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Dr Nicky Hudson

Job: Reader in Medical Sociology

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Research group(s): Centre for Reproduction Research - Centre Director

Address: De Montfort, University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 207 8766



Social Media:


Personal profile

Nicky Hudson is a sociologist with an interest in health, illness and medicine. She has particular expertise in social aspects of infertility and reproduction and has completed a number of studies in this area funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Department of Health and local NHS trusts. Her work also focuses the sociology of chronic illness and her research in has a strong emphasis on ethnic diversity and inequalities.

She leads the Centre for Reproduction Research, an interdisciplinary centre of expertise dedicated to the production of scholarship on the social, cultural and political aspects of human reproduction based in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. The Centre has representation from sociology, psychology, anthropology, science and technology studies, nursing, midwifery, health policy and health sciences.

Publications and outputs 

Click here for a full listing of Nicky Hudson‘s publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Culley, L. Law, C. Hudson, N. Denny, E. Mitchell, H. Baumgarten, M. Raine-Fenning, N. (2013) The social and psychological impact of endometriosis on women’s lives: a critical narrative review. Human Reproduction Update, 19 (6): 625-639.

Hudson, N. Culley, L. (2013) ‘The bloke can be a bit hazy about what’s going on’: Men, masculinities and cross-border reproduction. Reproductive Biomedicine Online. Symposium issue on men and infertility, 27 (3): 253-260.

Culley, L. Hudson, N. Lohan, M. (2013) Where are all the men? The marginalisation of men in social scientific research on infertility. Reproductive Biomedicine Online. Symposium issue on men and infertility, 27 (3): 225-235.

Culley, L. Hudson, N. Rapport. F. (2013). Assisted Conception and South Asian communities in the UK: public perceptions of the use of donor gametes in infertility treatment. Human Fertility. 16 (1): 48-53.

Culley, L. Hudson, N. Blyth, E. Norton, W. Pacey, A.A. Rapport. F. (2013). “What are you going to do – confiscate their passports?” Professional perspectives on cross border reproductive travel. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. 31 (1): 46-57.

Hudson, N. (2012). Researching infertility in British South Asian communities: reflecting on intersections of ethnicity, age, gender, and reproductive identity. Diversity and Equality in Health and Care. 9 (3): 191-200.

Hudson, N & Culley, L. (2011). Assisted reproductive travel: UK patient trajectories. Reproductive Bio-Medicine Online, 23: 573– 581.

Culley, L. Hudson, N. Rapport, R. Blyth, E. Norton, W. Pacey, AA. (2011). Crossing borders for fertility treatment: motivations, destinations and outcomes of UK fertility travellers. Human Reproduction, 26 (9): 2373-2381.

Hudson, N. Culley, L. Blyth, E. Norton, W. Pacey, A. (2011). Cross-border reproductive care: A review of the literature. Reproductive Bio-medicine Online, 22: 673-685.

Culley, L. & Hudson, N. (2009). Constructing relatedness: ethnicity, gender and third party assisted conception in the UK. Current Sociology, (57): 257-275.

Hudson, N. Culley, L. Rapport, F. Johnson, M. Bharadwaj, A. (2009). ‘“Public” perceptions of gamete donation: a research review. Public Understanding of Science, 18 (1): 61-77.

Culley, L. Hudson, N. & Rapport, F. (2007). Using focus groups with minority ethnic communities: researching infertility in British South Asian communities. Qualitative Health Research. 17 (1): 102-112.

Culley, L. Hudson, N. & Van Rooij, F. (eds) (2009) Marginalized Reproduction: Ethnicity, Infertility and New Reproductive Technologies. Earthscan.

Research interests/expertise

  • Sociology of reproduction, especially infertility, assisted reproductive technologies, gamete donation and freezing, surrogacy and cross border reproduction
  • Sociology of medicine
  • Chronic illness
  • Qualitative research methods

Areas of teaching

  • Gender, health and healthcare
  • Social Research Methods


  • BA (Hons) Sociology
  • MA International Cultural Studies
  • PhD Sociology

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Member of British Sociological Association
  • Convener of BSA East Midlands Medical Sociology Group
  • Member of International Sociological Association (2010-2014)  

Conference attendance

Recent talks:

Hudson, N. Culley, L. Norton, W. Bio-Sociality and the negotiation of diagnosis in cross-border infertility treatment. Accepted for presentation at the XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 13-19, 2014.

Hudson, N. Culley, L. Johnson, M. McFeeters, M. Robertson, N. Bird, D. Lakhanpaul, M. Asthma management in British South Asian children: an application of the candidacy framework to an understanding of barriers to effective and accessible asthma care. Accepted for presentation at the XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan. July 13-19, 2014.

