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Rebecca Williams

PhD researcher in Anthropology, UCL

Current UCL, ESRC funded PhD candidate, conducting research into care capacity and institutional exclusion in the NHS. With over a decade of experience as a frontline healthcare provider, my research interests centre on health inequalities, healthcare access and care provision. I have previously conducted research in health service engagement, peer-led health initiatives, fertility services, and end of life care both within and outside of the NHS.

Based on 15 months ethnographic fieldwork on an NHS hospital ward, my PhD analyses care as both moral and economic. This approach reveals care to be limited and its distribution to be shaped by a value system that pits individual and collective needs against each other. It shows how concepts of justice and equality shape care institutions and on the ground decision making, but ultimately fail to marry up with the realities of the care provision, leading to systemic forms of exclusion and neglect. Here we see how care functions as a necropolitical tool as these exclusionary practices are folded into caregiving and therefore seen as an inherent part of “doing good”.

After 2 years working as a PGTA in the Anthropology department, I was hired as an Honorary Teaching Fellow to run an optional module for medical students. I designed and delivered a course offering philosophical, anthropological, and practical insight into end-of-life care and its inequalities in contemporary Britain. It dealt with a number of important and complex issues surrounding the definition of 'life' and its limits, including abortion, healthcare access, slavery, and global injustice to name a few.


  • 2022–present
    Associate Research Fellow, UCL
  • 2016–present
    PhD Researcher, UCL
  • 2018–2020
    Honorary Teaching Fellow, UCL


  • 2016 
    UCL, Masters of Research