Dr Sarah Bekaert

RN Child, BSc Nursing, MSc Sexual and Reproductive Health, Post-graduate certificate in Academic Practice

Senior Lecturer

Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

Sarah Bekaert


Sarah is a Senior Lecturer within the Children’s Nursing Team. She is field lead for Research Methods in year 2 and the Dissertation module in year 3 of the Undergraduate Programme, and Dissertation module for MSc students. She also teaches on the Doctoral Training Programme. She is supervisor for 5 PhD students, and DIrector of Studies on one team currently. 

Sarah leads the Children and Families Research Group. She also has a role as Departmental Research Ethics Officer and Postgraduate Tutor. She is undertaking primary research in areas that explore public health issues relating to teenagers and School Nursing roles.

Teaching and supervision


Seluleco Ncobo – full time, awaiting commencement (DoS: Prof Tina Miller)
'The impact of masculinity on violence: exploring masculine focused interventions to curb gender-based violence.'

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Roger Hiley Is there sufficient evidence to support a manifesto for the enhanced use of the outdoors therapeutically, when supporting vulnerable children? Active
Sandra Rushwaya What are the barriers and facilitators to the uptake of HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis among Black African Heterosexual Women in England? Active
Diana Yardley An exploration of health care professionals’ perceptions of non-medical factors affecting management of Type 1 diabetes in children Active
Monica Duman How are chronologies and neglect assessment tools used by health and social care practitioners to identify and assess child neglect? 2023
Lauren Harding How do school nurses identify and work with school-aged children at risk of child abuse and neglect? 2020


Areas of research

  • Teenaged pregnancy and parenthood
  • Teenaged motherhood and intimate partner violence
  • Public health relating to teens

Research projects

  • Research degree: Why do I always become pregnant with the pill?'; reconceiving teenage repeat pregnancy. 

Research grants and awards

  • 2021. General Nursing Council for England and Wales Trust, Learning from the Covid 19 pandemic in health and social care: implications for nursing practice, PI. Co-researchers: Prof Jane Appleton, OBU,Prof Julie Taylor, Birmingham University Dr Georgia Cook, OBU and Dana Sammut, Birmingham University
  • 2021. Oxford Brookes University Research Excellence Awards, Evaluating the Navigator Project: trauma informed support for young people attending the Emergency Department as a result of violence. PI. Co-researchers: Prof Jane Appleton, OBU
  • 2021.Oxfordshire County Council, Breaking Barriers”: a qualitative study investigating the barriers and facilitators to accessing HIV and sexual health services for black African and Caribbean women in Oxfordshire. CI. Co-researchers: Dr Nicola Jones, Terrence Higgins Trust.Jacqui Gitau, Director, African Families in the UK.Nicole Noel-Shodunke, Director, Transition Lighthouse.
  • 2020. Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery staff research funding, Exploring the experience of miscarriage for teenaged women and young men in the UK; an exploratory qualitative interview study. PI.
  • 2020. University College London, ‘Who cares about research?’ a podcast with the aim of bringing the world of cutting edge social-care research to a wider audience. CI. Co-researchers: Sophia Alexandra Hall, Founder; Eva Sprecher, University College London; Dr Kelly Robinshon, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Rosie McGuire, University of Bath; Dr Aoife O’Higgins, What Works for Children’s Social Care; Timothy Selman, Composer; Lauren Moore, Artist; Andrew Watkins, podcast advisor.
  • 2020. UKRI, Cov-Ed: Investigating how nurse education prior to and during Covid prepares nurses for the pandemic: an analysis of what works. CI. Co-researchers: Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery; Cardiff University; University of Birmingham; Ulster University; Kings College London; Manchester Metropolitan University; Coventry University; University of Dundee.

Current and recent research activity

  • Primary investigator: pilot study in Oxford University Health Trust to implement Navigator mentor support for young people who attend the Emergency Department as a result of violence.  Collaborative project with Thames Valley Police Violence Reduction Unit and national charity, Connections Support. (funded, current)
  • Primary investigator to evaluate the Navigator project across 5 ED sites in the Thames Valley; funded by the Thames Valley Police Violence Reduction Unit (funded, start date Sept 2022)
  • Primary investigator: mixed-methods research study ‘School Nursing during Covid, working with vulnerable children and young people’. Collaborative project with Birmingham University and Oxford University Health Foundation Trust. (funded, current)
  • Primary investigator: qualitative study exploring the experience of miscarriage for teen parents. (current)
  • Co-investigator: ‘Breaking Barriers’ a funded qualitative study investigating the barriers and facilitators to accessing HIV and sexual health services for black African and Caribbean women in Oxfordshire. This data will inform the development of a series of short training videos to raise awareness of HIV and sexual health services for women in Oxfordshire. With the Terence Higgins Trust/African Families in the UK/Transition Lighthouse. (funded, current)
  • Co-investigator: meta-analysis of outcomes for offspring of teenage mothers with Professor SmithBattle, St Louis University, US. (current)
  • Co-investigator: systematic literature review regarding change in practice when children are not brought (WNB) to appointments; exploring how has the change from viewing children as not brought rather than not attended, impacted on professional practice and child safeguarding outcomes with Professor Appleton, OBU. (current)
  • Member of England team in a 7 country European project: ‘ERICA’ Stopping Child Maltreatment through a Pan-European Multiprofessional Training Programme: Early Child Protection Work with Families at Risk. (lead: Professor Eija Paarvilainen, Tampere University, Finland). This training programme was launched in November 2021. 
  • Primary investigator: metasynthesis of IPV in teen relationships, conducted with Professor Appleton at Oxford Brookes University. Published in the Sage Handbook of Domestic Violence (2021).  
  • Co-investigator: metasynthesis of teen mother’s experience of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) with Professor SmithBattle, St Louis University (2016).​