Hudson, N. "What I wanted was to have one more put back than you can here': decision-making about embryo transfer in cross-border fertility treatment’. Invited speaker Progress Educational Trust Annual Conference. London, December 2013.

Mitchell, H, Culley, L, Hudson, N, Law, C, Denny, E, Baumgarten, M Raine-Fenning, N. ‘Pain management decisions amongst couples living with endometriosis’, paper presented to the 2nd European Congress on Endometriosis, Berlin, Germany, 28-30 November 2013.

Culley, L, Hudson, N, Law, C, Denny, E, Mitchell, H. and Raine-Fenning, N. (2013) Disrupted reproduction: the impact of endometriosis on couples’ plans for childbearing. Poster presented to the Conjoint Meeting of the International Federation of Fertility Societies and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Boston, USA, 12-17 October 2013.

Hudson, N, Culley, L, Law, C, Mitchell, H. and Denny, E. (2013) Conducting dyadic research in chronic illness: men, women and endometriosis. Paper presented to the British Sociological Association's 2013 Medical Sociology Annual Conference, University of York, UK, 11-13 September 2013.

Hudson,N. Culley, L. Law, C. Denny, E. Mitchell, H. Baumgarten, M. Raine-Fenning, N. Improving the wellbeing of couples living with endometriosis Poster presentation at European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology Annual Conference. London, July 2013.

Hudson, N. Men and Infertility: What do we know about their experiences? Invited speaker, International Infertility Counselling Organisation, 17th International Congress of the International Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISPOG). Berlin, May 2013.

Hudson, N. Culley, L. Law, C. Denny, E. Mitchell, H. Baumgarten, M. Raine-Fenning, N. ‘I’ve gone into a consultancy to really lay the law down, you know, get it sorted.’ Men’s perceptions of their role in treatment-seeking for endometriosis. Oral presentation at 17th International Congress of the International Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISPOG). Berlin, May 2013.

Hudson, N. Gamete donation and British South Asian communities. ‘When it takes more than two’. Progress Educational Trust public event, funded by the Wellcome Trust. February 2013. Part of the event was recorded as a podcast, available at:

Bird D, Culley L, Grigg J, Hudson, N, Johal N, Johnson M, McFeeters M, Robertson N, and Lakhanpaul, M. The Management and Interventions for Asthma Research study: collaboration in action. Paper presented at American Thoracic Society International conference, San Diego, 2013.

For a full list of conferences and talks click here.

Consultancy work

  • Qualitative methods in Applied Health Research. Training. University College London. N. Hudson (PI). March 2014.
  • Qualitative Research in COPD. Consultancy. University Hospitals Leicester. N Hudson (PI). April 2012-June 2013.
  • Research and Development in Children’s Health. Consultancy. University of Leicester. Prof. L Culley & Dr N Hudson. Sept 11-Oct 12.
  • Evaluation Support and Consultancy to Bangladeshi Maternity Users Project. NHS Leicester City. N. Hudson (PI). Nov 2009-March 2010.

Current research students

  • Kylie Baldwin: An exploratory study of egg freezing for non-medical reasons
    (full time, 1st supervisor) 2010-2014 (DMU bursary)
  • Doreen Crawford: Fathers' experiences in the neonatal care environment (Part time, 2nd supervisor). (2010-2016)
  • Joanna Depares: An exploration of clinical healthcare encounters with African migrants in the primary healthcare setting (part time, 1st supervisor) (2010-2015)
  • Caroline Law: Reproductive timings: men's perceptions and intentions (part time, 1st supervisor) (2013-2019) 
  • Raksha Pandya-Wood: Understanding the impact of patient involvement in the research process (part time, 2nd supervisor) (2009-2015) 
  • Wendy Norton: An exploratory study of gay men seeking surrogacy to achieve parenthood (part time, 1st supervisor) (2010-2016)
  • Christina Weis: An exploratory study of the migration experience of women working as surrogates in Russia (full time, 1st supervisor) 2013-2016 (DMU bursary)

Externally funded research grants information

Current research projects:

  • Increasing uptake of effective self-management education programmes for type 2 diabetes in multi-ethnic primary care settings. Programme Grants for Applied Research With Prof. Melanie Davies et al. NIHR £2m. (NH Co-applicant). Nov 2015-Oct 2020.
  • A feasibility study to inform the development of a multicentre randomised controlled trial of an asthma-tailored pulmonary rehabilitation programme versus usual care for individuals with severe asthma. Research for Patient Benefit Programme, NIHR. Evans, R (PI). Eglinton, E. Singh, S. Bradding, P. Apps, L. Martin, N. Green, R. Hudson, N. (CI) Povrod, I. £340K. Nov 2013- Nov 2016.
  • A feasibility study to inform the design of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate an interactive internet (web) based pulmonary rehabilitation programme. Research for Patient Benefit Programme, NIHR. PB-PG-0711-25127. Williams, J. (PI), Singh, S. Pulikottil-Jacob, R. Hudson, N. (qualitative consultant). £158K. Jan 2013-Jan 2015.

