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Charoula Tzanakou

Charoula Tzanakou profile

Honorary Research Fellow


Dr Charoula Tzanakou is co-leading a Workpackage on Academic careers, Gender and Culture change in a Horizon 2020 Consortium Project PLOTINA (Promoting gender baLance and inclusiOn in research, innovaTioN and training) with partners in Italy (Bologna University), Spain, Slovenia, Portugal, Austria and Turkey.

She is interested in academic careers with a focus on gender, equality and diversity issues in higher education, transitions from higher education to employment and highly skilled mobility.

Dr Tzanakou originally studied for an undergraduate degree in International and European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business, followed immediately by an MA in European Institutions and Policymaking at Lancaster University. After her Masters, she worked at the European University Association(EUA) where she coordinated an EC funded project (Trends V) on the implementation of Bologna process in European higher education institutions. She completed her PhD on employment research at the University of Warwick.

During her PhD and beyond, she has worked as international higher education expert in EC funded projects (Trends 2010, Master's programme, TRACKIT, VERA project, EDUCOACH). She has also been a researcher at the Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) Research Centre at the University of Oxford.

She has worked on the Paths2Work project (ESRC-funded project) collecting and analysing data on precarious employment trajectories of young people and higher education graduates.

She is the co-Convener for Academic Mobilities and Immobilities Network (AMIN).


Tzanakou, C. (2019) Unintended consequences of gender-equality plans. Nature 570, 277.

Tzanakou, C., & Pearce, R. (2019). Moderate feminism within or against the neoliberal university? The example of Athena SWAN. Gender, Work & Organization. Available at:

Purcell, K., Elias, P., Green, A., Mizen, P., Robertson, A., Simms, M., Tzanakou, C., Whiteside, N.,and Wilson, D. Present Tense, Future Imperfect? Young people's Pathways into Work. Preliminary findings from the ESRC-funded research, September 2017.

Tzanakou, C. (2017). Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Greece - Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions. In J. C. Shin & P. Teixeira (Eds.), (pp. 1–10). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. (online first)

Tzanakou, C., & Behle, H. (2017). The intra-European transferability of graduates’ skills gained in the UK. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43(8), 1379-1397.

Tzanakou, C. (2017). Dual career couples in academia, international mobility and dual career services in Europe. European Educational Research Journal, 16(2-3), 298-312.

Purcell K. and Tzanakou C. (2016) Life after higher education: the diversity of opportunities and obstacles in a changing graduate labour market, Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Higher Education. Book chapter

Behle H., Atfield G., Elias P., Gambin L., Green A., Hogarth T., Purcell K., Tzanakou C. and Warhurst C. ‘Reassessing the employment outcomes of higher education’, in Case, J. M., & Huisman, J. (Eds.). (2015). Researching higher education: International perspectives on theory, policy and practice. Routledge.

Tzanakou, C. (2014). The wider benefits of a PhD. University World News, 315.

Tzanakou, C. (2014). The Value of the PhD in a Knowledge-Based Economy: Beyond Financial and Career Gains. In Ideas (Vol. 1).

Purcell K., Elias P., Lyonette C. and Tzanakou C. (2010)‘Research Degree Holders in the Longitudinal Survey of the DLHE 2004/05: Survey Validation L-DLHE Non-respondent Survey and Qualitative Follow-up Pilot Interviews’, IER/RCUK

Purcell, K., Elias, P., Atfield, G., Behle, H., Ellison, R., Hughes, C., ... & Tzanakou, C. (2009). Plans, aspirations and realities: taking stock of higher education and career choices one year on. HECSU, Manchester.

Purcell K., Elias P and Tzanakou C. (2008) Doctoral Career Pathways, Skills and Training: Options analysis for the collection of information about the early careers of UK Doctoral Graduates, IER/RCUK.

Tzanakou C. and Trusso A. (2007 )‘National Rectors’ Conferences Booklet: Structures and Organization of the National Higher Education Systems in Europe’, Bologna Handbook, RAABE Publ.

Current Project

  • PLOTINA (Promoting gender baLance and inclusiOn in research, innovaTioN and training) with Prof. Alison Rodger, part of a European Consortium. Funded by: EC, Horizon 2020. Project Start Date: 01/02/2016- Project End Date 31/01/2020

Recent projects

  • Gender and Inequality (GaIN) in higher education: PI: Tzanakou C., with Angouri J. and Mesinioti P. (project on discourse in higher education).
  • Precarious pathways to employment for young people? Unpaid, temporary and involuntary part-time work in transitions from education to employment. With Kate Purcell, Peter Elias, Anne Green, Gaby Atfield, Noel Whiteside, Phil Mizen (Aston University), Melanie Simms (University of Leicester), David Wilson (Open University). Funded by: ESRC, Project Start Date 01/01/2014 - Project End Date 31/04/2017 [details]
  • Leaky pipeline in higher education: PI: Rodger A, Co-PI: Tzanakou C.

All projects

Blogs and media

(2017) Gender equality in higher education - A view from a social scientist (Invited blog at Women in HPC network)

(2016) Bratislava Declaration of young researchers (with Sarah Gluck, at Europe of Knowledge, official blog for the ECPR Standing Group on the Politics of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation)

(2015) Are non-graduate jobs ‘upgrading’ to give the graduates who do them more autonomy? (with Craig Holmes, Luchinskaya and Ken Mayhew at The Conversation)


  • Qualitative Research Methods, PAIS (Module leader) 2016-17, 2017-18
  • Managing Human Resources,Warwick Business School (Seminar Tutor) 2011-13
  • Global Integrative Project,Warwick Business School (Seminar Tutor) 2010-13
  • Global Environment of Business,Warwick Business School (Seminar Tutor) 2012-1013
  • Critical Issues in Law and Management,Warwick Business School (Seminar Tutor) 2009-2012
  • Quantitative Analysis of Management,Warwick Business School (Seminar Tutor) 2008-2010


IAS Advancing Grants, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick-grant on developing H2020 proposal (co-PI) (2017)

Researcher Links Award, British Council, Selection of 20 UK researchers to visit Colombia to foster collaboration on science and innovation research policies (2014)

IAS Transatlantic Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick- Visits to University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University for gender policies (2014)

Academic fellowship award from Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) for research project into the use of reflection in teaching practice and student learning (2013/14)

PhD fellowship award, Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick,  (2008-2012)

Travel grants (LSE, Hellenic Observatory, European Commission) (2013, 2008, 2010)

Invited Presentations

  • 'Certifying Equality? A critical conversation on Athena SWAN and equality accreditation' (organised by Sociology department at the University of Warwick) (2017)
  • RCUK to present project on the Leaky pipeline (February 2015)
  • ESRC to lead seminar on equality and diversity for ESRC staff (June 2015)
  • Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (Lithuania) on Graduate Tracking (2015)
  • SRHE (Society into Research and Higher Education) about ‘The benefits of the PhD’ (September 2014)
  • EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) to chair and organize a Workshop on Dual Career Couples and Early Career Researchers with leading speakers from Stanford University, ETH Zurich and University of Copenhagen (Copenhagen, June 2014)
  • Russell Group Equality Forum about ' 'The leaky pipeline of women in universities: an institutional case study', (January 2014)
  • Plenary Panel speaker in Researcher Skills Workshop, organized by the British Council, Paris (2012)


European Consortium for Political Research (Standing Group on Politics of Higher Education, Research and Innovation)

University Association for Contemporary European Studies

European Research Area Collaborative Research Network :ERA-CRN

British Sociological Association

Society into Research and Higher Education