Laura Airey


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I am a qualitative social science researcher. I hold a PhD in the Geography of Health Inequalities and an MA (Hons) in Geography and Social Policy, both from the University of Edinburgh. My interdisciplinary research background spans the fields of social geography, social policy, the sociology of health and illness, and lifecourse research.

Prior to joining the Business School I spent several years as a researcher at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh, where I worked on a wide range of research projects and impact evaluations. 

I joined the Business School in October 2016 as a post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Organisation Studies Group. I work with Professor Wendy Loretto and together we have undertaken several research projects focused on ageing and employment.








Research Interests

My current research examines the implications, for both employers and older workers, of Extended Working Life policies in the UK. The research is underpinned by a lifecourse perspective, and I am particularly interested in exploring ways in which structural inequalities, gendered social roles and health status interact over time to influence men and women’s experiences of work after the age of fifty. 

Key research interests include:

  • Extending working lives/older people and employment
  • grandparenting roles and relationships
  • Lay experiences of combining paid employment and unpaid caring roles across the lifecourse

  • the health-relevance of structural inequalities and gendered social roles

  • lay accounts of health, illness and well-being

  • social and spatial inequalities in health

My future research priorities include investigation of women’s experiences of menopause in the workplace, and further study of gendered inequalities in later life employment.

Current Research Interests


Current and recently completed research projects include:


  • Dynamics of Accumulated Inequalities for Seniors in Employment (DAISIE), a comparative study of extended working lives in five European countries (the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden and Czech Republic) (Norface/ESRC).

  • Older People and Employment, a study of the opportunities and challenges associated with Scotland’s ageing workforce, commissioned by Scottish Government in 2017 (Scottish Government).

  • Grandparenting and Employment, a study of interactions between grandparents’ employment trajectories and unpaid childcare provision in the UK (University of Edinburgh/University of Brighton).

  • Uncertain Futures; negotiating extended working lives, a study based on five case-study organisations in the UK (ESRC/MRC).

  • Negotiating civilian and military lives: Reserves, family and work’ (ESRC/MoD)




Education/Academic qualification

Geography of Health Inequalities, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Geography and Social Policy, Master of Arts


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