Social policy research specialist becomes new distinguished professor at Lincoln

Professor Stephen McKayOne of the country’s leading social policy researchers, whose work has helped to redefine how poverty is measured, has joined the University of Lincoln.

Professor Stephen McKay becomes Distinguished Professor of Social Research in Lincoln’s School of Social and Political Sciences. He joins the institution from the University of Birmingham, where has been based since 2007 and was most recently Professor of Social Research and Director of the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Doctoral Training Centre.

He said: “I am delighted to join the University of Lincoln. I have been impressed by their commitment to the social sciences and by the number and quality of recent appointments. It is also clear that the University is committed to high quality research, and to ensuring that teaching is informed by such scholarship.”

Prof. McKay has been actively involved in social policy research for more than 20 years and was a key member of Birmingham’s Third Sector Research Centre. His research focuses on issues of poverty, wealth and inequality. He is recognised in particular for his expertise in applying quantitative research methods to the re-analysis of large, complex data sets.

His work in this area has included influential studies into the way in which material deprivation is measured nationally, particularly in relation to vulnerable groups such as children and older people. His findings have informed debate and policy-making at a national level and have been widely published in major academic journals.

He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics as an undergraduate at the University of Oxford and completed his PhD at the University of Bristol. He previously worked at the universities of Bath, Bristol and Loughborough.

Prof. McKay added: “At Lincoln I hope to contribute to the research mission of the university, and to promoting research training. I particularly enjoy working with a range of colleagues from different disciplines and look forward to making links. These are challenging times for universities, but at a time of extensive welfare reform there is a great need for robust social research.”

Professor Sara Owen, Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Science at the University of Lincoln, said: “We are delighted that Professor Steve McKay is joining us as the first Distinguished Professor in Social Research. The College has a vibrant research culture and we are looking forward to future successes in cross and inter-disciplinary research and educational initiatives.”

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