  • Evaluating the Navigator Project
  • Protecting children and young people vulnerable to harm and abuse

Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Enhance academic process and ensure evidence-based outcomes in Violence Reduction Unit activity (04/09/2023 - 31/03/2025), funded by: Thames Valley Police, funding amount received by Brookes: £38,761
  • Exploring the link between low school attendance, suspension and exclusion and becoming involved in violence and crime: what works to mitigate this risk? A scoping review, and proposal for work with pupils in Oxfordshire (01/04/2023 - 31/03/2024), funded by: Thames Valley Police, funding amount received by Brookes: £30,000


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Professional information



  • Extended education and the impact on parenting decisions for teenaged women. Route to social mobility or milestone to adulthood? Generations, socialisation, and adult identity.  A BSA Early Career Event. Thursday 13 September 2018, Canterbury Christ Church University.
  • Reconceiving teenage mothers’ repeat pregnancies. Psychology of Women and Equalities Section Conference, Cumberland Lodge, Windsor. July 2018.
  • Social Norms and Culture: Honoring Experiences and Perspectives Healthy Teen Network. 2017. Conference October 2-4, 2017
Baltimore, Maryland  Round table discussion: 'Presenting the good father'; teen mothers' assets view of their babyfather's involvement in family life, a wise approach to encouraging growth as a family.
  • ‘Why do I always become pregnant when I’m on the pill?’ Embodied resistance, legitimising stories – how contemporary expectations for teen-age silence teen mothers’ desire for motherhood
  • Mother Figures and Representations of Motherhood in English-speaking Societies. Tours, France. April 2017.


  • Expert trainer regarding teen intimate partner violence for Level 4 professional safeguarding training in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. (August 2021)
  • Workshop facilitator on Intimate Partner Violence in Teen Relationships at the Global Perspectives on Domestic and Interpersonal Violence: Courts, Challenges, Solutions Workshop.  Domestic Violence Evidence and Practice Network. 6th Oxford University. (May 2020) 
  • Expert trainer for HMPPS (Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service) Insights website training resources. (May 2020)
  • Invited speaker at Tours University on: Teenaged mother’s narratives: tracing the emergent, yet muted, desire for motherhood. Freedom of Speech and Qualitative Interviews. Tours University.  France. (March 2019)
  • Invited contribution to an edited collection: Motherhood contemporary international perspectives. (Ed: Professor Portier Le-Cocq, Tours University) (2019) 
  • Invited chapter on Teens and IPV during Covid, for Dr Seemungal, Oxford University, Routledge
  • Invited to represent Oxford Brookes on the Performance Audit and Quality Assurance  committee for Oxfordshire Child Safeguarding Board

Further details

Further national and international collaborations

  • Producer on the podcast ‘Who Cares About Research?’ with Sophia Alexandra Hall, Content Editor at Classic FM, in developing a podcast dedicated to sharing cutting edge social research.  Sophia has experience of the care system and is an expert in social media.  
  • Representing OBU as researcher on the Community Buddy Scheme run by the British Science Association, partnering with a local professional to explore community group/Higher Education Institution partnership.
  • Collaboration with Dr Brooke Richardson at Brock University, Canada, on a document analysis of Serious Case Reviews relating to teen pregnancy and parenthood within a collection of papers regarding mothering in child protection with Demeter Press (Autumn 2022). 

Other experience

  • Sept 2014 – May 2017. City, University of London. Lecturer Child Health<
  • Dec 2015 – to date. Oxford University Foundation Hospital Trust. Specialist Nurse
  • Dec 2011- Feb 2013. City and Hackney Primary Care Trust/Homerton Hospital. Designated Nurse for Looked After Children
  • March 07 – to August 2015. City and Hackney Primary Care Trust/Homerton Hospital. Advanced Nurse Practitioner (Children and Families Department)
  • Sept 06 – March 07. Margaret Pyke Centre for Women’s Health. Senior Practitioner
  • Dec 01 – Aug 02. Statham Grove Surgery. Practice Nurse
  • March 00 – Dec 01. City and Hackney Primary Care Trust. Community Paediatric Nurse, Lower Clapton Health Centre
  • March 99-March 00. Homerton Hospital. Staff Nurse, Starlight Children Unit
  • 1995-1996. London. Tear Fund. Overseas Relief and Development Organisation

Peer reviewer 

  • Qualitative Health Research (IF 2.7)
  • Journal of Family Violence (IF 2.2)
  • Journal of Child Health Care (IF 2)
  • Child Abuse Review (IF 1.5)
  • Nursing Standard (IF 0.7)
  • Nursing Children and Young People (IF 0.3) 


  • @WCARPodcast (Who cares about research podcast) winner of Round Table Global Youth Award for most ‘Empowering Project (UK) led by an under 25’– as producer/researcher. (December 2020)

Recognition of leadership

  • Participated in the FELISE mentorship programme (Feminist Leadership in Science) 2020-21.  
  • Successful application to participate in the AURORA programme 2022.  

Formal leadership roles

  • Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery Department Research Ethics Officer (current) 
  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Post Graduate Research Tutor (PGT) (current)
  • Member of the Faculty Research Ethics Committee (2017-2021)
  • Lead for the Children and Families Research Group in the Oxford School of Nusing and Midwifery
  • Member of the university wide Children and Young People’s (CYP) network.

Further information