Project team

The PSE: UK project team is formed of leading academic researchers in the field of poverty and social exclusion from six UK universities covering England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, namely: University of Bristol (lead), Heriot-Watt University, The Open University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Glasgow and the University of York. The academic research team work in close partnership with two survey organisations, the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) in Britain and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) whose representatives join the steering group meetings of the partner universities. The principal investigator leading the project is Professor David Gordon of the University of Bristol.

The project team is advised by the PSE: UK Advisory Board and the PSE International Advisory Board.

Project team members

The largest research group is an established team based at the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research, in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Bristol. They are leading international experts on the measurement of poverty and social exclusion and have worked together on the PSE 1999, on other poverty and social exclusion surveys, and on a range of other research and publication projects. The Bristol-based research team includes: Professor David Gordon, the Principal Investigator (PI); Dr Esther Dermott; Dr Eldin Fahmy; Dr Pauline Helsop; Professor Ruth Levitas; Ms Christina Pantazis; Dr Demi Patsios; Dr Simon Pemberton (now Birmingham); Dr Sarah Payne; Eileen Sutton; Marco Pomati; and Nikki Hicks (project manager).

The final members of the research team based in England are Professor Jonathan Bradshaw and Gill Main (University of York) and Joanna Mack (The Open University).

Professor Mike Tomlinson heads up the Northern Ireland element of the study at Queen’s University, Belfast. This research team includes Professor Mary Daly, Professor Paddy Hillyard and Grace Kelly.

In Scotland, Professor Glen Bramley and Kirsten Besemer (Heriot-Watt University), Dr Nick Bailey and Dr Brian Mark Livingston (Glasgow University) will collaborate on the Scottish aspects of this research and the analysis of neighbourhood environmental quality.

The research team has an immense amount of experience in poverty and social exclusion methodology. Joanna Mack was the Principal Investigator (PI) for the 1983 and 1990 Breadline Britain surveys, which pioneered the consensual methods for measuring poverty. Professor Bradshaw was the PI for the PSE 1999 survey and Professor Hillyard was the PI for the 2002/3 PSE Northern Ireland survey.

Professor Gordon has overall responsibility for managing the research project. Professor Gordon has undertaken successful joint research projects with every member of the research team, in many cases for 20 years. Professor Tomlinson will be responsible for managing the Northern Ireland aspects of the research and will be assisted by Professor Hillyard who will undertake all liaison with the NISRA Central Survey unit for both the omnibus and main PSE Northern Ireland surveys.

Joanne Maher (NatCen) is working with the academic research team on the survey questionnaires, design and implementation. Joanne has many years of experience with running the Family Resources Survey. In 1999, Joanne was employed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and worked closely with Professor Gordon on the Poverty and Social Exclusion survey in 1999. She managed the survey team and wrote the Blaise code. In 2002, Joanne provided this code to her colleagues in NISRA, which formed the basis for the Northern Ireland PSE.

The project dissemination team is based at The Open University and is led by Joanna Mack, working with Stewart Lansley (who also worked on the original Breadline Britain surveys); Gabi Kent (who will be leading on working with community groups); Pete Mitton (data visualisation development); and the web development team of Tammy Alexander, Jamie Daniels, Glen Darby, Jenny Nockles and Hong Yu.

Sadly, Professor Peter Townsend, who was a key member of the bid team and developed the relative deprivation method for measuring poverty, died in 2009.

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