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I’m a researcher and writer on care, identity and relationships. I’m currently a Senior Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor) in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University (UK). The views expressed here are my own.

I studied English Literature at Cambridge University (1975-78), then spent a year as a full-time volunteer in a residential project for emotionally disturbed ex-offenders in Worcester, before studying for a Ph.D. in the Faculty of Arts at Manchester University (1979-82). After a short period teaching part-time in adult and further education, I spent four years working full-time for the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO), setting up an education project in Basildon, Essex (1983 – 84), then managing an education day centre as part of a residential project in Stoke Newington, North London (1984 – 86). From 1987 to 1989 I was the community education organiser for Berinsfield, a socially disadvantaged housing estate near Oxford, following which I was appointed as director of Baselines, the adult basic education project for the Milton Keynes area (1989 – 1991).

I joined The Open University in 1991, initially to work on community education and ‘access’ courses, then later on the Health and Social Care programme. I have a Diploma in Adult Education from Nottingham University and an Advanced Diploma in Child Development and an M.Sc. in Psychology from The Open University. I’ve led the development of a wide range of Open University distance learning courses, including courses on communication and relationships in health and social care and work with children and young people. I’m currently the academic coordinator for the OU’s M.A. in Childhood and Youth Studies.

My academic research has been mainly concerned with issues of gender, care and relationships. I’ve carried out studies of fathering identities; men as childcare workers; and young masculinities. From 2013-15 I was the principal investigator for Beyond Male Role Models, an ESRC-funded research project in association with Action for Children, exploring gender identities and practices in work with vulnerable young men. In 2016-17 I led a project on Young men, masculinity and wellbeing, as part of an international study in partnership with Promundo. I’m currently working with colleagues on studies of fathers and perinatal loss and fathers’ relationships with their disabled children. I have a growing interest in care ethics and am developing a writing project on personalism and theories of care. 

My book Men, Masculinities and the Care of Children: Images, Ideas and Identities was published by Routledge in 2020.

I am Co-editor of the journal Children & Society. I was a member of the ‘Men as Change Agents’ Committee set up by the UK Government Equalities Office, by whom I was appointed a ‘Champion Advocate’.

You can listen to my interview for the ‘Now and Men’ podcast here.

Follow me on Twitter @DrMartinRobb.

You can email me at: martin.robb@open.ac.uk

Here’s a link to my Open University profile.

You can also follow my work at:


2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Rob
    I am an Open University student. Thought I would write on your Blogg as my son (who is 27) works as a carer and helps me run an After School Club. Reading your chapter in my Open Uni course, it left me feeling very proud that I might have been his influence.
    Good luck with your research

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