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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Danilo Di Emidio, BA TEFL/CELTA PGCE MSc PhD


Postdoctoral Research Associate in Civic Engagement Research and Practice

Centre: Centre for Public Health & Policy



An anthropologist by trade (BA Hons), I was a secondary school teacher for 21 years until January 2023, mainly in London schools, teaching across the Humanities, as well as managing student voice for 7 years. Following the UBEL studentship award (UKRI), in July 2023 I completed my PhD at the University of East London (UBEL’s Psychology/Sociology pathway). I explored the influence of compulsory education on adolescents’ mental health.

I am particularly interested in the structural determinants of mental health, and the role played by subject/tivity formation, forms of resistance and subversion as possible coping mechanisms for mental ill-health. Participatory research with young people is another key area of interest as my PhD merged ethnographic studies with PAR (Participatory Action Research) approaches, including students, parents, teachers, and various school leaders.

I am currently involved in a post-doctoral project till August 2024, mapping practices of participation across the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, to co-produce a model for health-focused civic work that addresses health inequalities in east London, in collaboration with stakeholders and academics/professional services staff. For further details, please see: Mapping Practices of Participation - Wolfson Institute of Population Health.


Research Interests:

  • Participatory research
  • Education
  • Adolescent mental health


Di Emidio, D. (2021c). Response to the Human Rights (Joint Committee) call for evidence on the Mental Health Act reform 2019/23 -

Di Emidio, D. (2022). Conducting Participatory Action Research in a Primary School: The Key Role Played by (Unexpected) Social Actors in the Successful Completion of a School-Based Research. In book Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research, Vol. 1. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-97212-7 - Chapter Title: Knowledge Transfer: A Snapshot on Translation Processes from Research to Practices.

Di Emidio, D. (2021a). Policy ‘Meandering’: The Influence of Mental Health and Well-being in Educational Policies. Crossing Conceptual Boundaries, 11(1), 18- 33.

Di Emidio, D. (2021b). Thinking through Adolescent Subjectivity and Agency and their Role in Supporting Mental Health: A Contribution to the New UK's Mental Health Act. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of the Journal Scuola Democratica “Reinventing Education”, VOL. 2, Learning with New Technologies, Equality and Inclusion (pp. 1133-1144). Proceedings - Second International Conference of «Scuola Democratica» Journal (

Di Emidio, D. (2019). A Participatory Exploration of the Relationship between the Focus on Academic Achievement in UK Education Policy and Adolescents' Wellbeing and Mental Health. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference of the Journal Scuola Democratica “Education and post-democracy”, VOL. 2, Teaching, Learning, Evaluation and Technology (pp. 50-55). Proceedings - Second International Conference of «Scuola Democratica» Journal (

Di Emidio, D. (2018). A school based ethnographic investigation in a London primary school concerning school leaders’, parents’, teachers’ and students’ experience of learning and the school-environment, upcoming statutory examinations, and potential impacts on students’ wellbeing [Unpublished Master’s thesis, Birkbeck University – London].

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