School of Health & Social Care
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Dr Peter Van Der Graaf

Peter Van Der Graaf

About Peter Van Der Graaf

Peter is the AskFuse Research Manager and a Research Fellow.

For the past five years, he has been a Research Fellow in the Social Futures Institute at Teesside University and joined the research team in the School of Health and Social Care in January 2013 to support the NIHR HS&DR project on research use and knowledge mobilisation in the commissioning and planning of public health services.

At the Social Futures Institute, Peter had been working on a range of social research and consultancy projects, focusing particularly on social exclusion, non-formal education and youth participation.

Before coming to Teesside, Peter was employed for nine years as a researcher for the Verwey-Jonker institute in the Netherlands - an independent institute that carries out strategic policy and evaluation research into social issues, it was there that Peter gained extensive experience in researching social inequalities and social policies across the European Union.

Applying research evidence and translating knowledge have been a leading thread in Peter's career. Since gaining a degree in sociology in 1998, Peter has specialised in research methods and analysis in the Netherlands and the UK. In both countries Peter has worked in an interdisciplinary research environment. All projects have involved informing and influencing external stakeholders.

Since June 2013, Peter has taken up the post of AskFuse Research Manager within HSCI, an exciting new service created within Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research, to broker academic expertise on Public Health within the five North East Universities to policy and practice partners.

Within the Social Futures Institute, Peter was involved in two short Knowledge Transfer Projects (sKTPs) for local housing associations Fabrick Housing and NorthStar. Both sKTPs focused on transferring academic knowledge about Social Return On Investment (SROI)-methodologies to community investment programmes developed by both organisations that would enable them to better demonstrate their impact and improve their services to residents.

Research interests and activities

Research interests in brief

  • Emotional well-being
  • Healthy landscapes
  • Community engagement
  • Young people
  • Urban renewal and social mixing
  • Knowledge exchange

External research funding since 2008

  • North Star Housing Group, sKTP to develop and embed a community investment impact measurement tool, £20,000, April 2013 (with Paul Crashaw and Gilly Hall)
  • The EU-US Atlantis, Independent evaluation of project ‘Evaluation and Modernisation of VET within the Digital Creative Industries’, £10,000, July 2012
  • Northern Rock Foundation Third Sector Study (phase 1 & 2), £332,295, 2008-2012 (with Tony Chapman and Fred Robinson). 
  • Department for Children Families and Schools, Evaluation of £5.2m Youth Sector Development Fund Pathfinder, £183,000, 2008-2011 (with Tony Chapman).
  • Department for Education, Evaluation of UK Youth’s Theme Grant, £30,000, August 2011 
  • O2/ Telefonica UK Foundation, O2 Think Big research and evaluation, £312,800, April 2009 (with Tony Chapman)
  • Children’s Workforce Development Council, Feasibility study on capacity building and accreditation programme for the young people’s workforce, with UK Youth and National Youth Agency, £88,000, 2008-9 (value to Teesside £21,950, with Tony Chapman).

External research collaborations

  • See external research funding
  • In addition, I have collaborated with Professor Jan Willem Duyvendak, University of Amsterdam; Professor Setha Low, City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center; and Dr Suzanne Scheld, California State University Northridge, to develop a proposal for the Open Research Area for Social Sciences in Europe (ORA) call in 2013, which was unfortunately unsuccessful as the Dutch PI had to pull out after submission.

Current projects

  • NIHR HS&DR project on research use and knowledge mobilisation in the commissioning and planning of public health services (SOHSC)
  • Department for Education, Evaluation of UK Youth’s Theme Grant (SSS&L)


Four selected publications since 2008

  • Van der Graaf, P. (2009) Out of Place? Emotional Ties to the Neighbourhood in Urban Renewal in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 
  • Van der Graaf, P. & L. Veldboer (2009) The Effects of State-Led Gentrification in the Netherlands, In Duyvendak, J.W. [eds]. City in Sight: Dutch Dealings with Urban Change. Amsterdam University Press.
  • Van der Graaf, P. & J.W. Duyvendak (2009) Thuisvoelen in stedelijke vernieuwing – Buurthechting in Nederlandse achterstandswijken, Dutch Journal of Sociology, Vol.5(2) June (Special issue).
  • McCabe, K., Cheetham , M. & P. van der Graaf (accepted) Weathering the storm of change in public health; a study in co-creation, Public Health (Special Issue).

View Peter Van Der Graaf's Publications on TeesRep