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Independent Researcher, Author and Digital Artist

About Me

Julie Samuels FRSA is an independent researcher and artist with a background in performance, fine art, and digital media working within the creative media industry and the higher education sector. Julie has maintained a keen interest in understanding not only how individuals engage with technology but also how it impacts upon and continues to profoundly change people’s lives both personally and professionally. 

Whilst her primary research is within the field of social sciences, she continues to develop her research network across a variety of disciplines including digital art, open-source software, multi-platform design, narrative and digital life writing, HCI, wearable technologies, and gerontology. Julie continues to present her research and art both at home and internationally at conferences and exhibitions.  

Julie completed her Masters of Philosophy research degree at the University of Sussex.

Julie is the author of Adoption in the Digital Age: Opportunities and Challenges for the 21st Century  (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. ISBN: 3319704125).

Julie is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA)

Latest News

The Augmented Society Network

As of January 2022, I am thrilled to be the new ASN co-lead for The Augmented Society Network.

Samuels on Adoption in the 21st Century

In this article Julie Samuels, author of Adoption in the Digital Age, discusses experiences of adoption in the 21st Century, considering the impact of increasingly prevalent digital media.

An Opportunity to Reimagine Learning: Pandemic Catalyst (RSA)

In this RSA publication, working with editors Amy Moser and Zoë Camper, Julie Samuels is the lead author of Kinship, Belonging and The Challenges of Learning in a Non-Inclusive World. pp. 33-44 IN:  An Opportunity to Reimagine Learning: Pandemic Catalyst (RSA) 


Julie Samuels FRSA is an independent researcher. She holds a BA Hons in Visual & Performing Art, Masters in Fine Art, Post Graduate Diploma in European Digital Media, Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning and Masters of Philosophy research degree.

Julie has over two decades of professional experience working in the creative media industry and the educational sector. Within industry as a web developer/designer for Motorola, Schoolsnet, Telewest, ITV and FDM Group PLC., and as a design/developer trainer for Maxim Training, FDM Group Plc., and the BBC Academy. Within the education sector Julie has worked at senior lecturer and course leader level land has been responsible for courses in digital media and the creative arts.

Julie is the author of Adoption in the Digital Age: Opportunities and Challenges for the 21st Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Her primary research is within the field of social sciences where she examines the transformation of adoption and fostering due to the Internet. She has published journal articles within this field. Julie has presented her research and showcases her art in the UK and abroad.

Julie holds a voluntary position as Head of Research for Special Guardians and Adopters Together, a peer-led campaigning group that aims to create awareness and achieve dialogue about systemic problems within UK permanence through a lived experience research-based approach.


  • Master of Philosophy (research degree) in Adoption narratives in a digital age: How are social and digital media changing adoption narratives? (Sussex University)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning (University of West London)
  • BSL Level 1 Sign Language (Uckfield Community College)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in European (Digital) Media (University of Portsmouth)
  • Masters Degree in Fine Art (University of Northumbria at Newcastle)
  • BA (Hon’s) Visual & Performing Arts (Brighton Polytechnic)
  • BTEC Foundation in Art and Design (Birmingham Polytechnic)


  • July 2007 - awarded the Faculty Award for Teaching and Learning Support for pastoral care, personal tutoring, and mentoring (Thames Valley University)
  • Undertaken training in Safeguarding and the Protection of Young People and Vulnerable Adults; Equality, and Diversity; Working With Dyslexic Learners; E-Safety; Team Teach; First Aid.
  • DBS cleared


          • July 2021 to present - Digital and Engagement Officer (Our Big Picture Grimsby), Independent Researcher and Digital Artist 
          • August 2016 to June 2021 - Independent Researcher, Digital Artist, and Teacher/Tutor (supply)
          • September 2015 to July 2016 - Visiting Lecturer Lincoln College of Art and Design
          • September 2007 to April 2014 - Course Leader Foundation Degree & BA Honours Digital Media Design (City College Brighton and Hove - validated and awarded by Brighton University)
          • October 2006 to May 2011 - Freelance Web Trainer (BBC Academy)
          • September 2002 to August 2007 - Senior Lecturer Creative Technologies (Thames Valley University)         
          • 2006 – Developing Digital Diversity - part of the project management team for the Developing Digital Diversity conference at the ICA, London (Thames Valley University).
          • October 2000 to April 2002 - Developer for Digital Television (ITV Digital)
          • July 1998 and October 2000 - Web Trainer and Web Development consultant for various client sites (FDM Group PLC) including:
          • Developer for Digital Television (Telewest Communications)
          • Flash Developer (
          •  Web Development Trainer (in-house trainer for FDM)
          • Multimedia Trainer (Prudential Bank)
          • IT Help Desk (Tullett & Tokyo Liberty PLC)
          •  Developer (CMG Microlex)
          • July 1996 to September 1997 - E-learning Developer (Maxim Training)
          • July 1994 to April 1995 - Conference Organiser for CADE, Computers in Art & Design Education (Brighton Polytechnic)


          Julie continues to build up a wide network across a variety of disciplines. At the same time, she actively pursues opportunities to publish her work in both journals and book chapters. Julie welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with other academics, artists, writers etc., 

          Master of Philosophy research degree

          In 2016 Julie completed her Master of Philosopy research thesis (MPhil) Adoption and narrative in the digital age: how are social and digital media changing adoption? at the University of Sussex.


