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Dr Allison Dixley


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Member of the Department of Anthropology  


A former nursery nurse, Allison has two first class degrees in Early Childhood Studies (Sunderland University) and Law (Durham University) respectively, an MA in Research Methods (Durham University) and a PhD in Anthropology (Durham University). She conducted her doctoral research at the Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre. Her project involved testing the intervention of swaddling via over-night lab examinations of mother and infant dyads. Allison is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in collaboration with Unicef.

During her PhD Allison taught the BA course "Health Illness and Society", instructing undergraduate students on approaches and methods of medical anthropology. In 2018-19 Allison was awarded internship funding by the ESRC to complete a secondment with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Here, she led on a high-priority systematic review project within a policy analysis team at a senior level in UK Government. Allison currently holds the post of Senior Research Officer at the DWP.

Allison's recent Infancy and Sleep Centre projects include:

  • Mixed-methods survey of paediatric health professionals' views of swaddling.
  • Systematic review of video methodology for infant sleep research.
  • Development of an innovative touch-sensitive sensor for use in lab projects at the Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre.

Research interests

  • Social Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Behavioural Science


Authored book

  • Dixley, A. (2014). Breast Intentions. Pinter & Martin Publishers.


  • Dixley, A, Boughey, R & Herrington, A (2020). Informal Carers and employment: summary report of a systematic review. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).