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LEGACY Research Team


Christina Hughes is a Professor of Sociology and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) at Sheffield-Hallam University where she has responsibility for cross-university portfolio development issues, including chairing the Recruitment Board. She has overall responsibility for the entire student journey. Christina manages Learning Enhancement and Academic Development (LEAD); Student Engagement, Evaluation and Research (STEER); and Library and Student Support Services (LSSS). Christina is the LEGACY Project Chair and PI.

Previously the Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Warwick, maintaining Warwick’s standing as a place of teaching excellence was central to her responsibilities there. Christina has longstanding research interests in the field of gender and education and has taught and researched in the fields of sociology, social policy and lifelong learning and was one of the founding co-chairs of the Gender and Education Association, as well as research methodologies. She was a founding Chair of the Gender and Education Association and currently co-edits the International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

Lawrence Young

Professor Lawrence Young was appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Warwick in January 2013 with responsibility for strategic planning and resources including oversight of the University’s capital programme. He recently became Vice-President at the University of Warwick, encompassing his existing responsibilities, while highlighting his leadership in the University’s engagement activity in China and Hong Kong. Lawrence was previously Head of the Division of Cancer Studies at the University of Birmingham from 2001-2007 and was appointed as the inaugural Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham in 2008. Lawrence fulfills the fole of LEGACY Project Sponsor at The University of Warwick.

Lawrence is internationally recognised for his work on the role of virus infection (Epstein–Barr virus and human papillomavirus) in the pathogenesis of various tumours. He also has an interest in gene and immunotherapy and this work has resulted in a number of clinical trials. He has published over 230 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews and book chapters in the fields of virology, cancer and tumour immunology. He has received major grants from Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia Research Fund and the Medical Research Council – these total £52 million. He has been a member of grant awarding panels of the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the Leukaemia Research Fund. Lawrence is listed amongst the World’s most cited scientists in the ISI’s (Institute for Scientific Information) list of Highly Cited Researchers and has an H-index of 91 ( Lawrence has an adjunct Professorship at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) and a Visiting Professorship at the Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, China).


Anna Vignoles is Professor of Education and Director of Research at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and a trustee of the Nuffield Foundation. Anna has extensive experience of using large scale administrative data to study factors relating to pupil achievement and students’ outcomes from education. She has published widely on widening participation into higher education and on the socio-economic gap in pupil achievement. Her research interests include issues pertaining to equity in education, school choice, school efficiency and finance, higher education and the economic value of schooling. Anna has advised numerous government departments, including the Department for Education, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and HM Treasury.


Jan Vermunt is a Professor of Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. He is an educational psychologist whose research interests have evolved from student learning and teacher learning as separate domains to include the way teacher learning and professional development affects processes and outcomes of student learning and vice versa. Jan is the Principal Investigator on the Cambridge Strand. In the past Jan has directed and conducted several educational development and innovation projects. These especially related to the development and implementation of new teaching, learning and assessment methods aimed at improving the quality of student learning processes, and to teachers’ and educators’ professional development with regard to the corresponding teacher roles.


Dr Sonia Ilie is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Her work focuses on inequalities in educational achievement and learning, with a particular emphasis on higher education access and learning. She uses quantitative methods applied to large scale survey data from a variety of sources and leads evaluations of interventions meant to improve access to higher education. Sonia is the main researcher on the Cambridge Strand. Her previous work has addressed issues concerning the measurement of socio-economic deprivation, and school effectiveness and student attainment.


Anne Wilson is Head of Careers at The University of Warwick and is leading the R2 Strengths strand of the LEGACY Project. Anne is a passionate advocate of high quality careers work supported with many years of experience from both the statutory and higher education sectors. She has pioneered strengths-based training through delivery of staff and student workshops and has presented at national conferences as well as contributing to several publications. She has provided career development, management and leadership training with particular interest in helping individuals identify, harness and maximise their strengths. Anne co-delivers personal and professional development programme for female undergraduates and post-graduates and is a qualified coach, careers consultant, R2 strength and a MTBI practitioner. Anne has recently become a Fellow of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy.


Dr Nalayini Thambar is the Director of Careers and Employability at The University of Nottingham and has also led the development of non-clinical placement activity across the university. A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a qualified careers adviser, her work has involved teaching, professional practice and leadership across all areas of student employability. She has recently completed her doctoral thesis, an exploration of the professional identity of university careers advisers in the new employability climate, through Bradford School of Management. Previously, Nalayini was Assistant Director at the University of Leeds Careers Centre, responsible for Business Engagement.


Eluned Jones is Director of Student Employability at the University of Birmingham and a past President of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS). Most recently, Eluned has authored two institutional Employability Strategies which have generated multi-million pound investments, lifted Birmingham to the UK’s top rank for graduate destinations, won several national employability awards and seen Birmingham named as the Times & Sunday Times 2015/16 University of the Year for Graduate Employment. Eluned also has a particular interest in internationalisation and is currently a member of Universities UK International’s Student Mobility Community of Practice and a member of the Student Experience Steering Group for Universitas 21, a partnership of global research-intensive universities. Linked to this, Eluned is currently leading one of HEFCE’s Learning Gain research projects examining the employability gain associated with students’ experience of internationalisation.


Dr Heike Behle has been working in higher education research since 2006, in particular in the field of graduates’ employability. After being involved with the influential Futuretrack project, she was engaged in smaller projects dealing with graduates’ mobility, employment in non-graduate jobs, student mothers, and student’s transition to higher education. She started to work for the LEGACY project in May 2016 where she analyses alternative ways to measure students’ employability gain.

sunil_maher_university_of_warwick.jpg Sunil Maher is the LEGACY Project Manager responsible for managing and coordinating LEGACY consortium. After graduating in Engineering from De Montfort University, Sunil started his career in the telecommunications industry where he was responsible for developing global support plans for newly developed products at Marconi Services UK, whilst working closely with customer support departments he helped to ensure efective implementation of technology for telecoms providers. Prior to his current role at The University of Warwick, Sunil worked at Coventry University Enterprises Ltd where he managed, coordinated and delivered a range of EU funded collaborative research projects with particular emphasis on SME support, transport, digital media, research and VET projects. Sunil has successfully matered knowledge of a range of EU funded programmes such as FP7, H2020, LLP, ERASMUS+ and ERDF.