          This thesis explores some of the twenty-first century social networking challenges faced by all those involved in adoption. Written as an account of some fundamental changes taking place, where adoption and social networking have collided, this work examines some of the emerging tensions. Although much of the research is UK focused, the changes within adoption in relation to social networking are more widely applicable. The inclusion of research material from other countries, including the US, is representative of these changes taking place within the field of adoption.

          Through the examination of popular media and adoption as narratives, an indication of social networking’s pervasiveness and the unforeseen changes in the provision of care of looked after children begin to emerge. In this new and still uncharted digital territory, all aspects of what it means to be adopted continue to evolve in the context of networked media cultures.

          Research Interests

          Julie's research interest in adoption crosses into other fields including: 

          • Memory (collective and individual identity formation)
          • Networked memory
          • Education
          • Gerontology
          • Digital life writing
          • ICT use across society
          • Family studies
          • Narrative
          • Media and communication
          • Social work (adoption and fostering)
          • Media culture
          • Disability

          Research Output

          Publications, Conferences, Interviews

          Peer Reviewed Journals, Books, Reports and Other Articles

          SAMUELS, J (2021). Kinship, Belonging and The Challenges of Learning in a Non-Inclusive World (contributor and senior editor) IN Camper, Z., Tavessberger, J., Weisburgh, M et al.,). An Opportunity to Reimagine Learning: Pandemic Catalyst. RSA (The royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce)

          SCHROER, S, and SAMUELS, J (2019) Accessing and Receiving Support. Available at:

          MARSTON, H.R. & SAMUELS, J. (2019).  A review of Age Friendly Virtual Assistive Technologies and their Effect on Daily Living for Carers and Dependent Adults. Special Issue of "Creating Age-friendly Communities: Housing and Technology"Healthcare 7(1): 49; doi:1 10.3390/healthcare7010049.

          SAMUELS, J (2019). Fighting for an equal chanceAdoption Today (Magazine), Feb. 2019, p. 24,

          SAMUELS, J (2018). Samuels on Adoption in the 21st Century. Social Science Matters, Palgrave Macmillan.

          SAMUELS, J. (2018). Reframing adoptive family narratives through digital and social media technologies. Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture, 9:2, pp. 239–250, doi: 10.1386/iscc.9.2.239_1

          SAMUELS, J. (2018). Adoption in the Digital Age: Opportunities and Challenges for the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 978-3-319-70413-5

          HERNANDEZ, L, & SAMUELS, J (2006). The Use of Technology within the Learning Environment. Centre for Learning in Art and Design (cltad). ISBN: 0-9541439-5-7 **chapter available on CD to accompany the book.

          Speaker / Panel Presentations

          SAMUELS, J (2018). Social and Digital Media Technologies: Facilitating and Documenting Adoption Reunification. 2nd Digital Health & Wellbeing Conference. The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

          SAMUELS, J (2015). Adoption in the digital age: How are social and digital media technologies changing adoption?. Social work education and research across boundaries. The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

          SAMUELS, J.. (2012). Can The Digital Documentation Of Life Be A Useful Aid To Sustaining Social Lives As Part Of Ageing And Terminal Illness?. The Centre for Death & Society conference (CDAS), ‘Dying in the Digital Age’, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute (BRLSI), UK.

          MARSTON, H.R & SAMUELS, J (2011). As we age, does life existence continue within the digital space?. British Society of Gerontology conference (BSG), University of Plymouth, UK.

          SAMUELS, J (2010). Digital Memories: Using Technology to Create Reflections of Life as part of the Ageing Process, The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), New Orleans, USA.

          SAMUELS, J (2008) Can open source / social software be used to enhance C-learning? JISC RSC South East: Digital Creativity Event for Learning and Teaching, London, UK.

          HERNANDEZ, L & SAMUELS, J. (2006). The Use of Technology within the Learning Environment, CLTAD (Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design), Lisbon, Portugal.

          Interviews / Discussions / Blogs

          SAMUELS, J (2019). Julie Samuels in conversation with The Adoption & Fostering Podcast: Conversation & discussion on contemporary Adoption & Fostering. Episode 55: Digital Adoption Challenges. Available: / January 17, 2019

          SAMUELS, J (2015). Interviewed by Rachel Schraer, Community Care (online).  Less than 2% councils provide social media guidance for social workers. Available: April 29, 2015

          Abstract Reviewer

          2016 - IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics - (2017 San Francisco, California) (abstract reviewer)

          2012 - The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) (submission reviewer)

          2007 - IACIS Conference Program & Refereed Proceedings (47th Annual IACIS Fall Conference October 3-6, 2007, Vancouver, British Columbia) (submission reviewer)

          2007 - DEFSA conference:  FLUX - Design Education in a Changing World  (a member of the peer review panel)


          2021- ABC Artists’ Books Cooperative (participating artist - online (

          2018 - Venice Vending Machine, The Art Hostel, Leeds, UK (participating artist)

          2018 - Venice Vending Machine, Tate Exchange, Liverpool, UK (participating artist)

          2016 - Venice Vending Machine Edition 3, Italy (participating artist)

          1995 - On The Fiddle magazine, The Levellers (magazine layout artist)

          1994 - Arcade International Exhibition of Electronic Prints, Brighton Polytechnic Gallery (print exhibited)

          1992 - AHRTAG - Working for health worldwide (annual review cover illustration)

          Contact Me

          Get in touch

          Contact info



          Integral Associates Ltd is a UK registered Company: No. 9930817 registered address 86-90 Paul Street, London EC2A4NE