About me

I am a Research Associate at the University of Sheffield's Department of Sociological Studies. I started my PhD in October 2015 after completing my BA in Sociology and MA in Social Research.

Prior to this I worked as a researcher in other projects at the University of Sheffield and in a number of third sector organisations providing research, information management and administrative support. For an overview of my work so far, please navigate this page using the tabs at the sides.


My research interests are in poverty over the lifecourse, inequalities, social policy, metrics for policy evaluation, and advanced quantitative methods.
My PhD research is titled: 'Defining and measuring multidimensional poverty in the UK'.

I have worked on or am currently working on projects in the areas of education, determinants of children's outcomes, child protection and social work, working conditions and social quality in Europe - especially where these intersect with exposure to deprivation and poverty. My most recent work has been on the Child Welfare Inequalities Project with Professors Kate Morris and Paul Bywaters.


Teaching & Other Roles

In 2015/16 I acted as Student Organised Learning Coordinator for the department delivering a number of workshops to support postgraduate taught students. In the Autumn semester 2016 I taught on the level 2 Quantitative Methods module with Dr. Liam Foster. In Autumn 2017 and 2018 I convened the level 3 "How to Lie with Statistics" quantitative methods module and in Autumn 2018 I convened the "Statistics for Occupational Psychologists" module for the Sheffield University Management School.

I co-chair the Sheffield University Research Reading Group and acted as Departmental and Faculty Rep for postgraduate researchers in the Department of Sociological Studies from October 2015 to October 2016.

I am a member of the Social Policy Association and the British Sociological Association.

Skills & Interests

I have a range of skills in research methods and areas of sociology and social policy. I am actively looking to pursue further study and research opportunities in these areas/using the following skills.

Quantitative Social Research
Poverty Studies
Social Policy
Data Visualisation & Dissemination
Epidemiology and Public Health

I also have a range of skills from my experience in the workplace. I have done extensive paid and volunteer work for third sector organisations and held a number of admin and retail positions.

Monitoring & Evaluation
Database Development
Project Management
Data Administration


University Teacher

Sept. 2017 - Present
The University of Sheffield - Sociological Studies

In 2017 I convened SCS3031 How to Lie with Statistics, acted as seminar tutor in SCS2000 Doing Quantitative Sociological Research, and acted as a teaching assistant for SMI606 Introduction to Quantitative Research (Postgraduate). In addition to these teaching responsibilities, in 2018 I also convened "Statistics for Occupational Psychologists". My responsibilities include designing module content, delivering lectures, facilitating seminars, running practical skills workshops, and assessing students' work.

Research Associate

Jan. 2016 - Present
Child Welfare Inequalities Project, The University of Sheffield - Sociological Studies

I contributed to the nation wide Child Welfare Inequalities Project, providing analysis on spatial and temporal inequalities in children's services expenditure and social services intervention. Following from this, I have been responsible for further research and impact with key stakeholders such as the British Association of Social Workers working to develop an anti-poverty practice guide and the Family Rights Group contributing to the 2018 Care Crisis Review. Relevant publications can be found in the publications section.

University Teacher

Sept. 2016 - Feb. 2017
The University of Sheffield - Sociological Studies

I facilitated teaching and assessment of Quantitative Methods to Undergraduate students at level 2 of their studies and MA students.

SOL Coordinator / Teacher

Sept. 2015 - June 2016
The University of Sheffield - Sociological Studies

I facilitated and delivered Student Organised Learning lessons within the department for Masters level students on the MA Social Research, MA Sociology and MA International Social Policy courses. This involved organising and teaching, or arranging appropriate teaching for, supplementary workshops to support postgraduate students' development.

Research Associate

Feb. 2015 - Aug. 2015
The University of Sheffield - Sociological Studies

I worked on an ESRC funded research project in partnership with Sheffield City Council to explore how advanced quantitative methods and national level data can help inform policy decision making for family support services in local authorities. The Principle Investigator for this project is Dr. Mark Tomlinson.


May 2014 - Aug. 2014
Sheffield Mind

My responsibilities included database development, research for monitoring and evaluation reporting & data protection law compliance.

Research Assistant

Nov. 2013 - Mar. 2014
The University of Sheffield - Clinical Psychology Dept.

Research with the Clinical Psychology Unit at the University of Sheffield involved monitoring outcomes of R&D and governance experiences of D.ClinPsy students using a variety of social research methods to improve the structure of the doctorate.

Client Service Representative

Nov. 2012 - Mar. 2014
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors

Responsible for general admin work, supporting solicitors & conducting in-depth interviews with clients.

Education & Training

MA Social Research (Distinction)
The University of Sheffield, UK

MA Social Research with a focus on Quantitative Methods and Global & International Social Policy. Dissertation research using multivariate statistics and structural equation modelling to explore the relationship between Social Policy areas/initiatives, children's outcomes and adult labour market activation, using data from the Understanding Society survey.

