BSc (Geography), MSc (Sustainability, Planning, and Environmental Policy), MSc (Social Science Research Methods - distinction)

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                            Twitter logo          ResearchGate logo Caitlin Hafferty, CCRI PhD student


Caitlin is a PhD researcher in environmental planning and geography interested in the relationships between technology, democracy, and the environment.

She started her PhD at the CCRI in 2018, which is being conducted within the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. She has degrees in human geography, environmental policy and planning, and social science research methods, with advanced training in both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Caitlin’s research sits at the intersection of environmental planning and decision-making, digital technology, and responsible innovation.

Her PhD research explores best practice in public and stakeholder engagement with environmental and planning issues, with a focus on digital participatory technologies and institutionalising engagement. Her research contributes to debates around the ethical and responsible use of digital tools for participation, and the ways that institutions can undertake and embed best practices.

During her PhD, Caitlin has completed two internships with non-academic organisations: a research placement with Natural England on best practice in stakeholder engagement (2021); and a UKRI Policy Internship with the Welsh Government exploring national statistics for well-being (2019). She has also worked as a Research Assistant on several projects at the CCRI funded by NICRE, Natural England, and Innovate UK.

Her research skills include transdisciplinary and participatory approaches, mixed methods research, digital research methods, qualitative and quantitative analysis, NVivo, SPSS, Stata, R Studio, interviewing, online survey questionnaires, research dissemination and impact.


  • MSc: Social Science Research Methods, 2018 (distinction).
  • MSc: Sustainability, Environmental Policy and Planning, 2017.
  • BSc: Geography (Human), 2016.


More publications from Caitlin Hafferty can be found on the Research Repository.

Membership of professional bodies

Associate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), since 2018.

Member of the Participatory Geographies Research Group (PYGYRG) of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), since 2019.


‘Best Early Career Paper’ at the 29th Annual GIS Research UK Conference (GISRUK), Cardiff, Wales, UK (Online), 14-16 April 2021. View the paper here.

Letter of commendation for work serving on the Council (Board of Trustees) of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) as the elected Chair of the Postgraduate Forum, 2019-20.

See full list of Caitlin Hafferty's recent activities