Department of Political Science


Dr Sarabajaya Kumar

Sarabajaya wears glasses and smiles into the camera with a dog by her side
Associate Professor (Teaching) in Voluntary Sector Policy and Leadership
Email: sarabajaya.kumar@ucl.ac.uk



I joined the UCL School of Public Policy in January 2010. I am currently a part-time Associate Professor (Teaching) in Voluntary Sector Policy and Leadership. I hold postgraduate degrees—an MSc and a PhD—in Public Policy and Management, and an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in Sociology and Religion. I previously held a number of fellowship and faculty roles at the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Oxford, and The Open University.

I lead my own research and advice consultancy, I am Equalities Adviser to the Bar Standards Board, and I am a Director of Impatience Ltd, an organisation set up to support and host innovative public benefit projects. I am active in civil society and have founded and cofounded a number of non-profit organisations. Currently, I am a member of the Women’s Budget Group’s Policy Advisory Committee, a Senior Independent Trustee of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), a Steering Committee Member of Centenary Action, and a Steering Group Member of the Women’s Equality Party. 

I contested the 2021 GLA election as a list candidate for the Women’s Equality Party. I was one of 11 women selected nationally, and the only disabled candidate, to be supported in my candidacy by the Activate Collective (ElectHer).


My research interests are in accountability, governance, ethical leadership, intersectionality, and equality. I have recently completed three research projects. My research on ‘The Everyday Lived Experiences of Disabled University Students in London and Osaka during the Covid-19 Pandemic’ was a collaborative project with Professor Beverley Yamamoto at Osaka University. My research on ‘Ableism and the Labour Market’, funded by the Association of Disabled Professionals, was conducted with Associate Professor Colin Provost from the UCL School of Public Policy. I was also a co-lead for the Patient Advisory Group and public and patient involvement in CICADA, a study on Coronavirus intersectionalities of disabled and minoritised groups, led by Professor Carol Rivas from the UCL Institute of Education.

I have just been granted a Butterfield Award in Medicine and Health by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. In this project, I will undertake research with AI developers in Japan to understand their decision-making processes in relation to health tech and disabled stakeholders.

Uncovering Politics logo showing people with raised banners and hands in silhouette
Podcast: UCL Uncovering Politics

Hear Dr Kumar speak about her research on the following podcast episode:
S6 Ep9 | Disabilities in the Workplace


Journal articles
Other articles


I teach a module on ‘Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Management and Policy’ (PUBL0014) and co-teach on ‘Leadership and Organisational Behaviour’ (PUBL0048) with Professor Marc Esteve. I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations employing qualitative research methods. My areas of interest include: governance; partnerships between the public and non-profit sectors; accountability; corporate social responsibility; social entrepreneurship; and equalities.