Research Assistant


Bryony Nisbet (MSc, PGCert, BSc (Hons)) is a Research Assistant in the Institute for Global Health and Development.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Funded Projects

Bryony graduated from IGHD QMU in 2016 with an MSc in Social Development and Health. As part of her dissertation, she travelled to New Delhi to collect qualitative research data that explored mental health practitioners’ attitudes to mental health stigma and hegemonic masculinities. This experience helped her to develop and build confidence in her academic skills in using literature to support her findings, conducting cross-cultural research, collecting qualitative data using semi-structured interviews, and using thematical analysis to analyse the findings.

Since then Bryony has supported in the delivery and development of multiple frontline statutory and third sector mental health services across the UK. In Newcastle-Upon-Tyne she was part of a pilot project that explored bridging the gap between social and psychological interventions for people who were experiencing a mental health crisis. Bryony then moved to the Lake District where she worked as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner delivering CBT based Low Intensity Therapy in line with England’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Framework with the NHS. She also spent this time studying a PGCert in Primary Mental Health Care with the University of Central Lancashire. After spending a few years living in England, she decided it was time to come home to Scotland to be closer to friends and family. Since moving back to Scotland, Bryony has been involved in a range of different trauma informed, values based, psychoeducational, person centered services and a large scale mental health infrastructural shift.  

Whilst studying with QMU, Bryony worked in homelessness in Edinburgh and Midlothian. This experience, partnered with her involvement working in mental health settings and studying with IGHD began a keen interest in refugee integration and psychosocial wellbeing, service accessibility, as well as eradicating discrimination in mental health provision. She has fostered and encouraged within the services she worked in and managed, an awareness in ensuring there are necessary adaptations to the delivery of mental health care where possible, whilst ensuring recognition of potential barriers, social determinants of health, and stigma around mental health.

Active research interests:

  • Mental health and psychosocial wellbeing
  • Refugee integration and resettlement
  • Mental health system infrastructure, development and accessibility
  • Trauma informed, person centered practice
  • Gender, health seeking behaviours and stigma
  • Social connections

Research Methods:

  • Qualitative methods
  • Participatory methods
  • Ethnographic methods
  • Mixed methods

Research Centres:

Member of the Psychosocial Wellbeing, Integration, and Protection Cluster - Institute for Global Health and Development

Family Reunion Integration Service

This research project focusses on the reunion of 900 families who have come to the UK as refugees. This national project will work in eight locations across all four countries within the UK to see how this group of people can be supported to access health, education, housing and welfare services.

The research carried out at Queen Margaret University will develop an innovative app to study how the social connections within, between and outside this group affect integration into the host country.

This project is a partnership with the British Red Cross and Barnardo’s. This project is part funded by the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Making management of migration flows more efficient across the European Union.

Refugee and asylum-seeker experiences, trust and confidence with Police Scotland 

Funded by the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) – Seldom-heard Communities Fund, this study will build an understanding of the quantity and quality of refugees’ social networks and their role in influencing engagement with the police. It will apply the Social Connections Mapping Tool (SCMT) developed by colleagues in IGHD, combined with in-depth interviews with refugees, asylum-seekers and police personnel to identify refugee and asylum-seeker experiences and confidence with Police Scotland and the associated structures and systems that work alongside Police Scotland (e.g. emergency services, mental health services, local council services, etc.).