Skip to main content
Neil Armstrong

Dr Neil Armstrong

Student Mental Health Research Associate


Neil joined KCL in September 2022 as Student Mental Health Research Associate, to conduct long-term ethnographic work investigating how to make the university institutionally compassionate. He is part of the MRC-funded Nurture-U project.

He also has a number of positions at Oxford University: Fellow and Tutor in Anthropology at Harris Manchester College and Stipendiary Lecturer and Director of Studies for the Archaeology and Anthropology degree at Magdalen College. He is affiliated to the University Department of Psychiatry and the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, where he supervises doctoral students working in the anthropology of mental health.

Neil is a medical anthropologist, with a DPhil (PhD) and MSt in anthropology and an MA in Philosophy and Theology, all from Oxford University. His research focusses on improving how mental healthcare is organised, rather than developing and evaluating new interventions.

A feature of his research is that he co-produces ethnography, sharing authorship and working with people to write about their lives. A book containing coproduced ethnography and autoethnography, Everybody Knows: Collaborative Ethnographic Working in Mental Healthcare will be published by Routledge in 2023.

With colleagues at the University of the Arts London, he is involved in developing rituals that promote social connection and reduce loneliness through acts of public silliness.

He is co-editor (and co-author of four papers) for a forthcoming special edition of the journal History of Psychiatry: ‘The processes and context of innovation in mental healthcare: Oxfordshire as a case study’ to be published in 2023.

He is a Research Fellow at Re:Create Psychiatry, an organisation that works to facilitate productive dialogue between people who experience mental health problems, clinicians and researchers.

He is a member of an NHS Clinical Ethics Advisory Group and Associate Editor of the BJPsych Bulletin

Research Interests:

  • Anthropology of mental healthcare
  • Anthropology of student mental health
  • Ethnographic methods