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Ms Sasha Loyal

Job: Research Assistant

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

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

T: +44 (0)116 201 3896




Personal profile

Sasha Loyal is a PhD student at the Centre for Reproduction Research with a keen interest in reproduction, gender and family formation within ethnic minorities She has previously conducted research at DMU exploring the experiences of infertile men.

She was awarded a DMU High Flyers Scholarship from De Montfort University to undertake a PhD research exploring reproductive timing within British South Asian communities (2016-2019). This qualitative study explores the perceptions of British South Asian women of when the ‘right time’ is to have children and draws on an intersectional approach to explore how a range of social and cultural factors influence decision-making around family formation.

Sasha has also worked as a Research Fellow at the CRR. Her role involved data analysis, seminar and conference organisation and supporting the running of the CRR. She is currently involved in ESRC-funded project “Egg-donation in the UK, Belgium and Spain: An interdisciplinary study (EDNA)" and works with key stakeholders to develop impact work.

PhD supervisors: Dr Helene Mitchell (1st), Prof Nicky Hudson (2nd), Dr Cathy Herbrand (2nd)

Research group affiliations

Publications and outputs

Song, J.H.H., Loyal, S., and Lond, B. (2020) Metacognitive Awareness Scale, Domain Specific (MCAS- DS): Assessing Metacognitive Awareness during Raven's Progressive Matrices. Frontiers in Psychology.

Loyal, S. OPINION: The coronavirus 'baby boom' myth. Article on DMU Research News. June 2020. [Reposted on the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR) blog.]

Loyal, S. Will we really see a coronavirus 'baby boom'? Blog post on Centre for Reproduction Research Blog. June 2020.

Key research outputs

  • MSc dissertation: “The Role of Online Forums for Men Affected with Infertility”

Research interests/expertise

  • Qualitative and quantitative approaches of reproduction within minority ethnic groups 
  • Reproductive decision-making and the use of reproductive technologies  
  • Intersectionality and gender issues
  • Social and psychological aspects of infertility 

Areas of teaching

  • Endometriosis (HEST3218)
  • Age-related fertility decline (HEST1119) 


  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, De Montfort University
  • MSc Health Psychology, De Montfort University

Honours and awards

  • Poster 4th prize winner, DMU's Annual Poster Competition for Research Degree Students, 2017
  • High Flyers PhD Scholarship, 2016-2019

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Member – British Sociological Association
  • Member – Society of Reproductive and Infant Psychology


Conference attendance


  • Loyal, S., Culley, L., Hudson, N., & Weis, C. "It's kind of a rubber-stamping exercise": a qualitative study of counselling for egg providers in UK clinics. ISCHP 12th Biennial Conference. August 2021. 

  • "Is there ever a right time? A qualitative study on the perceptions of reproductive timing in British South Asian communities. ISCHP 12th Biennial Conference. August 2021. 

  • The baby 'bust': the impact of COVID-19 on reproductive planning and experiences. Research and the COVID-19 Crisis. World Health Day Lecture Series. De Montfort University, UK. April 2021. 
  • "I think as a woman you are just expected to have children". Reproductive timing, decision-making and intersectionality'. Psychology Postgraduate Conference. De Montfort University, UK. April 2019.

  • Exploring perceptions of women's roles and reproductive timing in British South Asian communities. Doctoral College Lecture Series: SDG5 - Gender Equality. De Montfort University, UK. March 2019. 
  • Exploring perceptions of reproductive timing in British South Asian groups: PhD in Progress. Centre of Reproduction Research Seminar. De Montfort University, UK. October 2018. 

  • Reproductive timing in British South Asian communities: Evidence from focus groups. Presentation. Psychology of Women & Equalities Section Annual Conference. Windsor, UK. July 2018.
  • Using intersectionality to explore reproductive timing in British South Asian communities. Presentation. Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference. University of Exeter, UK. June 2018.

  • Exploring perceptions of reproductive timing within British South Asian communities using Intersectionality. Presentation. Intersectionality Symposium. De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. June 2017.
  • 'When is the right time to have children?' Poster presentation. Society of Reproductive and Infant Psychology Annual Conference, York. 12-13 September 2017. 

  • ‘When is the best time to have children? Exploring perceptions of readiness in British South Asian communities.’ Poster presentation. Research Degree Students’ Poster Competition. De Montfort University, Leicester. April 2017. 4th prize for best poster.

Internally funded research project information

  • EDNA - Egg donation in the UK, Spain and Belgium: an interdisciplinary study. Building Impact (£3861). Higher Education Investment Fund (HEIF), De Montfort University. Hudson, N (PI), Culley, L., Herbrand, C., Weis, C., Loyal, S., Fearon, K., Turner, J. Feb-June 2020.
  • Funding generation and co-organisation of BSA Public Sociology event (£1000). De Montfort University, Leicester. March 2017. (Co-applicant).