Professor of Psychology and Sexualities focused on collaborative research to improve LGBTQ+ lives.
Katherine Johnson joined RMIT in 2018 as Director, Social and Global Studies before being appointed as Associate Dean, Research, and Innovation in 2020. She is an experienced academic leader with a background in Psychology and interdisciplinary social science. She was previously Head of Psychology & Psychotherapy (2013-2016) in the School of Applied Social Science, and the founding Research Director, Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender (2016-2018) at the University of Brighton, UK. She is an established international researcher in the field of community psychology, psychosocial and sexuality studies, with a primary contribution to LGBTQ+ suicide prevention, transgender health, and early mental health interventions for LGBTQ+ youth. Her international collaborations are in the UK, Europe, and Mexico. She is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
She has held Visiting Fellowships in Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney, Australia (2007), in social psychology and psychosocial interventions at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2009-2012), in participatory action research and LGBT health inequalities at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2016) and in social sciences at the Universidad de Colima, Mexico (2016). She is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton, UK attached to the Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender.
Contact me to discuss research collaborations and HDR supervision in fields related to LGBTQ+ lives, mental health, queer, feminist and intersectional engagements with sexuality, psychosocial studies.
Current research activities:
- Re-imagining environments for connection and engagement: testing actions for social prescribing in natural spaces (2021- May 2025). A large-scale international collaboration led by partners in Barcelona, Spain. Working with Prof Sarah Bekessy, we will be delivering a participatory action research project in Melbourne with LGBTQ refugees exploring the role of nature-based interventions for reducing loneliness and improving social connection and belonging (with $500,000 funding from NHMRC).
- Improving support for LGBTIQ suicidal behaviour: insight from lived experience (Suicide Prevention Australia). This qualitative co-design project with Vanessa Lee, University of Sydney, Switchboard Victoria and Roses in the Ocean has a specific focus on LGBTQIA cultural diversity and involves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and CALD LGBTQI participants to deliver new knowledge and inform suicide prevention policy and practice.
- Queer futures 2: Identifying and evaluating mental health early intervention services and self-care support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people: a multiple methods study (NIHR, Lancaster University). As Co-I, I hold the position as part of my Visiting Professorial appointment at the University of Brighton, UK and supervise the post-doc research fellow based there (https://queerfutures2.co.uk/).
- Improving the mental health of Nottingham's LGBT population (Nottingham CCG & University of Leicester. The findings from this project will inform the future delivery of mental health services within the Nottinghamshire Health Authority.
External Engagement Activity
- Editorial board of Feminism & Psychology and Feminist Encounters: Studies in culture and politics and regularly review papers for Theory & Psychology, Qualitative Methods in Psychology, Feminist Theory and Sexualities.
- Member of the ESRC and NIHR peer review college and a panel member for the UK Global Challenges Research Fund mental health call, having previously served on the strategic planning group that devised the UKRI transdisciplinary research call for mental health.
- Inner Panel member for the Humanities and Social Science stream of the Irish Research Council assessing post-doctorate and doctorate awards.
- Working party member for the World Professional Association of Transgender Health tasked with co-authoring a chapter on the Global Applicability of the Standards of Care, in the 8th Edition of the international guidelines for treatment and support of trans people.
- Routledge Book Series Editor, Transforming LGBTQ+ Lives (with Professor Kath Browne, UCD)
- BSC (Hons) Psychology (University College London, 1997)
- PhD, Being Transsexual: self, identity and embodied subjectivity (Middlesex University, 2001)
- PG Cert, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, (University of Brighton, 2003).
- Zoli, A.,Johnson, K.,Cingolani, G.,Pulcini, G. (2022). Towards action research with trans women sex workers: Policy, space and social challenges In: Journal of Community Psychology, 50, 161 - 175
- Johnson, K. (2022). Designing Qualitative Research for Working with Visual Data: Insights from Psychology In: The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research Design, SAGE Publications, London, United Kingdom
- Hill, N.,Johnson, K. (2022). Inclusive Research with LGBTIQA+ Groups In: Handbook of Social Inclusion. Research and Practices in Health and Social Sciences, Springer, Switzerland
- Dearn, E.,Ramcharan, P.,Weller, P.,Brophy, L.,Johnson, K. (2022). Supported residential services as a type of “total institution”: Implications for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) In: Australian Journal of Social Issues, , 1 - 17
- Guzman, A.,Johnson, K. (2021). Narratives of transphobic violence in the Mexican province of Colima:A psychosocial analysis In: International Journal of Transgender Health, 22, 253 - 268
- McDermott, E.,Eastham, R.,Hughes, E.,Pattinson, E.,Johnson, K.,Davis, S.,Pryjmachuk, S.,Mateus, C.,Jenzen, O. (2021). Explaining effective mental health support for LGBTQ+ youth: A meta-narrative review In: SSM Mental Health, 1, 1 - 9
- Pattinson, E.,McDermott, E.,Eastham, R.,Hughes, E.,Johnson, K.,Davis, S.,Pryjmachuk, S.,Jenzen, O.,Mateus, C. (2021). Tackling LGBTQ+ youth mental health inequality: Mapping mental health support across the UK In: The British Student Doctor Journal, 5, 20 - 29
- Moreno-Gabriel, E.,Johnson, K. (2020). Affect and the reparative turn: repairing qualitative analysis? In: Qualitative research in psychology, 17, 98 - 120
- Rickett, B.,Johnson, K.,Ingle, H.,Reynolds, M. (2020). Support for parents/carers of primary school aged gender diverse children in England, UK: a mixed-method analysis of experiences with health services In: Health Sociology Review, 30, 9 - 24
- Ayres, T.,Barnes, R.,Gunby, C.,Johnson, K. (2019). Improving the mental health outcomes of Nottingham's LGBT populations: Quantitative analyses of existing national and regional statistics concerning the mental health needs and healthcare experiences of LGBT people. In: Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), UK Leicester, UK
1 PhD Completions5 PhD Current Supervisions
- Re-imagining Environments for Connection and Engagement: Testing Actions for Social Prescribing in Natural Spaces (RECETAS). Funded by: NHMRC European Union (2020 onwards) from (2021 to 2026)
- (RECETAS) (EU) Re-imagining Environments for Connection and Engagement: Testing Actions for Social Prescribing in Natural Spaces (Administered by: FUNDACION PRIVADA INSTITUTO DE SALUD GLOBAL BARCELONA (ISGLOBAL). Funded by: Horizon 2021 onwards Research and Innovation Actions from (2021 to 2026)
- Improving support for LGBTIQ suicidal behaviour: insight from lived experience. Funded by: Innovation Grant Suicide Prevention Australia from (2020 to 2023)