Eight new students started their PhD research journey at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education this term. They attended the Institute’s PhD induction event on Wednesday 9 October 2019, and got to meet fellow first-year PhD students and the programme’s leadership team for the first time.










We would like to extend a very warm welcome to our newest members of the IoE community, and we hope everyone will help them to feel settled over the next few weeks and months. You can learn more about them below.


Lujain Almatrouk

Lujain’s research will examine processing problems of bilingual (Arabic-English) dyslexic students who study in different educational environments in Kuwait and individual differences in reading and spelling. Her supervisors are Dr. Daisy Powell and Dr. Holly Joseph.

On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Lujain said “Other than the IoE’s great reputation and track record of research excellence and impact, I liked that it offers the opportunity to work with entities that are multidisciplinary and multilingual. I liked that the programme supports its students and has an international community. I’m eager to work with my supervisors and make use of the facilities at the university to help me put together my PhD project.”

Previously, Lujain earned her undergraduate degree in Finance from The American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and her my Master’s degree in Education (Psychology) from UCL Institute of Education.


Stuart Bracewell

Stuart’s research will examine the semiotics of social reproduction in schools and how it impacts upon social mobility and inequality. His supervisor is Prof. Carol Fuller.

On why he decided to pursue his PhD research at the IoE, Stuart said “I chose to do my PhD here at the IoE because my experience of studying for an MA degree here inspired me to further study in my area of research interest and to continue working with the fantastic staff I had met.”

Previously, Stuart earned his undergraduate degree in Visual Arts from the University of Salford. He has recently completed his MA in Education degree here at the Institute of Education, having done his PGCE at the University of Wales, Bangor.


Clare Goodyear

Clare’s research will explore the concept of using synaesthesia training to enhance memory encoding, storage and retrieval, with particular reference to helping children who have reading difficulties learn their phonics. Her supervisors are Dr. Daisy Powell and Dr. Holly Joseph.

On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Clare said “The research into literacy development is well established and internationally recognised at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education. It is home to the Language, Literacy and Educational Research Group. With its interdisciplinary links with Psychology and Clinical Language departments and its strong focus on reading development, the Group provides a natural alignment with my research.”

Previously, Clare studied Psychology and Education for her undergraduate degree, and more recently, she has studied for an MSc in Education and Neuroscience at the University of Bristol.


Chengcheng (Nancy) Guo

Nancy’s research will investigate students’ motivation on their academic writing from vision perspective. Her supervisors are Dr. Daguo Li and Prof. Suzanne Graham.

On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Nancy said “IoE is my first choice as it will give me a good opportunity to further my teaching career. I am encouraged and well-supported by the institution to get myself involved in the research world.”

Previously, Nancy studied in a joint programme by the University of Reading and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) in China and earned her MA degree in English Language Education from the University of Reading in 2016. After graduation, she found a job at GDUFS’s South China Business College, and became a lecturer this year. It is high time for me to learn more about how to do research among students and pursue a doctor degree now.


Nouf Hassanin

Nouf’s research will examine the roles of home and school toward Digital Citizenship concepts with preschool children in Saudi Arabia. Her supervisors are Dr.Billy Wong and Dr. Yota Dimitriadi.

On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Nouf said What inspired me to do my PhD research at the Institute of Education is because the Institute comes highly recommended by the Ministry of Higher Education of my country (Saudi Arabia) as one of the top ranked universities in the world.”

Previously, Nouf did her undergraduate degree in Science and Education at Umm Al Qura University (Saudi Arabia), and earned her Master’s degree in Child Development from UCL Institute of Education. Since 2011, she has worked at Umm Al Qura University as a Lecturer in Childhood Studies. In 2019, she has got a scholarship from her country to study at the University of Reading.


Emine Serap Karacan

Serap’s research will examine mathematics teachers’ approaches to problem-solving through classroom conversations. Her supervisor is Dr. Fiona Curtis.

On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Serap said “I chose the University of Reading as it is one of the world’s top 300 universities, and my research area aligns nicely with that of a member of staff at the IoE.”

Previously, Serap completed her undergraduate degree in Primary Mathematics Education at Marmara University, in Istanbul, Turkey. She later went on to earn a Master’s degree in Pure and Applied Sciences at the same university, and another Master’s degree in Mathematics Education at the University of East Anglia. After graduation, she has worked as a mathematics teacher at a middle school in Turkey.


Linyao Wang

Linyao’s research will examine the education inequalities of rural migrant children in Beijing China. Her supervisors are Prof. Carol Fuller and Dr. Catherine Foley.

On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Linyao said “I chose IoE because of its diverse research environment and excellent academic achievements. The staff here are all working hard to make the world better through education, thus I want to get involved and contribute my strength by doing doctoral research.”

Previously, Linyao did her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature at Henan University of Science and Technology (China), and her Master’s degree in Comparative Education at UCL Institute of Education.


Leung Wai (Doris) Wong

Doris’s research will investigate the correlation between student evaluation of teacher (SET) scores and the qualitative feedback. She will also explore the use of SET scores and open-ended comments as tools to inform teachers’ professional development. Her supervisors are Dr. Billy Wong and Prof. Rebecca Harris.

On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Doris said I have applied to the IoE mainly because of the expertise the faculty offers. I am interested in both educational policy and practice, with an entire institution that does research on the topic, I feel this is the right place to do my PhD.”

Previously, Doris earned a double undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Language Education, and an MPhil in Linguistics from the University of Hong Kong.