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Meet the new Research Team

This is the new research team for Degrees of Advantage? A longer-term investigation of the careers of UK graduates (Futuretrack Stage 5). The former research team for Futuretrack stages 1-4, led by Professor Kate Purcell, can be viewed here.

Principal investigator


Peter Elias is an internationally-recognised expert on occupational classification. Primarily a statistician and labour economist, he has become increasingly interested in the gap between policy labour market information requirements and the deficiencies of available microdata – particularly with reference to the extent to which the expansion of HE can address national skill shortages and erode obstacles to social mobility. With Kate Purcell, Peter led the previous stages of the Futuretrack survey, and worked on previous graduate labour market studies such as Moving On and Seven Years On. His research experience includes statistical monitoring of the status of particular groups in the labour market and the relationship between education, vocational training and labour market outcomes.

Contact Peter: Peter dot Elias at warwick dot ac dot uk

View Profile: Peter Elias

Research team


Gaby Atfield is a social geographer and experienced qualitative researcher who has worked on both the Futuretrack survey analyses and related projects. Her research primarily focusses on differential access to education and employment and social inclusion and exclusion. Within this broad theme, she is particularly interested in the relationship between geographical and social mobility and in the higher education experiences and outcomes of students from non-traditional backgrounds.

Contact Gaby: G dot J dot Atfield at warwick dot ac dot uk

View Profile: Gaby Atfield


Rosie Day joined the institute in July 2016 as a Computing Officer. She has over 12 years' experience working in various analytical roles. Her most recent position was as a Management Information Analyst at the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Before this she worked as a Research Analyst at the West Midlands Regional Observatory and an Information Analyst at the West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit.

Contact Rosie: R dot Day at warwick dot ac dot uk

View Profile: Rosie Day


Wil Hunt joined IER as a Research Fellow in 2017, having recently completed his PhD at Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth. His PhD research examined the role internships play in the UK graduate labour market and considers how the practice fits in with theories of labour market change and transitions from education to employment. Prior to starting his PhD Wil worked for a number of years at the Institute for Employment Studies where his research encompassed a wide range of education and work related topics, including: higher education, the graduate labour market, career patterns of PhD and creative graduates, student finances and support arrangements, student choices and graduate flows, health and safety in the workplace, and employers’ use of migrant labour. Wil is experienced in the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Contact Wil: W dot Hunt at warwick dot ac dot uk

View Profile: Wil Hunt


Daria Luchinskaya is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick. Daria joined the IER in 2011 as an ESRC-CASE funded PhD student, and worked on the Futuretrack survey, investigating graduate knowledge and skill utilisation in UK small and large businesses using a mixed-methods research approach. Daria's recent projects include work for the Social Mobility Commission looking at who invests in adult skills and impact on social mobility, and on survey measures of skill utilisation. Daria specialises in mixed-methods research, including quantitative analysis, the use of survey data, and semi-structured interviews.

Contact Daria: D dot Luchinskaya at warwick dot ac dot uk

View Profile: Daria Luchinskaya

Kate Purcell was the original PI on the Futuretrack project before her retirement at the end of Stage 4, and she returned to work on it in June 2019. She has been working on the relationship between higher education (HE) and employment since 1979 and conducted a series of longitudinal studies of graduate transitions into the labour market, follow-up studies of graduate early careers and related research on tertiary educational policy and practice and with graduate employers. Her main interests are on the impact of HE expansion on labour market stratification, occupational change and organisational restructuring with reference to equality of opportunity in employment and career development, mapping the increasingly diverse HE participant population and graduate labour supply, and identifying the socio-economic costs, benefits and wider impact of HE to individuals, organisations and the wider community, beyond financial premia. She is a passionate advocate of the value of mixed-methods research to address policy-related issues. Awarded the status of Emeritus Professor from 31st December 2012, she continues to work at the institute on a part-time basis on graduate labour market isues, the transition from education to employent and particularly, on developing the potential of the Futuretrack project.

Contact Kate:

View Profile: Kate Purcell


E Kispeter

Erika Kispeter is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Research (IER), University of Warwick. Erika has a background in Sociology and Gender Studies, and joined the IER in 2015, having previously worked at the University of Leeds. Erika’s recent projects include work for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), looking at digital skills in the current and future UK labour market. Erika is experienced in the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Contact Erika:

View Profile: Erika Kispeter