Institute of Education


Social Science Research Unit (SSRU)

Promoting evidence-informed policy and practice in education, health and welfare through ethical and participative social research.

Founding Director: Professor Ann Oakley
Director: Professor Sandy Oliver

Founded in 1990, SSRU's mission is to engage in and promote rigorous, ethical and participative social research and to support evidence-informed public policy and practice across a range of domains including education, health and welfare.

Our work is guided by a concern for human rights, social justice and the development of human potential. To this end, we engage in:

  • research and scholarship of international significance
  • the communication of evidence to relevant audiences
  • high quality, research-informed learning and teaching programmes, consultancy and other work.
Our staff

Founding Director

Ann Oakley, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy

Director of Centre

Sandy Oliver, Professor of Public Policy

Assistant Director

James Thomas, Professor of Social Research and Policy


Berry Mayall, Professor of Childhood Studies
David Gough, Professor of Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice
Priscilla Alderson, Professor of Childhood Studies


Alison O'Mara-Eves, Senior Research Officer
Antonia Simon, Research Officer
Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou, Lecturer in Social Theory and Social Policy
Carol Vigurs, Research Officer
Chris Maidment, Research Associate  
Claire Stansfield, Research Officer
Dylan Kneale, Research Officer
Gillian Stokes, Research Officer
Ginny Brunton, Senior Research Officer
Ian Shemilt, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Evidence Synthesis Methodology
Irene Kwan, Research Officer
Janice Tripney, Lecturer in Social Policy
Jeff Brunton, Research Officer
Jonathan Sharples, Professorial Research Associate
Karen Schucan-Bird, Research Officer
Kate Hinds, Research Officer
Katy Sutcliffe, Research Officer
Kelly Dickson, Research Officer
Kirrily Pells, Lecturer in Childhood Studies
Mark Newman, Reader in Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice in Education and Social Policy
Mary Sawtell, Research Officer
Meena Khatwa, Research Associate
Meg Wiggins, Senior Research Officer
Michelle Richardson, Research Officer
Mukdarut Bangpan, Research Officer
Preethy D'Souza, Research Associate
Rachel Rosen, Lecturer in Childhood
Rebecca Rees, Senior Lecturer in Evidence Informed Policy and Practice
Ruth Stewart, Research Officer
Sarah Lester, Research Officer
Sergio Graziosi, Information Systems Officer

Find more about our researchers, publications, activities, groups and themes: UCL Research Portal, IRIS

Study with us

Teaching is an important part of our work as it allows us to disseminate our innovative research methodologies and findings to social science researchers, policy-makers and practitioners.


Short courses

We offer bespoke training courses and a number of stand-alone courses in research methods, with a particular focus on evidence-synthesis for policy and practice:

For further information please contact us: IOE.EPPIadmin@ucl.ac.uk

View all IOE short courses

Seminar series

SSRU runs research seminars which are free and open to staff, students, alumni and the public. All are welcomed to attend.

See upcoming seminars in the following series:

See all SSRU events


We also have a research portfolio of projects such as:

See also:


We provide guidance and support to people undertaking research projects and offer training in conducting research. Our staff can provide independent evaluations and help with disseminating research findings for policy and practice.

We also provide access to our web-based software tool EPPI-Reviewer to external groups. The software allows users to undertake and achieve sustainability in systematic reviews.

To find out more about:

See also:


For their generous support we would like to thank:

Arthritis Research UK
Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)
British Academy
British Council
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS)
Department for Education (DfE)
Department for International Development (DfID)
Department of Health (DH)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)
European Commission (EC)
European Food Standards Agency (EFSA)
Health Education England (HEE NHS)
Health Education North Central and East London
Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF)
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)
Islington Council
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
Leverhulme Trust
London School of Economics
and Political Science (LSE)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC)
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) / International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Research Councils UK (RCUK)
University College London (UCL) / IOE Strategic Fund
World Bank
World Health Organization (WHO)

SSRU Annual Report

Find out about all our latest research, consultancy, public engagement and teaching in our annual report:


Latest news

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Forthcoming events

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