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Dr Rachel Benchekroun
Dr Rachel Benchekroun profile picture
  • Research Fellow
  • IOE - Social Research Institute
  • UCL Institute of Education

I am an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Building on my PhD research – which explored how ‘Hostile Environment’ policies in the UK affect mothers, their interpersonal relationships and access to support – I am currently focusing on public engagement and policy impact. 

My research interests include migration and mobilities, motherhood, family and friendship practices, and social and spatial inequalities. Methodologically, I am interested in ethnography, in-depth interviewing and co-producing research.

I have been involved in several research projects at UCL, including Growing Up in Coastal Towns; COVID-19, environment and wellbeing in early childhood education and care; and Families and Community in the time of COVID-19. 


I have worked as a module lead and a seminar lead across several Sociology/Social Sciences UG/PG modules.

Prior to my research career I worked in community development in Paris and London.

Research Summary

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship: Mothering in a Hostile Environment: from ethnographic research to crafting pathways to impact (2022-2023)

PhD thesis: Mothers with insecure immigration status: enacting relational belonging and sharing support in the UK’s hostile environment (2021)


Independent study: Social Networks in a Pandemic (2020)


Researcher: Intergenerational perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of growing up in coastal towns (2022) (UCL Grand Challenges)

Growing up in coastal towns: exploring the impact of place on young people’s life chances (2019, 2021-22) PI: Dr Avril Keating (UCL IOE)


Research Assistant: Environment and wellbeing in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings under/after Covid-19: case studies in four countries (2020-21)

PI: Prof Claire Cameron (UCL IOE Social Research institute)


Research Assistant: FACT-COVID: Families and Community in the Time of COVID-19 (2021)

Co-PIs: Dr Katherine Twamley, Dr Charlotte Faircloth, Dr Humera Iqbal (UCL IOE Social Research institute)


Research Fellow: Safer Young Lives Research Centre, University of Bedfordshire (2019-22)


Research Assistant: Digital Sanctuaries (2021)

PI Dr Rachel Humphris (Queen Mary University of London)

Teaching Summary

2022: Temporary Lecturer in Sociology (UCL and University of Roehampton)

2021-22: Seminar Lead: Social Theory and Ethnography (UCL)

2020-21: Seminar Lead: Social Theory, Families in Society and Ethnography (UCL)

2019-20: Seminar Lead: London Lab, Introduction to Qualitative Methods, Sociology of Childhood, Ethnography (UCL)

Academic Background
2016   Education The Open University
    2001: BSc Political Science - Universite Paris 8  
    2021: Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy  
    2021: PhD Sociology - UCL IOE  
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