BA(Hons) Sociology (1st)
The University of Sheffield, UK

Dissertation focus on the structure, identity and patient professional relationship management within BPD online support groups using an unobtrusive observation methodology based on Webb et al. (1966) and using Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software.

A - Level
King Edward VI Community College, Totnes, UK

  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • History
  • English Language & Literature

  • Short Course Training

    Research Methods
    • Research Ethics & Integrity, White Rose DTC Sheffield, 2016
    • Testing for Mediation and Moderation using SPSS, Sheffield, 2016
    • Multi-level Modelling using SPSS, Sheffield, 2016
    • Introduction to Structural Equation Modelling using Mplus, Sheffield, 2016
    • Modelling Non-Continuous Outcomes and Panel/Longitudinal data using STATA, Sheffield, 2016
    • Introduction to Longitudinal Structural Equation Modelling, CMIST Manchester, 2016
    • Testing for Mediation & Moderation using Mplus, Sheffield, 2016
    • Introduction to Latent Growth Curve Modelling using Mplus, Sheffield, 2016
    • Multilevel Modelling in MLWin, AQMeN Sheffield, 2016
    • Longitudinal 'Age, Period, Cohort' (APC) Analysis, AQMeN Sheffield, 2016
    • Multilevel Modelling using Mplus, figure it out, Birbeck College, London, 2016
    • Introduction to Simulation Studies, SMI Sheffield, 2017
    • Cluster Analysis in R, AQMeN, Edinburgh/SMI Sheffield, 2017
    • Applied Statistical Methods for Analysing Segregation & Inequality 4 Day Summer School, Sheffield Methods Institute, the University of Sheffield, 2017
    Some as part of certification towards Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) status...
    • Large Group Teaching: Lecturing, Sheffield, 2017
    • Large Group Teaching: Problem Solving, Sheffield, 2017
    • Small Group Teaching: Seminar/Tutorial Facilitation, Sheffield, 2017
    • Teaching Design & Delivery, Sheffield, 2017
    • Academic Culture, Transitions, & Expectations, Sheffield, 2017
    • Supervising Research Projects, Sheffield, 2017
    • Digital Possibilities [in Teaching and Learning], Sheffield, 2017
    • Identifying and Reducing Maths and Statistics Anxiety, Sheffield, 2017
    • Supporting our Chinese Students, Sheffield, 2017

    Conference Attendance

    • Department of Sociological Studies Annual Postgraduate Research Conference: Branching Out, 2017. (Presenter: 'Where the Axe Falls: Trends in Children's and Young Peoples' Services Expenditure in Austerity')
    • Labour Market Flexibility & Employment Security in the EU, WOERRC/UACES, Sheffield University Management School, 2015. (Delegate)
    • Sociological Studies PGR Annual Conference 2016: Breaking Boundaries, Department of Sociological Studies, Sheffield. (Presenter: Researching concepts quantitatively: The use of latent variable modelling for measuring multidimensional poverty)
    • NCRM 7th Festival of Research Methods, Bath, 2016 (Delegate)
    • BSA Work, Employment and Society Conference: Work in Crisis, Leeds, 2016 (Delegate)
    • Leeds Centre for Interdisciplinary Childhood & Youth Research (LCYR): Child and Youth poverty: contexts, concepts and consequences, Leeds, 2016 (Presenter: Complex Inequality & Education Policy: The case of the 'North-South divide' in School Results in England)

    Volunteer Work

    Database Developer

    Jul 2014 - Present
    City of Sanctuary - Sheffield

    I have developed a core database which is utilised by staff at the Sheffield City of Sanctuary. I am also responsible for collating statistics and creating graphics that are produced by the database for quarterly monitoring reports and offer consultation on research projects undertaken by the organisation. To find out more about CoS's work, click here.

    Project Assistant Coordinator

    Sept 2013 - Aug 2014
    Sheffield Mind

    I assisted in coordinating the "In Work Support" project for carers in Sheffield. This involved undertaking case work, advising carers on employment law and signposting services. I also developed a database for case work and contributed towards quarterly monitoring. To find out more about Sheffield Mind's work, click here.

    Research & Monitoring Consultant

    Sept 2013 - Aug 2014
    Sheffield Mind

    I supported a number of projects by using my research training to assist monitoring and reporting processes for project funders. This included database development and producing general statistics. To find out more about Sheffield Mind's work, click here.


    You can find me on Linkedin and, but the best way to get hold of me is usually through email. Please feel free to contact me with any queries.


    For a quick message you can use the form below.

