We are a group of PhD students and early career researchers from universities across the UK whose common research interests lie in aspects of money, security and social policy.

The team

Joan Abbas is a second year PhD candidate at the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath. Her research, under the supervision of Professors Jane Millar and Nick Pearce, will explore the purported rise of ‘in-work benefits’, focusing on the extent, level and design of employment-conditional provisions across several OECD countries. Read more about her research here.

Eileen Alexander is in the third year of her PhD at the London School of Economics. Her research explores the significance of informal financial support among family members and friends on low incomes, and draws on a survey she conducted with 200 working age social housing tenants in 2014, and 50 in-depth follow-up interviews in 2016. Eileen is interested in using qualitative techniques that allow the participant to take control of the interview. Eileen is supervised by Professor Anne Power and Dr Kitty Stewart. Read more about her here.

Joe Chrisp started at the University of Bath as a PhD candidate in October 2016. His doctoral research, under the supervision of Professors Nick Pearce and Jane Millar, is on the politics of a universal basic income. This work will involve using comparative techniques to examine public attitudes to welfare and work, the strategies of political parties and the complexity of existing policy architectures in relation to basic income. Read more about his research here.

Kerris Cooper is a fourth year PhD student at the London School of Economics. Her research interests are in child poverty and she has worked on systematic reviews of whether money itself matters for children and adults’ outcomes which you can find here. Her PhD research examines the relationship between economic hardship and parenting behaviours in the UK, using the Millennium Cohort Study. Her supervisors are Dr Kitty Stewart and Professor Lucinda Platt and her PhD is funded by the ESRC. You can read more about her here.

Ellie Suh is in the third year of her PhD studies, supervised by Professor Sir John Hills (Department of Social Policy) and Professor Irini Moustaki (Department of Statistics). She successfully passed her PhD upgrade and is currently working on her first PhD paper – Understanding attitudes towards retirement saving among British adults in their 30s and 40s – using structural equation modelling. In the later part of her PhD, she plans to examine young British adults’ pathway to retirement saving through home ownership and financial products. Read more about her here.

Kate Summers is in the fourth year of her PhD at the London School of Economics. Her research asks how working age social security recipients think about and use their money, and involves qualitative depth interviews with social security recipients in East London. Kate is also currently working on a collaborative project with Katharina Hecht, comparing how ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ individuals experience and think about money. Kate is supervised by Professor John Hills and Professor Hartley Dean. Her doctoral research is funded by the ESRC. Read more about her here.

David Young is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Policy Research (University of Bath) where he is supervised by Professor Jane Millar. He is a former welfare rights adviser and researcher and his doctoral research will focus on how people on low incomes experience and manage income variability and related changes in their lives that have financial consequences. He is particularly interested in the role income variability and related change play in the experience of poverty and uses qualitative interviews and income and expenditure diaries to look at this experience over time. Read more about his research here.

Evan Williams is a second year ESRC-funded PhD student at the University of Glasgow, where he is supervised by Professor Nick Bailey and Dr Sharon Wright. His research investigates the proliferation of work-related behavioural requirements across the social security system; such conditions are increasingly demanded of unemployed and other out-of-work claimants and enforced through the imposition of benefit sanctions. In particular, his research will use quantitative methods to understand the relationship between benefit sanctions and mental health outcomes in the UK. Read more about his research here

Katy Jones is a Research Fellow in the Sustainable Housing & Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU) at the University of Salford. Prior to joining SHUSU, Katy was a Researcher at The Work Foundation, where she developed her expertise on labour markets and related policy. She has a BA (Hons) in Economics and Politics from the University of Manchester and an MSc in Social Policy Research from the London School of Economics. Katy is currently working on research projects relating to welfare conditionality and employment support interventions. Her research interests include labour market insecurity and disadvantage, and welfare policy and practice. She has published widely on topics including youth unemployment, employer demand for skills, poverty and wage inequality. Read more about her research here

Ewan Robertson is an ESRC-funded doctoral researcher in the field of social policy at the University of Edinburgh. His research examines the implementation of in-work benefits in European labour markets, and the causal mechanisms driving this reform trend. He is broadly interested in changing labour market structures in EU / OECD countries; how such processes impact welfare systems and the economic risks faced by working age individuals; and current policy trends interacting with, facilitating and mitigating individual labour market risks. Read more about his research here

Duncan Fisher is a Graduate Tutor at Teesside University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law. Currently in the 2nd year of a PhD his research focuses on the perceptions and experiences of young adult social care workers in Teesside. The study is situated at the intersection of social inequalities of gender, age, class, and place, and Duncan is using qualitative interviews as his primary research method.  He holds an MA in Japanese Language and Society from the University of Sheffield, and an MSc in Social Science Research from the University of Glasgow.

Hayley James is a PhD student at University of Manchester with sponsorship from the Pensions Policy Institute. Her Thesis looks at the impact of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions on individual decision making, based on a qualitative research methodology. Hayley has a background in Economic Anthropology. Her main research interests concern sociological and anthropological perspectives on money and value, and how meaning is created through these tools.

Israel Cedillo Lazcano is a second year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. His current research, under the supervision of Professor Emilios Avgouleas and Dr Parker Hood, looks to evidence how the terms “money” and “currency” have been subject to an abuse of language, and how this use influences our understanding on the legal nature of money, particularly in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Read more about his research here