Professor Neil Quinn

Social Work and Social Policy

Personal statement

Neil Quinn is a Reader in Social Work and Co-Director of the University's Centre for Health Policy. He is an international leader in social work and public health has been invited to be a Visiting Professor at New York and Yale Universities.

He has a particular expertise in health inequalities, human rights and citizenship and has a specific commitment to working with vulnerable groups, including people with mental health problems, asylum seekers and refugees and people experiencing homelessness.

Neil has led a number of important research and knowledge exchange programmes. He is Principal Investigator of the Horizon 2020 Citizenship, Recovery and Inclusive Society Partership, an ambitious 4-year international programme on mental health and social exclusion. He is also Principal Investigator on a national research and knowledge exchange programme on the right to health and participation. He is lead academic on a long-term programme with Barnardo's on young people's mental health. He has also recently secured two awards from the Chief Scientists Office on Covid-19: a programme on Covid-19 and mental health disparities and another on the psychosocial impact of Coronavirus social distancing on relatives of care home residents. 

He is engaged in a number of key national policy roles, including the Scottish Government's Covid-19 Mental Health Advisory Group, lead academic on Public Health Scotland's Covid-19 Inclusion Health Group and the Scottish National Action Plan (SNAP) human rights group on health and social care. He has also been engaged in a range of high-profile international work as an advisor to the World Health Organisation on mental health rights, co-author of Public Mental Health: Global Perspectives and the UNCRC Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children Handbook. He leads collaborations with Yale on health citizenship and New York University on social work and public health.  

He is committed to working in partnership with service users and communities and has 25 years’ experience in social work, community development and public health at a local, national and international level. He has led a major community development and health programme in one of Europe’s areas of highest deprivation, chaired the national Sanctuary programme working with asylum seekers and refugees and is on the steering group of People’s Health Movement Scotland. He is also a co-founder of the Declaration health and human rights arts festival.


Has expertise in:

    Neil's expertise lies in connecting policy, practice and research across different sectors. He has been an advisor on a range of health policy issues and is commited to tranlating this into making a difference to the lives of individuals and communities. He has strong capabilities in leadership and has co-developed the new Centre for Health Policy at the University of Strathclyde and has led a number of important initiatives, including a health policy collaboration with New York University.


Citizens defining citizenship : a model grounded in lived experience and its implications for research, policy and practice
MacIntyre Gillian, Cogan Nicola, Stewart Ailsa, Quinn Neil, O'Connell Maria, Rowe Michael
Health and Social Care in the Community (2021)
COVID, communication and care homes : a staffs' perspective of supporting the emotional needs of families
Hockley Jo, Hafford-Letchfield Trish, Noone Sarah, Mason Bruce, Jamieson Lynn, Iversholt Rikke, Musslebrook Kerry, Palattiyil George, Sidvha Dina, Quinn Neil, Jain Sumeet, McKie Linda, Tolson Debbie
Journal of Long-Term Care, pp. 167-176 (2021)
Mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic : the affective, behavioural and cognitive responses across the Scottish population
Cameron Julie, Hall Talulah, Hughes Kate, Knifton Lee, Lenhart Otto, Millar Robyn, Nixon Ioanna, Quinn Neil, Solomon Susan, Tse Dwight
Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary Vol 45 (2021)
Understanding and Reducing the Psychosocial Impact of Coronavirus Social Distancing and Behavioural Changes on Families of Care Home Residents in Scotland
Palattiyil George, Jamieson Lynn, McKie Linda, Jain Sumeet, Hockley Jo, Sidvha Dina, Tolson Debbie, Hafford-Letchfield Trish, Quinn Neil, Iversholt Rikke, Musselbrook Kerry, Mason Bruce, Swift Sarah
"The biggest barrier is to inclusion itself" : the experience of citizenship for adults with mental health problems
Cogan Nicola Ann, MacIntyre Gillian, Stewart Ailsa, Tofts Abigail, Quinn Neil, Johnston Gordon, Hamill Linda, Robinson John, Igoe Michael, Easton Duncan, McFadden Anne Marie, Rowe Michael
Journal of Mental Health (2020)
Collective citizenship : from citizenship and mental health to citizenship and solidarity
Quinn Neil, Bromage Billy, Rowe Michael
Social Policy and Administration (2019)

More publications


Neil's primary teaching interests are in:

  • Global social work and migration
  • Community work and social movements
  • Health policy, especially health inequalities and mental health

Research interests

Neil's primary research interests are in social work, health and human rights, primarily in te area of migration and mental health. He has a strong commitment to community-based participatory research with citizens and communities. He is leading a major research programme on the 'right to health' with marginalised groups funded by NHS Health Scotland and linked to Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights. He is also collaborating with Yale on the development of a health citizenship tool for Scotland.

Professional activities

, Scottish Mental Health research Network, Annual Scientific Meeting
Citizenship Theory and Practice
Citizenship, Recovery and Inclusive Society Partnership International Conference
. International Recovery and Citizenship Council International Conference
Faculty of Public Health Conference
1st World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Health

More professional activities


Strathclyde COVID-19 Research Portfolio: Novel testing, digital health support and third sector collaboration for impact on social care
Bedford, Tim (Principal Investigator) Corrigan, Damion (Co-investigator) Dunlop, Mark (Co-investigator) Egan, Kieren (Co-investigator) Fleming, Leanne (Co-investigator) Flowers, Paul (Co-investigator) Grealy, Madeleine (Co-investigator) Hoskisson, Paul (Co-investigator) Hunter, Iain (Co-investigator) Janssen, Xanne (Co-investigator) Kirk, Alison (Co-investigator) Knifton, Lee (Co-investigator) Lenhart, Otto (Co-investigator) Maguire, Roma (Co-investigator) Morton, Alec (Co-investigator) Quinn, Neil (Co-investigator) Scott, Fraser (Co-investigator) Suckling, Colin (Co-investigator) Ward, Andrew (Co-investigator) Williams, Lynn (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 16-Jan-2021
Understanding and reducing the psychosocial impact of Coronavirus social distancing and behavioural changes on families of care home residents in Scotland
Quinn, Neil (Principal Investigator) Hafford-Letchfield, Trish (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2020
International Strategic Partnership joint PhD cluster - City University of New York and NHS
Quinn, Neil (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2022
Putting it into action together extension
Quinn, Neil (Principal Investigator) Webster, Elaine (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2022
Putting it into action together ? a proposal for infrastructure support for a lived experience human rights collective
Quinn, Neil (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2020
Child and family health: prevention and inequalities
Quinn, Neil (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2020

More projects


Social Work and Social Policy
Lord Hope Building

Location Map

View University of Strathclyde in a larger map