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Gaby Atfield

Research interests

Gaby's current research primarily focuses on differential access to the labour market and the relationship between employment and social inclusion/exclusion. Within this broad theme, she is particularly interested in:

  • Work, welfare and public policy, particularly participation of disadvantaged groups in active labour market programmes;
  • Education and employment as vehicles for social mobility;
  • Social capital, social networks and integration, especially of migrants.

Recent research projects have included work on:

  • Worklessness and routes into education and employment, including programme evaluations (DWP, Isle of Angelsey County Council, BIG, ESRC, Centrepoint and TfL);
  • The graduate labour market (Nuffield, Royal Society of Chemistry, SWRDA, Irish Research Council, ESRC, DfE), including the Futuretrack project, tracking 2006 HE applicants through HE and into employment (HECSU and the Nuffield Foundation);
  • Migrants in the labour market, (UKCES, Home Office/Migration Advisory Committee, EMDA), including refugees and asylum seekers (BIG).

Gaby has particular methodological interests in:

  • Longitudinal research and tracking (using both quantitative and qualitative methods);
  • Online survey research;
  • Participatory and inclusive methods and cross-cultural and community research.

She has experience working with Turkish, Kurdish and Somali-speaking diasporic communities.

Academic profile

Gaby has a background in Geography and joined IER in November 2007. Prior to this, she worked as a researcher at the Universities of Birmingham and Dundee and Goldsmiths College, University of London and was a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Sussex.

Selected current projects

  • The Effect of Local Crime on Child Marriage, School Dropout, and Employment Outcomes: A Gender Perspective from India.With Sudipa Sarka, Funded by ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund. Project Start Date: 1/11/2019 - Project End Date: 30/04/2021 [details]
  • Identification of factors affecting successful outcomes in the DDU-GKY Indian skills programme for unemployed young people. Funded by ESRC. Project Start Date: 3/10/2018 - Project End Date: 02/10/2020 [details]
  • Study on the wider benefits of completing a degree. With Wil Hunt, Heike Behle, Daria Luchinskaya, David Owen, Beate Baldauf and Clare Lyonette. Funded by Department for Education. Project Start Date: 22/10/2018 - Project End Date: 30/06/2021 [details]
  • Degrees of Advantage? A longer-term investigation of the careers of UK graduates. With Kate Purcell, Peter Elias and Wil Hunt. Funded by: Nuffield Foundation. Project Start Date: 01/04/2018 - Project End Date: 30/09/2019 [details]

All projects

Selected publications

All publications

All conference presentations

Doctoral supervision

  • Xiaotong Zhang 'What are enablers, constraints, processual mechanisms and methods of female self-employment and female entrepreneurship in Beijing?'
  • Mohammed Abdullahi 'What are the return propensities of Nigerian Medical Doctors in the UK?'
  • Danya Nusseir 'Exploring the role of digital literacy in integration of marginalised communities: Arab refugee women and access to the labour market in Jordan, Lebanon and the UK'


  • DTC Qualitative Methods - Qualitative Interview Data Analysis (Lecturer, Doctoral Training Centre, University of Warwick, 2014 - to date)
  • Methods in Migration Research MA (Convenor & Lecturer, University of Sussex, 2002-3)
  • Migration Studies MA (Lecturer, University of Sussex, 2002-3)
  • Refugees and Development MA (Lecturer, University of Sussex, 2002-3)
  • European Cultural Identity MA (Lecturer, School of European Studies, University of Sussex, 2002-3)
  • Contemporary European Migration BA/BSc Year 2/3 (Convenor & Lecturer, School of European Studies, University of Sussex, 2002-3)
  • Issues in Contemporary Society: Migration BA/BSc Year 2/3 (Convenor & Lecturer, School of Social Science, University of Sussex, 2002-3)
  • Cities BA/BSc Year 1 (Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Sussex, 2002)
  • Human Geography Fieldcourse BA/BSc Year 1 (Department of Geography, University of Sussex, 2002)
  • Research Methods BA Year 3 (Seminar Leader, Department of Politics and Social Policy, Goldsmiths College (2001)
  • Global Change BA/BSc Year 3 (Seminar Leader, Department of Geography, University of Newcastle, 1999-2000)
  • Politics, Culture and Territory BA/BSc Year 3 (Seminar Leader, Department of Geography, University of Newcastle, 1998-9)

Professional memberships

  • British Association for Turkish Area Studies (BATAS)
  • British Sociological Association




Senior Research Fellow

Institute for Employment Research
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Tel: +44(0)24 76 150419

G dot J dot Atfield at warwick dot ac dot uk