Previous research projects:

  • Collaborative development of a multi-disciplinary research council funding application on the experience and ethics of egg donation.Sociology of Health and Illness Foundation Research Grant Development Award. (NH PI). £5178. Oct 2014- May 2015
  • Endometriosis: Improving the Well-being of Couples. ESRC. ES/J003662/1. Culley (PI), Denny, Hudson (CI), Mitchell, Raine-Fenning. £89,228. 2011-13.
  • Increasing Physical Activity in Chronic Kidney Disease: The Patient Perspective. British Renal Society. Dr Alice Smith, Dr James Burton (PI), Dr Jo Byrne, Prof. Nigel Brunskill, Mrs Hannah Young. Dr Nicky Hudson (CI). £45K. Sept 2012-Aug 2013. 
  • Structured Education in Diabetes. NIHR Programme Development Grant. Prof Melanie Davies (PI), Prof. Kamlesh Khunti, Dr Marian Carey, Prof. L Culley, Prof M Johnson. Dr Nicky Hudson team member and PI for DMU work package. £100K. May 2012-April 2013.
  • Management and Interventions for Asthma. HSR programme, NIHR. Prof. M Lakhanpaul (PI), Prof. L Culley, Prof. M Johnson, Dr. D Bird, Prof. Jonathon Grigg, Mrs Narynder Johal, Dr Noelle Robertson, Mrs Melanie McFeeters. Dr Nicky Hudson team member and PI for DMU work package. £334K. Sept 2010- Feb 13. 
  • Barriers and Motivators to Implementation of an Intradialytic Exercise Programme. British Renal Society. Dr Alice Smith (PI), Dr James Burton, Dr Jo Byrne, Dr Noelle Robertson, Dr Nicky Hudson (CI) and Prof John Feehally. £18,775. Sept 2011-Aug 2012.
  • A Systematic Review of the Literature on Asthma and South Asians. Asthma UK. Dr Monica Lakhanpaul (PI), Dr Deborah Bird, Prof Lorraine Culley, Prof Mark Johnson. Project advisor. £27K. Oct 2010-April 2011. 
  • The Educational Experiences of Muslim Students on Pre-Registration Nursing and Midwifery Programmes East Midlands Healthcare Workforce Deanery, Dr Sue Dyson (PI), Prof. Lorraine Culley, Dr Nicky Hudson. June 2010-July 2011.
  • Transnational Reproduction. An Exploratory Study of UK Residents who Travel Abroad for Fertility Treatment (TRANSREP)ESRC, RES 000-22-3390. Culley (PI), Hudson, Blyth, Pacey, Rapport, Norton. £99,844. 1 March 2009 – 30 Nov 2010.
  • Regional Evaluation of the Pacesetters Programme (PACEVAL) Leicester City Primary Care Trust. Prof. Mark Johnson (PI), Prof Lorraine Culley, Ms Jennie Fleming, Dr Nicky Hudson, Dr Fenglin Guo. £78,946.81. May 2008 – October 2009.
  • Palliative Care for Children and Young People in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland: An Evaluation of Parents/Carers’ and Young People’s Perspectives of Service Provision. (PALLCARE) Leicester City West Primary Care Trust, L. Culley & N Hudson. £15K. February – September 2006.
  • Evaluation of Patient Information resources on Osteomalacia in Asian Languages (ARCOST) Arthritis Research Campaign, Prof. Mark Johnson (PI), Prof. Lorraine Culley, Dr. Ash Samanta, Dr Fenglin Guo, Dr Nicky Hudson. 2005-2006. 
  • Public Perceptions of Gamete Donation in British South Asian Communities (GAMDON)ESRC, RES-160-25-0044. Prof. Lorraine Culley (PI), Prof. Mark Johnson, Prof. Frances Rapport, Dr Adi Bharadwaj. Dr Nicky Hudson, project researcher. £46, 577. April 05 – March 06. 
  • Ethnicity Infertility and Reproductive Technologies. International Symposium funded by ESRC, Science and Society Programme. Co-convenor with Prof. Lorraine Culley & Dr. Floor van Rooij. £7K. Nottingham, September 2006.
  • Improving the Access of Ethnic Minority Visually Impaired People to Appropriate Services: Building a Supported Community Referral System (OV2) Thomas Pocklington Trust, Prof. Mark Johnson (PI) et al. Nicky Hudson, team member. 2003-2004.
  • Europe's Migrants and Human Tissue Donation - ESF Exploratory Workshop (EUMIDON) European Science Foundation. Prof Mark Johnson (PI), Prof. Lorraine Culley, Dr Nicky Hudson. September 2004.
  • A Study of the Provision of Infertility Services to South Asian Communities (ASFERT) NHS Trent Region, Prof. Lorraine Culley (PI), Prof. Mark Johnson, Prof. Frances Rapport, Dr Savita Katbamna. Dr Nicky Hudson, project researcher. £100K. January 2002 – March 2004.

