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Personal profile

Research interests

Biography and research interests

I am a Professor of Social Statistics and Co-Director of the Centre for Multilevel Modelling (CMM) at the School of Education, University of Bristol, UK.

My methodological interests are in the development, application and dissemination of multilevel, longitudinal, and dyadic data models to analyse educational and other administrative and survey data. My substantive interests focus on design, analysis, and communication issues surrounding school performance measures and league tables, especially the use of value-added models for estimating school effects on student achievement for accountability and choice purposes.

I was awarded the Frances Wood Medal in the Royal Statistical Society's 2017 honours for my contributions to Social Statistics over the past 10 years, especially my school league table research.

I am currently principal investigator on an ESRC secondary data analysis initiative grant looking at the 2020 GCSE and A-level 'exam grades fiasco'. Previously, I held an ESRS Standard grant, an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant and have been a co-investigator on four other substantial ESRC and MRC grants as well as Swedish and Belgium research council grants.

My first-authored research includes publications in leading applied statistics journals: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series AJournal of Educational and Behavioral StatisticsJournal of Educational MeasurementJournal of Statistical Software; and Psychological Methods; as well as substantive educational journals: British Educational Research Journal; School Effectiveness and Improvement. 

My co-authored research includes publications in further applied statistics journals: Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation; Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics; Sociological Methodology; Statistics in Medicine; and Statistical Methods in Medical Research; and other top substantive journals: American Journal of EpidemiologyAmerican Sociological ReviewCriminologyDevelopmental PsychologyJournal of Management Studies; Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

I have taught over 70 multilevel modelling short courses across UK, Europe, Australia and US.

Research grants

I have been grant funded 40% of my time over the period 2010/11 through 2023/24. My grants as Principal Investigator sum to £1 million while my grants as Co-Investigator sum to £7 million.

Current grants

  • 2023-2026 Understanding intersectionality: developing intersectional quantitative methods, with applications to health inequalities and social mobility. ESRC Embedding methodological development in social science research: 2022. £827,000Co-Investigator.
  • 2022-2026 The role of sample characteristics in the stability of value-added estimates of school effects: sample size, student mobility and sample heterogeneity. The Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), £200,000Co-Investigator.
  • 2021-2023 The 2020 GCSE and A-level 'exam grades fiasco': A secondary data analysis of students' grades and Ofqual's algorithm, ESRC Secondary Data Analysis grant, £299,000Principal Investigator.

Past grants

Journal articles

I have published 80 journal articles resulting in 4278 Google Scholar citations and an h-index of 35 (as of April 2023).

External positions

Associate Professor (Status only), University of Toronto

1 Jan 200131 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Multilevel modelling
  • Longitudinal data analysis
  • Dyadic data analysis
  • School value-added models
  • School performance measures, league tables, accountability, choice, and improvement
  • Applications of social statistics in education
  • Analysis of DfE National Pupil Database and other administratve education linked micro data

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