Kelly’s research interests include ageing, social care, migration and the third sector. Her research on international retirement migration focuses on the migration and return of vulnerable, older British people within the EU and more recently the impact of Brexit. She has undertaken a number of studies in collaboration with Age UK, Age Concern España and the British Consulate to explore the lived experiences of older British people in Spain, including access to and experiences of care. She has developed the website www.supportinspain.
Her research also explores social care in England, including social care innovation, micro enterprise and market shaping. She has also undertaken research into health and social care social enterprises, including public service mutuals and NHS spin outs. She draws on participatory approaches to research by including vulnerable groups as co-researchers to design, implement and disseminate research.