Dr Laura Ann Chubb

PhD Social Work, MSc. (Social and Cultural Aspects of Health/Physical Activity, BPE(Hons)- Teaching Option


Laura is from the island of Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada where she completed her undergraduate studies in Physical Education-Teaching. Her honour’s thesis was a co-conducted qualitative study to understand secondary students’ involvement and relationships with physical activity. While Laura thoroughly enjoyed the idea of teaching, her career trajectory was altered after spending the summer volunteering on the island of Pemba, Tanzania, East Africa. She became interested in community-based organisational/NGO-international partnerships, as well as sexual wellbeing concerns and identity issues related to people living with HIV— specifically those experiences of young women at the time. 

In 2011, she completed an MSc in the social and cultural aspects of health, conducting a study on how women negotiated their identities living with an HIV-positive status. Laura arrived in New Zealand in 2013 and completed her doctorate in Social Work in 2018 under the supervision of Professor Christa Fouché and Dr Allen Bartley, in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. Her action research focus brought her back to East Africa, where she worked in partnership with a local research team and rural Kenyan community members to test traditional gathering places (mabaraza) as safe/culturally responsive spaces for sex-talk. 

Laura currently works as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work teaching a range of courses arcoss the Bachelor of Social Work programme as well as a general education course. Laura is an active researcher. Maintaining a long-standing (9-year) partnership with Kwacha Afrika Youth Empowerment Centre in Mombasa, Kenya. She is presently working with her partners to launch a fully affiliated community-based research unit where the organisation can develop evidence-based culturally and contextually responsive  educational resources for sexual wellbeing.

Laura was also recently appointed as a QES Post-Doctoral Scholar to complete a one-year postdoctorate in a joint partnership between the University of Alberta and the University of Ghana on a project entitled "Coming Together – Strengthening Partnerships between Ghana and Canada to Address Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health". She is currently collaborating with a local organisation working for street-involved youth in Ghana using arts-based research to assist young people in envisioning, designing and documenting their ideas for enhancing sexual wellbeing outcomes. Dual project goals are to connect service providers and young people while also producing a policy brief of their recommendations for upscaling the reach and cultural responsiveness of current sexual and reproductive services targeting some of Ghana's most vulnerable, but most resilient, youth.

Research | Current

True to the collaborative approach, Laura continues to work as part of multi-disciplinary teams in research areas concerning different aspects of young peoples' wellbeing:

  • Establishing an innovation HUB for youth-friendly evaluation - Auckland Council & CCRE
  • Participatory design of a locally-derived adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health training resource with organisation volunteers in a Kenyan NGO
  • Creating synergy in women's maternal and reproductive health: Building global research capacity to eradicate obstetric fistula (Multi-stakeholder knowledge exchange workshops planning grant)
  • Participatory sexual learning and exposure dialogues: Exploring young people's perceptions of the cultural and contextual responsiveness of adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health resources across Ghana​.
  • The Patience Project: Reducing the social and educational exclusion of young people living with an illness through telepresence https://www.patienceproject.org


Chubb, L.A., Fouché, C.B., Agee, M. & Thompson, T. (2021). ‘Being there’: Technology to reduce isolation for young people with significant illness. International Journal of Inclusive Education, https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2021.1916106 

Home, A., Chubb, L. A., & Fouché, C. B. (2021). Facilitating co-creation of knowledge in two community-university research partnerships. Collaborations: A Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice(1). https://doi.org/10.33596/coll.68

Chubb, L.A., Strydom, H. & Fouché, C.B, & (2021). Participatory research. In Fouché, C.B., & Strydom, H., & Roestenburg, W.J.H. (Eds.), Research at grass roots: A primer for the social science and human professions. Van Schaik Publishers.

Fouché, C.B, & Chubb, L.A. (2021). Research dissemination and impact. In Fouché, C.B., & Strydom, H., & Roestenburg, W.J.H. (Eds.), Research at grass roots: A primer for the social science and human professions. Van Schaik Publishers.

