2016 Prize Winners


Dr Sally HancockDr Sally Hancock is a Lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of York. Sally specialises in higher education research, and is particularly interested in access and equity issues, higher education policy, and doctoral education.

Sally completed her PhD at Imperial College London (2013), researching the motivations and aspirations of young scientists. She has previously held research appointments at the universities of York, Edinburgh, and Imperial College London.

This SRHE project will allow Sally to explore the career outcomes of recent UK doctoral graduates. The project will involve a quantitative analysis of linked data from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey and the HESA Student Record. It seeks to answer the question of ‘who gets what’ from doctoral study, by examining doctoral outcomes in the context of prior academic experiences, and personal and socio-economic background characteristics


Dr Lou HarveyDr Lou Harvey joined the School of Education at the University of Leeds in January 2014 as a Lecturer in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), where she is Deputy Director of the Centre for Language Education Research. Prior to this, she taught English as a Foreign Language in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Bratislava, and English for Academic Purposes at the University of Manchester.

Lou holds a MA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from the University of Edinburgh and a MA TESOL from the University of Manchester, where she also took her MSc in Educational Research and PhD. Her thesis, Language Learning Motivation as Ideological Becoming: Dialogues with six English-language learners, explored the language learning histories and motivations of international students through the lens of Bakhtin’s dialogical theory. This research and her subsequent academic role have stimulated further interest in UK HE, in particular its linguistic and intercultural practices, its relations with non-academic communities, and creative methodologies for researching these practices and relations.

The SRHE-funded project will pilot an innovative, co-developed, drama-based methodology for researching the intercultural experience and learning of UK HE students, in collaboration with Newcastle-based theatre company Cap-a-Pie and students themselves. It aims to create a new methodological framework which will generate insights into domestic and international students’ perceptions and experiences of internationalisation and intercultural communication, offering an inclusive approach to students’ intercultural learning and development.


Jennifer LeighJennifer Leigh’s route into Higher Education research has been somewhat eclectic. Her first degree was in Chemistry with Analytical Science at the University of Birmingham. She then trained as a yoga teacher and a somatic movement therapist and educator. She holds a PGCE in secondary science, a PGCHE, and an MA in Higher Education. Her doctoral studies, at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, were a phenomenological exploration of young children’s perceptions, expressions and reflections of embodiment through movement. She has worked as project manager on several large funded studies employing mixed methods of research, including the collaborative and interdisciplinary project, Imagining Autism.

Jennifer’s current role is as a lecturer in the University of Kent’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education. Her research interests include embodiment, reflective practice, reflexivity and phenomenological research methods and how these relate to academic practice and academic identity as well as aspects of teaching and learning in higher education. She is currently working on a piece of research following on from Imaging Autism, exploring the process of the research, its collaborative and interdisciplinary nature as well as the boundaries between research, performance, education and therapy.

This SRHE funded project will allow her to explore how academics reconcile an embodied practice with their academic practice and identity, and whether it contributes to their well-being. In other words, does their embodied practice help them make sense of their academic work, and does it make them feel better about it?

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