Dr Nikki Hayfield

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About me


My research interests are in bisexualities, LGBTQ+ sexualities, marginalised identities, relationships, and alternative families. My focus is on qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, in particular thematic analysis. I have published on a range of topics including bisexual identities, bisexual marginalisation, relationships, and childfree identities. I have also written book chapters and journal papers on qualitative research methods, including thematic analysis, insider/outsider research, and story completion tasks. I am a Chartered Psychologist and a committee member of the BPS Psychology of Sexualities Section (PoS) committee. 

Recent projects

I am currently focused on research exploring the lived experiences of pansexual and panromantic people with a Research Assistant (Karolína Křížová), funded by a BPS Undergraduate Research Assistantship Scheme. We are recruiting participants to complete a qualitative survey of pansexual and panromantic people's understandings and experiences of their identities. Our aim is for the results to contribute to academic understandings of plurisexual identities.

Earlier this year, I was invited keynote speaker at Bisexual – Pansexual – Omnisexual: European workshop on the transformations of identities among people whose sexual attractions are not limited to one gender only. My talk was entitled Heart Not Parts?: Reflecting on bisexuality and the turn to non-binary identities. The event was organised by Dr Christian Klesse (Manchester Metropolitan University) (hosted by Research in the Arts and Humanities public engagement programme): https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/artshumanities/rah/events/detail/index.php?id=8183

In 2016 I received UWE funding to conduct an interview study which investigated how bisexual people form and maintain intimate relationships within the wider context of bisexual marginalisation. This research was conducted with Lizzie Reed (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Christine Campbell (St Mary's University, Twickenham). We also worked with community group BiVisible Bristol and relationship charity OnePlusOne.

I have also conducted British Academy/Leverhulme Trust funded research on the lived experiences of heterosexual, lesbian, bisexual and queer women who choose not to have children, in collaboration with Victoria Clarke (UWE, Bristol), Sonja Ellis (The University of Waikato), and Gareth Terry (The University of Auckland).

You can find my publications listed at the end of this page - where possible I make (pre-publication) versions publicly available via the UWE Research Repository.

Area of expertise

Editorial roles

During 2016-2018 I was involved in editing a special issue of The Journal of Family Issues with Fiona Tasker (Birkbeck, University of London), Victoria Clarke (UWE, Bristol) and Naomi Moller (The Open University). This issue was developed from our BPS funded seminar series exploring non-traditional family forms entitled New Frontiers of Family:  LGBTQ family members pushing back the boundaries of family

In 2017 I was a guest editor for a special issue of Psychology of Sexualities Review focusing on bisexualities and non-binary identities, with Dr Adam Jowett (Coventry University). You can access the special issue here: https://shop.bps.org.uk/publications/psychology-of-sexualities-review-vol-8-no-2-winter-2017.html

I serve as an Associate Editor for Psychology & Sexuality and a Consulting Editor for Feminism & Psychology. I also act as a reviewer for a number of other journals, including the Journal of BisexualityJournal of HomosexualitySexualitiesSex RolesArchives of Sexual Behavior, and Gender & Society.

Event Organisation

I have organised/co-organised of a number of events, including the PoS 20th Anniversary Conference, the POS Innovations in Psychology and Sexualities Conference, a week-long residential Qualitative Research International Summer School (with Victoria Clarke and Virginia Braun) at UWE, and CPD events on qualitative methods and thematic analysis. 


Alongside my research I teach social psychology, sexualities, and qualitative research methods on the following undergraduate and postgraduate modules:

  • Conducting and Evaluating Psychological Research (Qualitative Methods)
  • Research, Design & Analysis (Qualitative Methods)
  • Human Sexualities


I began my research as an undergraduate student when I explored women's understandings of sex and affection for my final year dissertation project. After a brief break from academic to visit Australia, I returned to the UK and to UWE. 

My PhD was a feminist exploration of bisexual women's (visual) identities (completed in the Centre for Appearance Research and supervised by Victoria Clarke, Emma Halliwell, Nichola Rumsey, and Helen Malson). During, and after, my PhD I held a number of research roles which included research on civil partnership and perceptions of bisexuality.


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