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I am a sociologist of education with particular interests in higher education, especially access to postgraduate study; and in social inequalities. My work has included analyses of the relationship between social class (and other inequalities) and postgraduate study; evaluation of initiatives to widen postgraduate participation; investigation of the association between student finance and participation; and of institutional hierarchies and stratification.
I joined the Department in 2008, after a previous career in higher education administration.
I am currently Head of Department. I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Co-chair of the 'Delivering the Applicant Student Journey' workstream as part of the University's change programme.
My broad interests are in the sociology of education (especially higher education), social stratification and social mobility. My current research focuses on access to postgraduate study, especially social class, gender and ethnic inequalities; the background of academics; and institutional stratification in higher education. I use a range of research methods but have a particular interest in analysis of large secondary datasets and the use of administrative and transactional data for research.
Please note that I am not currently taking on new PhD students.
I am currently working on:
Recent work has included:
2022 - 2026 Yorkshire Consortium for Equity in Doctoral Education (lead for workstream on doctoral recruitment and selection; consortium PI: Kate Arnold)
2021 - 2022 BBSRC Inequalities in the Life Sciences Early Research Career (with Alice Dias Lopes)
2020 - 2021 Sutton Trust Social inequalities and access to postgraduate study (with Pep Mateos Gonzalez)
2020 - 2021 ESRC Review of the PhD in the Social Sciences (with CFE Research Ltd, York PI: Sally Hancock)
2017 - 2018 HEFCE/University of Leeds (£35,000) Evaluation of the Catalyst project Progression to, and success in postgraduate study, for students from BAME and POLAR 1 & 2 backgrounds (PI: Sally Hancock).
2016 HEFCE (£25,979) Evaluation of the Postgraduate Support Scheme 2015/16 (with Sally Hancock)
I currently supervise five PhD students:
I have supervised the following successfully completed PhD theses:
I am currently a member of the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes Academic Advisory Panel; and the University of Oxford Graduate Access Working Group.
I have previously been:
I have acted as a consultant to the Economic & Social Research Council in various capacities. I advised on staff and student demographics for their international benchmarking reviewsof social science research in the UK, and compiled a report on the impact of ESRC-funded research. I have worked with RCUK, UKRI and OfS, and with the Bridge Group on projects for the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Academy of Music.
Executive Editor, British Journal of Sociology of Education
I was a member of the editorial board of Sociology from 2013 - 2019.
I have given more than 60 invited talks on the topic of widening participation and access to postgraduate study.