Photo of Dr Chao Fang

Dr Chao Fang PhD, FHEA

Lecturer Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology


Research Overview

Chao has conducted research on loss, resilience, and the existential aspects of human experience in various socio-cultural contexts. Initially focusing on death, dying, and bereavement, he has expanded his interests to include ageing, Long COVID, and chronic illness. He has examined how changes in living circumstances and losses can lead to existential challenges for older people. In his recent work, he specifically examines the existential dimension of living with Long COVID, asserting that the struggles individuals face are rooted in the disruptions to the construction of their identity as a coherent narrative connecting their past, present and future. Chao seeks to understand how people navigate loss and existential challenges, while also exploring how society can better support individuals in these circumstances.

Chao is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Death and Society at University of Bath. He also holds an Honorary Research Associate position at the Institute of Education at University College London, where he collaborates with researchers from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies on longitudinal qualitative research on Long COVID. Additionally, he coordinates diverse international collaborations between institutions in the UK and overseas, notably in China and Japan.

Below is a list of projects that Chao has been involved in over the recent years:

2023-present: Intergenerational Interactions and the Experience of 'Fall' Among Older People and Children: a qualitative study, funded by the School of Law and Social Justice Research Development Funds.

2022-2026: UnTIL Net. Understanding Tiredness of LIfe in Older People Research Nerwork, funded by Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO).

2021-present: CONVALESCENCE Long COVID longitudinal qualitative Study, funded by UKRI-NIHR.

2020-2022: Exploring “social isolation” of older immigrants in Japan and the United Kingdom, funded by Japan Univers Foundation and British Sasagawa Foundation.

2019-2021: Exploring emotional loneliness in older people living in retirement communities, funded by Guild Living.

2019-2020: Mitori Project: end of life care in the United Kingdom and Japan, funded by ESRC and AHRC.

Research Group Membership