DR Barbara Barbosa Neves

DR Barbara Barbosa Neves


  • Ageing and Technology (Technology adoption and non-adoption in later life)
  • Life course studies (Social mobility)
  • Social Inclusion (Digital and social inclusion)
  • Sociology of Technology (Information & Communication Technologies)



  • Dr Barbara Barbosa Neves is a lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Previously, she was an Associate Director and Research Associate of the 'Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab' (TAGlab) at the department of Computer Science of the University of Toronto (2014-2015). Prior to this appointment, she was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Lisbon (2012-2014). At the University of Toronto, Dr Neves taught social research methods for computer scientists; at the University of Lisbon, she taught research methods, sociology of technology, introduction to sociology, contemporary sociological thought, digital media, and sociology of gender at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. She was also a visiting scholar at the University of Oslo (2009-2011), a visiting researcher at Netlab, University of Toronto (2008-2012), and an invited doctoral student at the University of Oxford (SDP, 2008).

    Barbara's research intersects sociology of technology, social networks, ageing, families, and social inequalities. In particular, she studies the determinants and effects of the adoption and non-adoption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in early and late adulthood as well as the links between social and digital inequalities. She specializes in mixed-methods and participatory research. Her current research focuses on: 1) social isolation and loneliness among older Australians and the role of ICTs in addressing both, and 2) Virtual Reality and robopets to enhance social connectedness and well-being in later life.

    Her research has been published in a range of top tier Sociology journals and Computer Science (HCI) outlets, including Social Science Research, CHI, and Information Communication and Society. It has also been featured in the Canadian, Portuguese, and Brazilian media (TV, radio, and press). In addition, her studies have been used to improve the design, implementation, and evaluatio   


Member of

  • Invited Research Fellow, University of Lisbon. Invited Research Fellow 2011 - 2020
  • Affiliate Researcher, AGE-WELL National Centers of Excellence (NCE) network, Canada. Affiliate Researcher 2015 - 2019
  • Invited Research Fellow, eplanning lab, University of Aveiro & MIT. Affiliate Researcher 2017 - 2018
  • International Sociological Association. Member of the following research committees: Family (RC06), Aging (RC11), and Science and Technology (RC23 2012 - 2018
  • International Sociological Association, Research Committee on Family Research, Elected Board Member (2010-2018). Elected board member 2012 - 2018


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • Other current grants:

    - Networked Society Institute, MNSI (2018) - 'Robotic Companions for Older People: Identifying the Technological, Social and Ethical Challenges' with Dr Jenny Waycott, Dr Simon Coghlan, & Prof. Frank Vetere.

    - MSE Research Grant (2017) - 'Active Virtual Reality for Engaging Older Adults with Dementia in Residential Aged Care' with Prof. Frank Vetere, Dr Steven Baker, Dr Jenny Waycott, & Dr Ralph Hampson.

    - HARI Seed Funding, Hallmark (2017) - 'Active Virtual Reality for Engaging Older Adults with Dementia in Residential Aged Care' with Prof. Frank Vetere, Dr Steven Baker, Dr Jenny Waycott, & Dr Ralph Hampson.

    - Faculty Research Grant (2017) 'Captured and Captioned: Representing Family Lives on Instagram', with Dr Signe Ravn and Dr Ashley Barnwell.

    - 'Networked Individualism: A Comparative Study of Social Networks, Digital Media, International Ties, and Privacy' (2015-2018) - funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and coordinated by Professor Brent Berry and Professor Barry Wellman, University of Toronto, Canada.   


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Lisbon
  • Lic., University of Lisbon
  • MSc, University of Lisbon

Awards and honors

  • Best Publication & Research Award (2011-2012), ISCSP & CGD, 2013
  • Invited Visiting Scholar (2009-2011), IMK, University of Oslo, 2009
  • Visiting Doctoral Researcher, NetLab, University of Toronto, 2008
  • Invited Doctoral Student, Oxford Internet Institute's Summer Doctoral Program (OII-SDP), University of Oxford, 2008
  • Eurex Urban Studies Online Seminar Grant, University of Urbino, 2007
  • Master of Science scholarship (2005-2007), Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, 2005



Available for supervision

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