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We are proud of our doctoral students! They come from the UK and around the world and are engaged in a wide range of exciting research. They go on to make a real difference in the world. Whether in academia, educational settings or in the government, the work they do makes a real difference.

Some of our graduates

Dr Reem Balubaid
Dr Yang Hong
Drs Tim Clark, Lois Beaver, Toby Olasimbo and Thanda Mhlanga
Dr Cathy Wardale and Dr Blair McMurchy
Dr Ruth Koro


Dr Leah Muteru and Dr Louise Pagden


Dr Hamda Almahadi


Summary of our doctoral students:






Some of our Staff

Helen Bilton

Fiona Curtis

Maria Danos

Alan Floyd

Naomi Flynn

Catherine Foley

Carol Fuller

Suzanne Graham

Richard Harris

Karen Jones 

Holly Joseph

David Kerr

Nasreen Majid

Jill Porter

Daisy Powell

Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai

Billy Wong



Current Research Projects

We have a range of research projects on the go. Here is just a small selection:

Billy Wong is mapping the characteristics of the ‘ideal’ university student.

Suzanne Graham and Louise Courtney have a number of projects:

Linguistic Creativity in Language Learning is the Education Strand of a large, £4m interdisciplinary project, Creative Multilingualismled by Oxford University and funded by the AHRC. Linguistic Creativity in Language Learning explores creativity within the modern foreign languages classroom by investigating the impact on language learning of the use of different kinds of written texts (literary and non-literary) in French and German. It  also compares functional teaching approaches and ones that involve creative personal responses from learners such as drama and creative writing.

Foreign Language Education: Unlocking Reading (FLEUR).  This project is being led by Oxford University, with Suzanne Graham, Louise Courtney (Reading) and Alison Porter (Southampton) as co-investigators. It compares the effectiveness of different approaches to the teaching of reading for Year 7 learners of French. Across 38 schools, it is examining the impact of instruction on reading comprehension, decoding, and motivation.  It is funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

The Language Magician: is a European Commission (Horizon 2020) project. It has  eight other partners from four European countries aiming to:

  • Contribute to higher quality language teaching across primary schools;
  • Converge standards and;
  • Develop an assessment tool for learning modern foreign languages at primary level.

Involving Louise Courtney and Suzanne Grahamit builds on their Nuffield funded project, Primary Modern Languages: The impact of teaching approaches.  It also explores the development of learners’ motivation for language learning at primary school and its relationship with learning outcomes and other variables.

Karen Jones has a project that involves secondary analysis of survey data on career breaks. She is looking at a sub-set of data from a global survey on career breaks. The data was collected by, and Research Media with over 5,000 academics around the world. Karen’s study explores the perceptions, implications and experiences of female academics taking a career break due to maternity leave. Her second study involves career breaks taken by early career academics.

Alan Floyd is undertaking an evaluation of the Nxplorers Programme – Stage 2  project. The purpose of his project is to explore the impact of a worldwide leadership capacity building programme on the students and staff who have been involved to date. He is collecting data using a two staged, mixed methods approach. It is funded by Shell/Shaping Learning

Alan is also working on Understandings and formulation of democratic strategy in federated school structures in England (with Dr Jacqueline Baxter, Open University Business School). This project is funded by The Leverhulme Trust. It investigates how governing boards in geographically dispersed groups involve stakeholders within strategic decision-making processes. Data are being collected by documentary analysis. It also involves semi-structured interviews with school leaders, board members and national leaders of governance.

Maria Kambouri-Danos is looking at Practitioners & Parents Play Partnership – She is looking at strengthening practitioner-parent collaboration through the use of collaborative sessions. The work is based on play and Froebelian principles and pedagogy. The Froebel Trust is funding this work.

Carol Fuller is working on a number of projects. She is interested in social equity and inclusion so the research she does are always in this area. Her interests are in the way that ideas and beliefs are shaped and then the impact of these on what people do and aspire to. She is currently working with Ufton CourtWiltshire Wildlife Trust and Eton on a range of different projects.


Want to know more?

To find out more about our research staff and their projects, please visit the Meet our Staff page.