I am originally from Kerala, India where I completed my Masters in Social Work. Subsequently I taught at the College of Social Work, University of Mumbai, and later at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences India. In 1999, I began my PhD in Social Work at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland on the topic of family carers of people living with HIV in Scotland and Kerala. While pursuing my PhD, I also worked as a statutory Social Worker, specialising in social work with older people and latterly as a Practice Team Leader with Glasgow Social Work Services. In 2005, I became a Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Strathclyde, and in 2009 moved to the University of Edinburgh, where I continue work as a Senior Lecturer in Social Work.
During May 2013-July 2015, I held the additional role of Deputy Director of Edinburgh India Institute, where I organised the Institute’s inaugural conference: “Innovative Engagements for Sustainable Development – The Edinburgh India Story” with the former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam giving the keynote address. My initiative led to the University of Edinburgh establishing an annual “India Day” celebration on 2nd October, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday with Dr Gopalkrishna Gandhi giving the inaugural lecture in 2014, entitled ‘India Yesterday, India Today’.
I am also an accredited Practice Teacher (Scottish Social Services Council) and a Senior Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy.
I contribute to teaching across BSc, MSW and MSc programmes on the broad topics of social work with older people, race and diversity, international social work, research methods and researching sensitive topics. I programme direct Masters in Social Work and organise two of its integral courses: Doing Social Work Research and MSW Dissertation. Drawing on my research, I am currently developing a new course: Refugees, Health and Humanitarian Action.
I am deeply committed to diversity and social justice and one of my passions is to internationalise the curricula and enable students to have cross-cultural experiences. I have led students on a go abroad programme to Delhi in 2013 where we joined Delhi University students on a ‘College on Wheels’ trip - learning while travelling to some of India’s historical and cultural sites. I am passionate about supporting BAME students and bring service users and research participants to the classroom to enrich my teaching. I am currently supporting our social work students to celebrate the World Social Work Day in collaboration with social work students and staff of Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kerala and the University of Johannesburg. For my contribution to student support, I was awarded the Best Personal Tutor Award (2019) by the Edinburgh University Students Association.
List of publications
Palattiyil, G. Sidhva, D. and Chakrabarti, M (Eds) (2016). Social Work in a Global Context: Issues and Challenges, London, Routledge.
Journal articles and book chapters:
Bukuluki, P., Mwenyango, H., Katongole, S. P., Sidhva, D., & Palattiyil, G. (2020). The Socio-economic and Psychosocial Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Urban Refugees in Uganda. Social Sciences & Humanities Open, 2(1), 100045; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssaho.2020.100045
Mwenyango, M and Palattiyil, G (2019). Health Needs and Challenges of Women and Children in Uganda’s Refugee Settlements: Conceptualising a Role for Social Work: International Social Work, 1-13, https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872819865010.
Rose, S., and Palattiyil, G. (2018). Surviving or thriving? Enhancing the emotional resilience of social workers in their organisational settings. Journal of Social Work, 0(0) 1–20, https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017318793614.
Palattiyil, G., Sidhva, D., Shajahan, P.K., Pawar, M., Cox, J., and Anand, J. (2018). Reclaiming International Social Work in the Context of the Global Agenda: Some Critical Reflections. International Social Work, 1-12, https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872818774107.
Palattiyil, G., & Sidhva, D. (2017). Listening to the voiceless: Lived experiences of asylum seekers living with HIV in Scotland and the implications for social work practice. In: Henrickson, M., Chipanta, D., Lynch, V., Muñoz Sanchez, H., Nadkarni, V., Semigina, T., & Sewpaul, V. (Eds.). (2017). Getting to zero: Global social work responds to HIV. Geneva: UNAIDS and IASSW. (ISBN 978-0-9941415-4-5).
Palattiyil, G., Sidhva, D., and Chakrabarti, M (2016). Social work: An emerging global profession. In: G. Palattiyil., D. Sidhva and M. Chakrabarti, M (Eds). Social Work in a Global Context: Issues and Challenges’, London, Routledge.
Sidhva, D., Palattiyil, G., and Chakrabarti, M (2016). Social work: a unique profession in a diverse context. In: G. Palattiyil., D. Sidhva and M. Chakrabarti, M (Eds). Social Work in a Global Context: Issues and Challenges’, London, Routledge.
Palattiyil, G. and Sidhva, D (2015). Caught in a web of double jeopardy—post-traumatic stress disorder and HIV positive Asylum seekers in Scotland. Clinical Social Work Journal, Vol. 43, 2. DOI 10.1007/s10615-015-0542-5.
Sidhva, D and Palattiyil, G (2013) Listening to the Voices of HIV Positive People: Empowering, Engaging and Enabling. Evaluation of the Positive Person’s Forum.
Palattiyil, G. and Sidhva, D. (2012) Social Work in India (Editorial). Practice: Social Work in Action; 24, 2.
Palattiyil, G. and Sidhva, D. (2011) They call me “You are AIDS’: A Report on HIV, Human Rights and Asylum Seekers in Scotland, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.
