A social scientist with a multidisciplinary practice, Professor Willcocks' research is in the field of old-age. She encourages diverse audiences to recognise the significance of the creative / cultural economy. She also engages public policy and practice debates to secure health and wellbeing through social inclusion.
In the City of York, Professor Willcocks is Chair of the Fairness and Equalities Board, and former Chair of the York Theatre Royal Trust. She is a Vice Chair for the York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and she is also Health Champion for York’s Older People’s Assembly and Patron of OCAY: Older Citizens’ Advocacy York. Professor Willcocks was a founder member of York's first and continuing Lifelong Learning Network, Higher York; she has served on the Higher Education Funding Council for England's Board.
She is an Associate of the Higher Education Academy and of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. She is also trustee on two higher education Governing Councils: London Metropolitan University and Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, and she presently serves on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Project Board for the Great Exhibition of the North 2018.