Dr Andrea Rodriguez


Dentistry, School of Dentistry

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Dr Andrea Rodriguez has a First degree in Psychology (1998) from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Master degree in Psycho-sociology of Communities (2001) and a PhD in Social Psychology (2011) at same university in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her academic and professional experience has a strong connection with Third Sector organisations and Government agencies working with social inequalities, stigmatised groups, professional development, community engagement models and violence reduction.

For many years she has worked with vulnerable groups, residents in favelas (slums), young offenders and children victims of violence.

She has also studied team strategies and approaches used by practitioners from different backgrounds working with marginalised groups in these territories. Her professional practice involves the work in social projects as a psychologist, supervisor, coordinator and consultant on field of youth and violence.

Currently she is working as a Research Fellow in Smile4life Programme.

This is an oral health improvement programme to promote health and psycho-social well-being for people experiencing homelessness in Scotland.


Her academic studies, both Masters and PhD, were motivated by the work in Brazilian favelas and she has tried to combine theory and practice translating research into a social transformation in specific environments involving poverty, violence and social inequalities.

In her Masters she developed an analysis of life trajectory of community leaders in favelas in order to understand the profile of those leaders and how their actions had an impact in terms of mobilising people engaged with the development of their communities.

In her PhD she has developed extensive research on life changing processes and overcoming stigmas, in particular with regards the entrance and exit of criminal life of youth residents in deprived areas.

She has also studied team strategies and approaches used by practitioners from different fields of knowledge and intervention to engage and support these groups to improve their lives.

In 2014 she worked as a Post-doctoral Research Assistant at School of Environment to document violations against children, adolescents and their families in the context of World Cup in Brazil.

Her current field of research is generally related to Homelessness with special interest in the areas of social inequalities, oral health, psycho-social well-being, Third sector links, service users’ engagement and overcoming stigmas.

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Award Year
Engaged Researcher of the Year 2021