I am currently working as a Research Fellow in the Educational Development and Research Team. I am Co-Investigator and Project Coordinator of the ESRC-funded Student Wellbeing and Life Outcomes Project.
I joined the university as a Research Fellow on an assessment and feedback project in 2017. I subsequently worked as a Lecturer in Higher Education in the department, providing support and mentorship of teaching staff in the university. Prior to my roles at the University of Surrey, I was a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton.
Affiliations and memberships
My research broadly explores the impact of students’ backgrounds and the university environment on their experiences of higher education. My main areas of focus cover the following:
Moving away from the ubiquitous notion of a homogeneous ‘student experience’, I am interested in exploring the wide-ranging diversity in students’ expectations and experiences of university as they transition into and through higher education.
Differential Student Outcomes
Emphasising the importance of understanding the role of diversity in the ‘student experience’, I have explored novel quantitative approaches to monitoring the presence of differential outcomes (i.e. equality gaps) and identifying possible causes. My approaches aim to encourage a shift away from ‘deficit’ views of differential outcomes being attributed solely to students’ prior attainment to also account for the impact of the university environment.
Assessment and Feedback Literacies
University environment factors that can impact on differential outcomes include assessment and feedback practices, so my research explores ways in which equal outcomes can be supported through inclusive practices that develop students’ assessment and feedback literacies, whilst also enhancing their autonomy and self-regulation skills.
Student Mental Health and Wellbeing
Focusing on the characteristics of university environments and students’ social backgrounds, I am interested in charting the mental health, wellbeing, and life outcomes (education and employment) of young people.
July 2020, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): Co-Investigator and Project Coordinator (with Anesa Hosein, Nicola Byrom and Cecilia Essau)
This project uses an intersectional approach to investigate the extent to which the life outcomes of young people who go to university are affected by their social inequality groupings and mental health and well-being during adolescence. Additionally, this project also aims to determine the characteristics of university environments that can improve the life outcomes of these young people depending on their social and mental health/wellbeing background.
We will be utilising a secondary data analysis approach making use of longitudinal data from the Next Steps Study to:
- Reduce the evidence gap on how the mental health and wellbeing of adolescents affect their transitions into higher education and their life outcomes after graduating.
- Create information for policymakers (such as government, universities and charities) to implement suitable policies and practices that can enhance mental health and wellbeing outcomes.
- Determine whether any findings vary based on individuals’ social characteristics (particularly the intersectionality of social characteristics, such as differences between white male students and black male students).
Indicators of esteem
Recipient of Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions Seal of Excellence Award for project proposal
Member of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Publications Committee
Member of the Higher Education Research & Development (HERD) Journal’s College of Reviewers
Psychology advisory board member, Pearson Education Ltd.
Postgraduate research supervision
04/20 - present: Fengmei Zhu, ESL students’ feedback literacy in China’s application-oriented universities (co-supervisor).
09/20 - present: Wei Zhang, In Search of the Effects of Self-Efficacy Beliefs on Vocational College Students in China: A Longitudinal Study (co-supervisor).
10/17 - present: Karishma Sharma Ramdhonee-Dowlot, Enhancing children’s emotional well-being, social skills and cognitive control using the transdiagnostic prevention programme, Super Skills for Life (SSL), in Mauritius (external co-supervisor).