Palattiyil, G., Blyth, E., Sidhva, D., and Balakrishnan, G. (2010). Globalisation and Cross Border Reproductive Services: Ethical Implications of Surrogacy in India', International Social Work, 53(5): 686–700. DOI: 10.1177/0020872810372157
Palattiyil, G and Chakrabarti, M. (2008). Coping Strategies of Families in HIV/AIDS Care: Some Exploratory Data from two Developmental Contexts, AIDS Care Journal. DOI: 10.1080/09540120701767166
Palattiyil, G. (2008). Conceptualising families in HIV/AIDS care: A cross-national perspective and a model for intervention. In: M. Michailidis., S. Fargion., and R. Sanders: Research Synergies in Social Professions; EUSW: European platform for Worldwide Social Work.
Shaw, C and Palattiyil, G. (2008). Issues of Alcohol Misuse among Older People: Attitudes and Experiences of Social Work Practitioners. Practice: Social Work in Action. DOI: 10.1080/09503150802341418
Cadman, M., Chakrabarti, M., and Palattiyil, G. (2008). Social Work Services: Issues and Challenges; In: T.G.K Bryce and W.M. Humes; Scottish Education: Third Edition: Beyond Devolution. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.
Social work with older people, , Forced migration, Refugees and asylum seekers, GBV and SRH in refugee settings, Individuals and families affected by HIV and AIDS, Human rights, Surrogacy and cross border reproductive services, International social work, Race diversity and marginalisation, Migration social inclusion and citizenship
My research interests are in the area of forced migration and refugees, human rights, individuals and families affected by HIV and AIDS and older people. With a commitment to giving voice to vulnerable individuals, my research aims to develop an intellectual discourse at the interface between social work and the social sciences aspects of public health. Much of my recent research has aimed at examining the lived experiences of forced migrants and refugees and those living with HIV, keeping health and wellbeing as a key driver. My current research focuses on 1) impact of Covid-19 on families of care home residents in Scotland (funded by Scotland’s Chief Scientist Office) and 2) adolescent reproductive health in humanitarian settings in Uganda, Jordan and Bangladesh (funded by Scottish Funding Council Global Challenges Research Fund, awarded via the University of Edinburgh). Drawing on my cross-national research on refugee health, I set up an interdisciplinary knowledge exchange platform – ‘Global Refugee Health Research Network’ with partners from the UK, Uganda, Jordan, Bangladesh, and South Africa.
Recent research projects
Principal Investigator: Understanding and reducing the psychosocial impact of Coronavirus social distancing and behavioural changes on families of care home residents in Scotland https://www.creativecovidcare.com/ (2020); with collaborators from Universities of: Edinburgh, Strathclyde, West of Scotland and the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services.
Co-Investigator: Impact of Covid-19 on rural communities in South Africa, Scottish Funding Council/Global Challenges Research Fund, 2020; with collaborators from Edinburgh University’s Usher Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Principal Investigator: Reproductive health of adolescent refugees in camp settings – A qualitative cross-national needs assessment, Scottish Funding Council/Global Challenges Research Fund; 2020, with collaborators from Edinburgh University’s Usher Institute, University, Makerere University Uganda, Higher Population Council Jordan, Yarmouk University Jordan and UNICEF Bangladesh.
Principal Investigator: Quality of Care of Reproductive Health Services for Adolescent Urban Refugees in Uganda and Jordan, Scottish Funding Council/Global Challenges Research Fund, 2019; with collaborators from Edinburgh University’s Usher Institute, University, Makerere University Uganda, and Yarmouk University Jordan.
Principal Investigator: HIV, gender and access to antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in the urban slums of India, funded by the British Academy, 2015.
Co-Investigator: Advances in Research on Globally Accessible Medicine (AROGYAM, 2013-2016). Indian-European Research Networking Programme in the Social Sciences/Economic and Social Research Council, with collaborators from the University of Edinburgh; Heidelberg University; Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India; and Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Kerala, India.
Principal Investigator: Human Rights and HIV/AIDS: Exploring the Double Jeopardy experienced by HIV positive Asylum seekers and Refugees in Scotland, funded by the British Academy, 2009.
Principal Investigator: Reproductive health of adolescent refugees in camp settings – A qualitative cross-national needs assessment, Scottish Funding Council/Global Challenges Research Fund; 2020.
Topics interested in supervising
PhD Supervision: I would particularly welcome the opportunity to supervise PhD students who want to pursue projects that relate to my broad interests in: forced migration, asylum seekers and refugees; GBVs and SRH in refugee settings, individuals, families and communities affected by HIV and AIDS; human rights; surrogacy and cross border reproductive services; international social work and social development; social work with older people; diversity and marginalisation; and migration, social inclusion and citizenship. Current PhD topics include: 1) Creating thriving social work teams - Supporting the emotional resilience of social workers within local authority adult social work services (Sarah Rose); 2) Risk, Refuge and Resilience – A qualitative study of child migrants in the urban cities in India (Yukti Lamba); 3)Looking after the grandchildren: Ageing, caring, and the impact of intergenerational engagements on grandparents in rural China Ye (Julia) Wang. Completed PhD topics include: 1)This is my life now - Lived experiences of residents in care homes in Goa, India, Deborah Menezes, 2014. 2)Place of refugee women and children in the public health policies and programmes in Uganda - Articulating the Role of Social Work, Hadijah Mwenyango, 2020.
If you are interested in being supervised by George Palattiyil, please see the links below (opening in new windows) for more information: