University of Kent - Wilco Project


School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (KU), United Kingdom

The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of the largest departments of its type in the UK. It is made up of three main groups of teaching staff: the Social Policy and Sociology group (which includes criminology), the Tizard Centre (for the study of learning disability and community care) and the European Centre for the Study of Migration and Social Care (for the study of migration, social care and mental health). Teaching takes place across a number of sites, including Canterbury, Medway, and Brussels. There are three main research units: the Centre for Health Service Studies, the European Institute of Social Services, and the Personal Social Services Research Unit (which houses the Kent Centre for Criminal Justice).

The School has a strong research culture, embracing the staff at these centres and those situated within the Department. The Social Policy and Sociology group, CHSS, PSSRU and EISS were awarded a 5* in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, with all staff submitted to the Social Policy panel. Only one other department in the country was awarded a 5* in Social Policy. In 2004/5 the 5* rating was raised to 6* under new HEFCE rules. The School’s research quality impacts on its teaching in two ways: teaching is by academics who are leaders in their fields and the School has more resources to put on its wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. External evaluations of teaching by the SPS group were ‘Excellent’ for Social Policy and 21/24 points for Sociology. SSPSSR also has a number of interesting MA and PhD programmes In recent years, SSPSSR has deliberately sought to strengthen the theoretical, applied and policy relevant components of its research portfolio. Inter alia, this has included recruiting leading academics in the comparative study of social policy, the European and gender dimensions of social policy, and third sector or civil society studies.

Jeremy Kendall

Dr. Jeremy Kendall

The researcher in charge will be Dr. Jeremy Kendall, senior lecturer in social policy at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, and a visiting associate at the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU), London School of Economics and Political Science. He holds a master’s degree in health economics from the University of York and received his doctorate while based at the PSSRU site at the University of Kent. As Local Associate for the UK, he undertook all aspects (economic, historical, political and social dimensions) of Phases 1 and 2 of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project. He is a former editor of the journal Voluntas. He co- ordinated the European Commission 5th Framework Research, `Third Sector European Policy ? (TSEP) from 2002-2005 and is currently a partner in the CINEFOGO network of excellence (European Commission 6th Framework).

He has been recognised, by the European Commission amongst others, as one of the foremost experts on the third sector and social policy in the UK. His publications include The Handbook of Third Sector Policy in Europe: Multi-level Processes and Organised Civil Society (2008), The Voluntary Sector: Comparative Perspectives in the UK (2003), Third Sector Policy at the Cross-Roads (with Helmut Anheier, 2001) as well as various articles in journals such as the Journal of Social Policy, Voluntas and Public Administration.

Contact information:

Other members

Lavinia Mitton

Lavinia Mitton

Dr Lavinia Mitton is a Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Kent, UK. Prior to coming to the University of Kent she was a doctoral student at the London School of Economics and a researcher at the University of Cambridge. Broadly her interests lie in two areas: the British welfare state and ethnic minorities in the UK. She has written reports on social security benefit fraud for the Department of Work and Pensions and on financial exclusion for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Recently she has published on Black Africans in the UK. She is co-editor of a major social policy textbook for Oxford University Press.

Nadia Brookes

Nadia Brookes

Nadia Brookes is a researcher at the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at the University of Kent, which is located within the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. Her recent research has included identifying the costs of criminal justice interventions for economic advisors within the UK’s Ministry of Justice and a project highlighting examples of innovative personalised services within social care for future in-depth research. She also coordinates service user involvement for a number of policy research units funded by England’s Department of Health. Prior to joining PSSRU, Nadia led a research unit at a London teaching hospital and was research manager at a not-for-profit centre specialising in innovation and outcomes in health, social care and criminal justice. She has also been employed in senior research roles within central and local government, leading on the evaluation of policy initiatives in connection with prostitution/sex work and also violence against women, focusing on the areas of education, health, and black and minority ethnic groups. Nadia has a postgraduate degree in social research and evaluation. Broadly, her research interests lie in the evaluation of health and social policy and innovation in service delivery.