Dr Laura Wright

Lecturer Childhood Studies


Laura Wright, is a Lecturer Childhood Studies, University of Edinburgh. She is also the Director of Participatory Methodologies with the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD). Laura's research and practice with children, youth, and adults over the last 15 years has focused on play and arts based participatory methodologies, children’s meaningful participation, intergenerational partnerships, children’s rights, social justice,  child protection, and mental health and wellbeing in Canada, South and Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, East and West Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.


PhD, Social Policy, School of Social and Political Science (SSPS), University of Edinburgh 

Masters of Arts, Global Leadership, Royal Roads University 

Masters of Education, Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto 

Bachelors of Arts, International Relations Honours Program, University of British Columbia 

Responsibilities & affiliations

I am a member of  the Children and Young People Thematic Hub Leadership Team and Childhood and Youth Studies Research Group, University of Edinburgh 

Co Lead of the Childhood and Youth Studies CAHSS Theme 

Child Safety Data Institute Cross-College Ethics Committee, University of Edinburgh 

Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children, Board Member  

Arts, Play, Health Community, Co-Founder and Director

COVIDUnder19, Core Member

Childhood and Youth Participatory Research Network, Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERi), Simon Fraser University, Co-Founder




Undergraduate teaching

BACP Children's Rights: Policy and Practice 

BACP Children and Childhoods 

Postgraduate teaching

Global Childhoods and Human Rights 

Froebel, Social Justice, and Early Years 

Involving Children and Young People: Research and Practice 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am open to Supervising students with shared research interests  engaging in qualitative and participatory research  in partnership with children and young people. Particular topics of interest include social justice, mental health and wellbeing, play, arts and health, child and youth activism, and children's rights. 

Current PhD students supervised

Huiling Chen: Highly interactive picturebook design: determining an appropriate level of picturebook interactivity conducive to young children’s emotional literacy.

Carolina Echegaray: Childhood and Kapwa Indigenous Philosophies: Prevention of Violence Against Children (VAC) in the Philippines

Past PhD students supervised

Gizem Silistire: Exploring young children’s daily experiences in the nursery classroom (2023)

Research summary

Play and arts-based participatory methodologies

Intergenerational partnerships and children's meaningful participation

Children's Rights 

Social Justice and Child and Youth Activism 

Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing 

Current project grants

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council & Women and Gender Equality Canada. Understanding Gender-Based Violence against diasporic LGBTQ youth. Knowledge Synthesis Grant. (2023).(Collaborator). Principal Investigator (PI). Doris Kakuru. University of Victoria.

University College London (UCL) University of Toronto (UoT) Collaborative Projects Emerging Global Talents. EC3R: Establishing Capacity, Connection and Collaboration for Early Career Researchers working at the intersection of the Arts, Humanities, and Health (January to December 2023). (Co-I). Principal Investigator (PI) Katey Warran UCL and Suze Berkhout UoT. Laura H.V. Wright, University of Edinburgh.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) United Kingdom Research Initiative (UKRI). Mobile Arts for Peace Large Grant. (2022-2024). Principal Investigator (PI). Arts-Based Intergenerational Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reflective Learning.

Challenge Investment Fund, University of Edinburgh. Children and Young People Co-Production Space. (2022-2023). (PI).

Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Grant. ‘International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership’. (2021-2028). (Co-I) and part of the Core Leadership Team. Principal Investigator (PI) Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU).

Social Science and Humanities Research Council Partnership Engage Grant. “Participatory Action Research: Peer to Peer Relationships during COVID-19.” (2022). Collaborator and Core Team Member. PI Hala Mreiwed Kings College, Western University.

UKRI Collective Fund and Economic and Social Research Council. Global Challenges Research Fund ‘Safe, Inclusive Participative Pedagogy: Improving Early Childhood Education in Fragile Contexts’. (2020-2024). Research Fellow (2020-2022) Co-I (2022-2024). PI: Kay Tisdall, University of Edinburgh.

Past project grants

UKRI Loneliness in Mental Health Grant. (May-Dec 2021). “Dance/Connect: Role of Online Dance Classes in Social and Mental Wellbeing” (Co-I).
University of Strathclyde (June 2021-Present). “COVID4PLog COVIDUnder19” (Co-Lead)

University of Edinburgh Data Education Team Computing Science Young People’s Advisory Group- supporting young people to create, share and analyse an online survey exploring young people in Scotland’s experiences of computing science in schools. Researcher.

The Care and Protection of Children (CPC) Learning Network, Columbia University (May 2020-Present) (Co-Lead)
Children as Partners in Child Protection COVID-19

Child Hub (Sept 2020-Nov 2021) Children’s Participation and Leadership E-Learning Course (Participatory Action Research Co-Design with Children and Young People), Researcher (Co-I)

United Nations Day of General Discussion (DGD) CSO Alternative Care (Jan 2021-July 2021) Researcher Core Team (Co-I)
Child Hub (Sept 2019-Feb 2021) Violence Against Children in Schools SE Europe 8 country study Researcher (Co-I) Lead Participatory Methods

UNICEF GPEVAC Children’s Clubs in Safeguarding Schools Project (July 2019-Feb 2021), Researcher (Co-I) Lead Participatory Methods
Terre Des Hommes YouCreate Youth Led Arts-Based Participatory Action Research Project (Dec 2017-Nov 2019), Researcher (Co-I)