From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

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Staff Member Biography

Nicola Boydell (previously Boydell-Wright)

position: Research Assistant

Contact Details

phone: 0141 353 7560


MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit,
University of Glasgow,
Top floor,
200, Renfield Street
G2 3QB

Biography and Interests

Nicola graduated with a First Class Honours BSc in Sociology and Psychology in 2008, and a PG Cert in Public Health Studies in 2010, both from Queen Margaret University. She then completed an MSc in Social Science Research in 2011, and a PhD in 2014, both at the University of Glasgow. Prior to joining the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow she worked in the voluntary sector as a counsellor, and in other support roles.

Nicola joined the SPHSU in 2010, on a 1+3 PhD studentship. Her MSc dissertation was a qualitative study exploring gay and bisexual men’s use of the commercial gay scene in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Nicola’s PhD was a qualitative project which explored how links to communities and social networks, particularly gay communities, relate to awareness of sexual health, specifically safer sex and HIV prevention. The project explored young (18-29) gay and bisexual men’s ‘personal communities’, and the role those within them (e.g. friends, family, partners and colleagues) play in shaping men’s safer sex strategies. The project was supervised by Dr. Lisa McDaid and Dr. Katie Buston.

In her current role as a research assistant within the Social Relationships and Health Improvement programme Nicola is working on a variety of projects. Recent projects have included a Wellcome Trust sponsored public engagement project with young LGBT people, a Patient Public Involvement (PPI) project to inform the development of a sexual health intervention for young people of school age, and schools-based research around the transferability of an educational intervention about teenage men and unintended pregnancy.

Nicola’s research interests include the sexual health of young men who have sex with men (MSM), exploring innovative methods for qualitative research, engaging and involving publics in research, and the development of sexual health interventions. 



Boydell N, Fergie G, McDaid L, Hilton S. Understandings of participation in behavioural research: a qualitative study of gay and bisexual men in Scotland. PLoS One 2015;10: e0135001

open access  


Boydell N, Fergie GM, McDaid L, Hilton S. Avoiding pitfalls and realising opportunities: reflecting on issues of sampling and recruitment for online focus groups. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 2014;13:206-223

open access  

Boydell Nicola. Personal communities and safer sex: qualitative study of young gay and bisexual men in Scotland [PhD], MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow 2014.


Boydell-Wright N. 'On Scene’- a qualitative study exploring gay ‘scene’ and ‘scene space' [MSc], MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow 2011.