RSIt is with great sadness we carry news of the death of Roona Simpson. All of us in the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships remember Roona as our ever-positive and supportive colleague. Roona Simpson arrived in CRFR in 2005 as a Postgraduate Research Fellow in the programme known as UPTAP, Understanding Population Trends and Processes. She was working on the project ‘Delayed childbearing and childlessness in Britain: the 1958 and 1970 cohorts compared’, having recently been awarded an MSc and PhD, ‘Contemporary Spinsterhood: Gender, Partnership Status, and Social Change’ by LSE, Gender Institute. At CRFR, she worked with co-directors Lynn Jamieson and Fran Wasoff on the ESRC funded project ‘Rural and Urban Solo Living’, co-authoring the book Living Alone. Her style was always to be actively collegiate. This included helping with CRFR CPD training, teaching in Sociology and Social Policy, and co-editing Researching Families and Relationships as well as producing fun and friendship. She was committed to promoting high quality research, particularly on single people and people living alone, countering harmful stereotypes such as the misogyny often expressed in ‘spinster’. She generously reviewed and promoted scholarship in this field, sending news of it through the email Solo Living Research Network. She remained an active participant in CRFR’s network once in a lecturing post at the University of Glasgow where she worked from 2011-2015. On top of the normal duties of a lecturer, she was also volunteering at the Women’s Library. Sociology at the University of Glasgow have written a heart -felt tributes to Roona as a generous teacher and colleague.

When diagnosed as having a life-shortening cancer in 2015 she prioritised time with her family and friends remaining a positive force in their lives. This included a trip to Australia with her cousin, time with her sister, brother-in-law and two nieces and various adventures with friends. She died peacefully at home on 7 February 2017 aged 53. There is an open invitation to a memorial service at Glasgow University Chapel on the 17th March at 5pm. Writing her own arrangements Roona said private cremation, no flowers please. Donations, if desired, to The Council for At-Risk Academics. Please send a cheque made out to ‘Cara’ to Stephen Wordsworth, Cara, LSBU Technopark, 90 London Road, London SE1 6LN, or donate on-line via

Roona Simpson’s academic work includes
Simpson, R. (2015) ‘Singleness and self-identity The significance of partnership status in the narratives of never-married women’. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Jamieson, L. and Simpson, R. (2013). Living Alone: Globalizataion, Identity and Belonging: Palgrave.
Jamieson, L., Lewis, R. and Simpson, R. (2011) (eds.) Researching families and relationships : reflections on process. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Simpson, R. (2009), ‘Delayed childbearing and childlessness’, in Stillwell, J., Kneale, D. and Coast, E. (eds.) Understanding Population Trends and Processes Volume 1: Fertility, Living Arrangements and Care, Springer , 23-40.
Simpson, R. (2009) ‘Bachelor and Spinsters’, entry in SAGE Encyclopedia of Gender and Society
Simpson, R. (2009) ‘Married Women’s Property Act’, entry in SAGE Encyclopedia of Gender and Society
Simpson, R. (2006) ‘The Intimate Relationships of Contemporary Spinsters’, special issue on Intimacy Beyond the Family, Sociological Research Online, Vol. 11, 3.
Simpson, R. (2006) ‘Delayed Childbearing and Childlessness in Britain: the 1958 and 1970 Cohorts Compared’, CRFR Research Briefing, University of Edinburgh.
Simpson, R. (2003) ‘Contemporary Spinsters in the New Millennium: Changing Notions of Family & Kinship’, London School of Economics Gender Institute New Working Paper Series, Issue 10.
Lucas, K., Grosvenor, T. and Simpson, R. (2001) Transport, The Environment and Social Exclusion, York: York Publishing Services for Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ISBN-13 9781842630273

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