereavement and Loss Service in Schools
Gillon Fern, Vaswani Nina, Paul Sally
Addressing the bereavement needs of children in school : an evaluation of bereavement training for school communities
McManus Elaine, Paul Sally
Improving Schools Vol 22, pp. 72-85 (2019)

more publications


My teaching spans three broad fields: social work, bereavement and loss and research skills. I teach across both of the qualifying social work programmes: the BA(Hons) in Social Work and the Masters of Social Work.  I also contribute teaching on bereavement and loss in other settings, academic and practice, to a variety of disciplines. 

Research interests

My research mainly focuses on bereavement, loss and end-of-life care with a particular emphasis on developing the resilience of communities to better cope with, and support, related experiences.  I have a particular interest in the experiences of children and young people and practice development.  I have experience of action research and am committed to participatory research methods that have impact across practice and policy as well as within academia.

I welcome proposals from Undergraduate, Masters or potential PhD students with related research interests. 

Professional activities

The Role of Social Work in End of Life Planning
Death, dying and bereavement: a practical approach to education and support in schools
The role of social work in developing community capacity around end-of-life and bereavement experiences: a case for wider involvement
A Bereavement Programme for Schools
Bereavement and Children: What Schools want from their local Hospice
Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Palliative Care: Death Education in Primary Schools
Invited speaker

more professional activities


Examining the Impact of Suicide on Adolescent Survivors (Student - Laura del Carpio)
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator) Paul, Sally (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2020
Trauma, Bereavement and Loss Services at HMP Polmont YOI: My Life With Others
Vaswani, Nina (Principal Investigator) Paul, Sally (Co-investigator)
31-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2016

more projects


Social Work and Social Policy
Lord Hope Building

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