    Publications & Projects


  • Bywaters, P., Scourfield, J., Webb, C., Morris, K., Featherstone, B., Brady, G., Jones, C., Sparks, T. (2018) Paradoxical evidence on ethnic inequities in child welfare: Towards a research agenda. Children and Youth Services Review.
  • Trowler, I., supported by White, S., Webb, C., Leigh, J. T. (2018) Care Proceedings in England: The Case for Clear Blue Water. The University of Sheffield, Crook Public Service Fellowship. Online.
  • Webb, C., Heneghan, M., Sehmar, P., Morris, K. (2018) Care Crisis Review: Professionals survey results. Family Rights Group. Online.
  • Webb, C., Heneghan, M., Sehmar, P., Morris, K. (2018) Care Crisis Review: Care-experienced young people and adults survey results. Family Rights Group. Online.
  • Webb, C., Heneghan, M., Sehmar, P., Morris, K. (2018) Care Crisis Review: Family survey results. Family Rights Group. Online.
  • Sen, R., Morris, K., Burford, G., Featherstone, B., & Webb, C. (2018) 'When you're sitting in the room with two people one of whom... has bashed the hell out of the other': Possibilities and challenges in the use of FGCs and restorative approaches following domestic violence. Children and Youth Services Review.
  • Bywaters, P. & Webb, C. (2018) There is clear evidence that links deprivation, expenditure and quality in children's services. Community Care. Online here.
  • Webb, C. & Bywaters, P. (2018) Children's Services Spending: Where has the axe fallen? INLOGOV Blog. Online here.
  • Webb, C. & Bywaters, P. (2018) Austerity, rationing and inequity: trends in children's & young peoples' services expenditure in England between 2010 and 2015. Local Government Studies. (Open access)
  • Morris, K., Mason, W., Bywaters, P., Featherstone, B., Daniel, B., Brady, G., Bunting, L., Hooper, J., Mirza, N., Scourfield, J., Webb, C. (2018). Social work, poverty, and child welfare interventions. Child & Family Social Work:
  • Mason, W., Mirza, N., & Webb, C. (2018) Using the Framework Method to Analyze Mixed-Methods Case Studies. SAGE Research Methods Cases.
  • Bywaters, P., Brady, G., Bunting, L., Daniel, B., Featherstone, B., Jones, C., Morris, K., Scourfield, J., Sparks, T., Webb, C. (2017). Inequalities in English child protection practice under austerity: A universal challenge? Child & Family Social Work:
  • Bywaters, P., Webb, C., & Sparks, T. (2017). Ofsted ratings do reflect local authority deprivation and spending. Community Care. Online here.

  • Working Papers

  • Deprivation and School Outcomes: Testing the claim of a North-South Divide in 2015 GCSE Results in England (Working Paper) [Not yet available: please contact me for further information]
  • with Mark Tomlinson, Poverty and Food Consumption: The Importance of Diet for Adolescent Education (Working Paper) [Not yet available]

  • Conference Papers

  • 'Where the Axe Falls: Trends in Children's and Young Peoples' Services Expenditure in Austerity', presented at Department of Sociological Studies Annual Postgraduate Research Conference: Branching Out, 2017
  • 'Measuring Concepts Quantitatively: The potential of Latent Variable Analysis for studying Multidimensional Poverty', presented at Department of Sociological Studies Annual Postgraduate Research Conference: Breaking Boundaries, 2016
  • 'Complex Inequality & Education Policy: The case of the 'North-South divide' in School Results in England', presented at LCYR, Child and Youth poverty: contexts, concepts and consequences, 2016

  • Research Projects

  • Care Crisis Review
    I wrote scripts to tidy data and create visualisations from three questionnaires for the Family Rights Group's Care Crisis Review, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, and contributed to writing the final reports which have contributed to the national sector-led Care Crisis Review.

  • Crook Public Service Fellowship: Clear Blue Waters
    I supported the Chief Social Worker (Children & Families) in research into care proceedings in England. This involved gathering and presenting quantitative evidence to contextualise case study sites, and writing an extensive review of the literature around social work interventions and children's outcomes.

  • Child Welfare Inequalities Project
    I provided support with quantitative aspects of the Child Welfare Inequalities Project in case study strand in Sheffield with Professor Kate Morris and Dr. Will Mason. I then led analysis of spending data on children & young peoples' services using latent growth models (published in Local Government Studies, see above). This work was reported nationally in news outlets and has been given in evidence to All Party Parliamentary Groups. This research was funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

  • Developing a Policy Learning Tool for Anti-Poverty Policy Design & Assessment
    I worked with Dr Mark Tomlinson to develop a tool using structural equation modelling to allow local authorities to compare the cost-benefits of targeted interventions versus income supplementation using nationally representative data. ESRC funded through UoS; Innovation, Impact & Knowledge Exchange Collaborative R&D Award with Dr Mark Tomlinson & Sheffield City Council

  • Awards

    • ESRC White Rose DTC 1+3 Scholarship