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People in the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership

MGS Partner Institution Academic Contact General Studentship Query contact
University of Warwick

Director: Professor Nicholas Gane

esrcdtp at warwick dot ac dot uk

University of Birmingham

Joint Deputy Director: Professor Michael Hand

studentships at contacts dot bham dot ac dot uk

University of Nottingham

Joint Deputy Director: Professor Alison Pilnick

esrc-dtc at nottingham dot ac dot uk

Aston University

Institutional Lead: Professor Simon Green

rdp at aston dot ac dot uk

University of Leicester

Institutional Lead: Dr Sally Horrocks

esrcdtp at le dot ac dot uk

Loughborough University

Institutional Lead: Professor John Downey

esrcdtp at lboro dot ac dot uk

Contact details for each of the pathway academic leads are given on the pathway contacts page.


Professor Nicholas Gane, University of Warwick

Nick Gane

I joined the University of Warwick as Professor of Sociology in October 2013, and became Director of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership in September 2016. Prior to becoming Director, I was Deputy Director of the Warwick ESRC Doctoral Training Centre from January 2016 until August 2016 and I was previously the Director of Graduate Studies and the Doctoral Training Centre contact for the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick.

I am a social and cultural theorist with an interest in political economy and economic sociology. I have a long-standing interest in the sociological analysis of capitalism and culture and have written two monographs on Max Weber: Max Weber and Postmodern Theory (Palgrave, 2002) and Max Weber and Contemporary Capitalism (Palgrave, 2012). My recent work centres on the history of neoliberalism and on questions of banking, finance and debt. I also have an interest in debates over the current theoretical and methodological ‘crises’ of the social sciences.


ESRC DTP Joint Deputy Director

Professor Michael Hand, University of Birmingham

Michael Hand

I work in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. I am Director of the Birmingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre and Joint Deputy Director of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership.

I am a philosopher of education with research interests in the areas of moral, political, religious and philosophical education. My books include Is Religious Education Possible? (Continuum, 2006), Philosophy in Schools (Continuum, 2008), Patriotism in Schools (Wiley, 2011), Education, Ethics and Experience (Routledge, 2016) and A Theory of Moral Education (Routledge, 2017).


ESRC DTP Joint Deputy Director

Professor Alison Pilnick, University of Nottingham

 Alison Pilnick

In July 2015 I became the Director of the Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. Prior to that, from 2011-2015 I was Head of Training for the DTC, responsible for the day to day academic running and for managing our overall research training provision.

My research interests lie primarily in the field of the sociology of health and illness, with a particular interest in advice-giving by health care professionals to their clients. I have worked with professionals including pharmacists, GPs, genetic counsellors, anaesthetists and midwives, using conversation analytic methods to examine interactions in these settings. This is linked to a broader interest in the use of qualitative methods in sociological research.

From 2000-2006 I was a co-editor of the journal Sociology of Health and Illness. Since 2006 I have been an advisory editor for the journal Social Science and Medicine. I served on the BSA Medical Sociology Group Committee from 1997-2001, and since 2012 have been a member of the American Sociological Association (Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis Section) Committee.

In November 2015 I became a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.


ESRC DTP Institutional Lead

Professor Simon Green, Aston University

Simon Green 

I am Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston University. I joined Aston as Professor of Politics in 2008, following previous appointments at the Universities of Portsmouth and Birmingham. My research interests lie in European politics, especially in comparative immigration, integration and citizenship policy, as well as in German political structures and party politics. I have published widely on these topics, and I am also the co-author, together with Dan Hough and Alister Miskimmon of The Politics of the New Germany (Routledge, second edition 2012), a major new undergraduate textbook on contemporary Germany.

I was a member of the Area Studies Sub-Panel for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). From 2009-11, I was Chair of the International Association for the Study of German Politics (IASGP) and in 2011 I was elected to Fellowship of the Academy of the Social Sciences.


ESRC DTP Institutional Lead

Dr Sally Horrocks, University of Leicester

Sally Horrock 

I joined the University of Leicester in 1994 and have been institutional lead for the Midlands Graduate School since 2015. I served as Postgraduate Director in the School of History from 2012-2016.

I am an historian of 20th and 21st century Britain with a focus on science and technology and interests in gender, the media, oral history and moving image sources. Since 2011 I have been senior academic advisor to two National Life Stories oral history projects; An Oral History of British Science and An Oral History of the Electricity Supply Industry in the UK.

I have been involved in successful contributions to public history as part of the team behind the Voices of Science website and as advisor to the BBC’s World War One At Home project.


ESRC DTP Institutional Lead

Professor John Downey, Loughborough University

John Downey

I am a Professor of Comparative Media Analysis and Director of the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture at Loughborough University. I am also Vice-President of the European Communication Research and Education Association.

My research has been funded three times by the ESRC (first as a doctoral student and then as a Principal Investigator). I currently lead an ESRC funded project to provide intensive advanced training to postgraduate students and early career researchers in methods used in the field of communication and media research.