Chubb, L. A., Fouché, C. B., & Kengah, K. S. (2021). Co-researching complexities: Learning strategies for edge walking in community–university research partnerships. Research for All5(1), 157-173. https://doi.org/10.14324/RFA.05.1.12

Chubb, L. A., & Fouché, C. B. (2020). Domestic stigmatisation: Refocusing interventions for people living with HIV. African Journal of AIDS Research19(4), 276-286.https://doi.org/10.2989/16085906.2020.1834416


Teaching | Current

Laura is the current Course Director and Lecturer for the following undergradutate and honours courses:

  • SOCWORK 356/SOCWORK 726: Practice with Communities
  • SOCWORK 312: Applied Social Research
  • SOCWORK 414: Research and Evaluation in Social Practice
  • SOCWORK 780A/780B: Social Work Research Honours Project
  • YOUTHWORK 152G: Understanding New Zealand Youth 
  • HUMSERV 102: Lifespan Development for Human Services

Postgraduate supervision

Laura is a current co-supervisor for the following doctoral candidates:

  • Baskaran, V. Inclusive practices in New Zealand Schools: An action research intervention for improving social connectedness and wellbeing of young people with a significant illness using telepresence technology. (Working title).


  • Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Planning Grant (Tri-Agency Funding) (Co-PI) Project Title - Creating Synergy in Women's Maternal and Reproductive Health: Building Global Research Capacity to Eradicate Obstetric Fistula
  • QEScholar - Post Doctoral Advanced Scholar - Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (2019)
  • Nominated for Vice Chancellor's Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis (2018)
  • Doctoral Academic Leadership Initiative [DALI] Scholarship 2016
  • Society for Community Research and Action [SCRA] Mini-Grant: Funding provided for small, time-sensitive, community-based project associated with PhD fieldwork in Kenya;  SCRA wants to help communities in “real-time” and recognise that a small amount of funding can often make a meaningful difference. 

Areas of expertise

Laura has diverse research interests and takes an interdisciplinary approach to her work. Her areas of expertise include:

  • Action research 
  • Culturally responsive practices
  • Qualitative applied research 
  • Creative and arts-based research methods
  • Practice with Communities
  • Community-university research partnerships (CURPs)
  • Indigenous methodologies
  • Young people and sexual wellbeing

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Laura is the current member of the Management Board and researcher for the Centre for Community Research and Evaluation Pūtahi Rangahau Ngātahi. The Centre was established in 2017 and is hosted by the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work, in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. Working in collaboration with the social services sector, the Centre strives to increase research and evaluation capacity through targeted support and networking. The Centre promotes connections with stakeholders in the not-for-profit sector and key partners both nationally and internationally.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Fouche, C. B., & Chubb, L. A. (2020). Results to practice: Navigating complexities to create meaningful impact. In L. Joubert, M. Webber (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Social Work Practice Research (pp. ). Routledge. 10.4324/9780429199486
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christa Fouche
  • Chubb, L. (2019). Doing research in social work and social care: The journey from student to practitioner researcher [Book review]. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 31 (2), 77-79. 10.11157/anzswj-vol31iss2id639
  • Fouché C, Agee, A., Thompson, A., & Chubb, L. A. (2018). Immersive reality experiences of young people living with an illness: A formative assessment of The Patience Project. Auckland, New Zealand: Centre for Community Research and Evaluation, University of Auckland. Related URL.
  • Chubb, L. A. (2018). Struggle for a Sustainable Solution: Building Safe Sex-Talk Spaces with a Rural Kenyan Community The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
  • Fouché C, & Chubb, L. (2017). Action researchers encountering ethical review: A literature synthesis on challenges and strategies. Educational Action Research, 25 (1), 23-34. 10.1080/09650792.2015.1128956
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christa Fouche
  • Chubb, L. A. (2014). Negotiating Disease Perceptions: The Experiences of Eight HIV-Positive Women in Mombasa, Kenya Memorial University of Newfoundland. Memorial University of Newfoundland. Related URL.


Contact details

Alternative contact

l.chubb@auckland.ac.nz is my preferred email.

Office hours

  • by appointment only.

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 503
New Zealand

Social links

Web links