Dr Trude Sundberg

Senior Lecturer in Social Policy,
Director of Q-Step Centre,
Co-Director of MA International Social Policy
+44 (0)1227 824610
Dr Trude Sundberg


Dr Trude Sundberg is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. Trude’s work focus on the lived experiences of vulnerable and marginalised groups in society across different regions, nations and parts of the world by looking at both emotional and physical effects of discrimination, stereotyping, values, attitudes and inequalities. 

Their academic research involves working with LGBTQ+ and feminist communities in mainland China and India as well as improving the working conditions in higher education for LGBTQ+, disabled and BIPOC staff in higher education. Trude's research with these communities, and others, aims to improve research methods research through radically inclusive and innovative research methods and to create inclusive and safer spaces within universities and learning spaces. 

Trude completed their PhD at the University of Kent, MSc in Comparative Politics (Research) at the London School of Economics and Political Science and MPhil in Political Science at the University of Oslo and joined the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research in September 2012. They are currently developing a new, large project on Water Security in South Asia, together with community members in South Asia, and colleagues at the Freie Universitat Berlin and the University of Connecticut. For more information see the project website

Trude is the Director of the University of Kent's Q-Step Centre, and had a leading role in establishing the centre, which is now a unique, critical quantitative methods centre. The Centre combines innovative teaching and applied social sciences to benefit secondary education students, our own students and the wider population in Kent. For any questions on the Centre's work email qstep-info@kent.ac.uk

Research interests

Dr Sundberg has a wide range of research interests with an emphasis on cross-national views and the effect of negative attitudes, stereotyping, values and perceptions affecting vulnerable groups. They have conducted research projects on comparative welfare state attitudes, deservingness, immigration and social research methods. The last few years their research has focused on public views and the lived experiences of particular vulnerable groups in Mainland China. This research on ‘two sides’ (‘holders’ and ‘receivers’) of attitudes, stereotypes and perceptions prompted a study of feminists, to understand the reactions to value and attitude systems in the societies researched. They are currently working on projects emphasising and developing research methods that are inclusive, community driven and critically reflect on the role of the social researcher. 

Their main interests include 

  • The relationship between immigration and welfare legitimacy 
  • Research on stigma of welfare claimants, and deservingness in a welfare state setting 
  • Comparative welfare attitudes in Europe, East-Asia, China and North America 
  • The impact of political and welfare institutions on welfare attitudes 
  • The lived experiences of stigma, stereotypes and negative perceptions and attitudes by LGBTQ+ individuals and groups 
  • Chinese feminism 
  • The development of and use of innovative research methods, with an emphasis on them being critical, radically inclusive and community driven. 


At undergraduate level, Dr Sundberg teaches social research methods. At postgraduate level, they teach critical social research.



Editorial board membership 


  • Social Policy Association UK 
  • International Political Science Association 
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