Internally funded research project information

ENDOPART 2: developing a knowledge exchange partnership and improving support in endometriosis. DMU. Higher Education Innovation Fund. October 2015-July 2016. Principle Investigator.

Egg Donation in Europe: an international workshop. DMU. Revolving Investment Fund. October 2014-July 2015. Principle Investigator.

European network for research on men, in/fertilities and assisted conception. DMU Revolving Investment Fund. October 2011-July 2012. Co-applicant with L Culley & W Norton.

Professional esteem indicators

Editing and reviewing

  • Reviewer for the following grant-awarding bodies: Economic and Social Research Council; Medical Research Council; Research Foundation Flanders.
  • Reviewer for: Qualitative Health Research; Social Science and Medicine; European Journal of Public Health; Human Reproduction; Ethnicity and Health; Culture, Health and Sexuality; Politics and Policy; Sociological Compass; Human Fertility; Journal of Biosocial Science; Reproductive Biomedicine Online; Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, Journal of Research in Nursing.


My research has received considerable media attention and has featured in the following outputs: The Guardian, The Telegraph, BBC Radio 4, Women’s Hour, Radio 5 Live, The Economist, The BMJ, The Eastern Eye, The Daily Mail, The Leicester Mercury, The London Evening Standard, The Mirror, The Yorkshire Post, Wales Online, and Health Canal.

Case studies

Invitation to advise on policy in the area of assisted reproduction:
HFEA, London, June 2010. Nicky Hudson was invited to contribute to an expert workshop at the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (UK licensing body for fertility treatment) on ‘known gamete donation’.

Training of bi-lingual community researchers
Central to our research with British South Asian communities, we used a collaborative research methodology, in which we recruited, trained and employed a team of bi-lingual community based researchers to conduct qualitative fieldwork in South Asian languages. This network, which has built research capacity within the local communities, has been drawn on several times by other local researchers carrying out health related research with minority communities. We published a paper in Qualitative Health Research detailing the method. (Hyperlink ‘method’ to

Development of infertility resources
As part of the ASFERT study, we developed a patient resource Trying for a Baby in four South Asian languages. Prior to this development no information about infertility and its treatment was available in minority languages. Copies of the leaflets were (and continue to be) requested from numerous licensed clinics, NHS Trusts as well as private individuals. 

Public and stakeholder engagement events
The GAMDON study was funded via the ESRC’s Science in Society programme, which is concerned with the public-science interface. As part of this study, we held a major dissemination/public engagement event ‘Making Parents: Infertility Awareness and South Asian Communities’ at a South Asian community centre in the city of Leicester in March 2006 with the aim of generating dialogue between the stakeholder groups involved in the project. The event was designed to facilitate the exchange of information between South Asian communities, user organisations, clinicians, counsellors and regulatory bodies and was attended by 65 people. Attendees included lay members of South Asian communities, as well as representatives of the following organisations: British Fertility Society, British Infertility Counselling Association, Infertility Network UK, National Gamete Donation Trust, Donor Conception Network, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Association, Afiya Trust, AceBabes, Daisy Network, Ujala Resource Centre Leicester, Eastern Leicester Primary Care Trust, Leicester Centre for Ethnic Health Research, and the Leicester Adoption Agency. This event provided an opportunity for dissemination of the preliminary findings of the project and dialogue between key stakeholders, including lay members of South Asian communities. Information about infertility, its treatment and sources of support (in English and four South Asian languages) was provided and practitioners and user support groups were given an opportunity to learn more about South Asian communities.

Following data collection for the Transrep study, the team invited a number of key stakeholders to attend an interactive workshop in order to discuss the findings of the study and their implications for policy and practice. The workshop was also designed as a means of collecting further data on views of CBRC amongst these important interested parties. The delegates included representation from the following groups: people who had travelled abroad for fertility treatment; healthcare providers; counsellors; representatives from overseas clinics; patient support group representatives; academics and regulators.  Twenty two delegates, plus the research team were in attendance.

Nicky Hudson

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