Key People

Interim Vice President and Head of Faculty - Professor Craig Watkins

Professor Craig WatkinsCraig graduated with a BSc (Economics) from the University of Strathclyde in 1989 and, after a (very) brief period in industry, worked as a researcher in the Department of Economics at the University of Strathclyde, the Department of Land Economics at the University of Paisley and the School of Planning and Housing at Heriot-Watt University. For much of this period he also worked part time on a PhD (Land Economics) at the University of Paisley. In 1995, he was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Land Economy at the University of Aberdeen and in 1999 was promoted to Senior Lecturer.

He joined Sheffield's Department of Town and Regional Planning in February 2004 and was promoted to Reader in September 2004. He also served as Head of Town and Regional Planning, before taking up the post of Faculty Director of Research & Innovation.

Craig's current and recent research focuses on the structure and operation of property markets, particularly local housing systems, and the impact of public policy on real estate market performance. This research addresses theoretical and empirical issues and is generally, although not exclusively, located within a quantitative economic framework.

Faculty Director of Operations for Social Science - Karen Ball

Karen BallKaren started this role in March 2018, bringing with her a wealth of experience from the public, private and third sectors. Latterly she was Director of Operations for the College of Social Sciences at the University of Exeter.

Her role is to support the Faculty Vice-President in the strategic leadership and operational management of the Faculty of Social Sciences, the largest at the University with over 1,000 staff and over 10,000 students. She is tasked with ensuring its ongoing success through effective innovation and business coordination and working in partnership with colleagues across the institution.

Karen has a first degree in Politics from Hull, and MBA from the Open University. She is a part qualified accountant with a CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accountancy. She is also a Fellow of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

Faculty Director of Learning & Teaching - Professor Jackie Marsh

Jackie MarshJackie is interested in the relationship between childhood cultures, play and literacy in the digital age. She has conducted research projects that have explored children's access to new technologies and their emergent digital literacy skills, knowledge and understanding. She has also examined the way in which parents/carers and other family members support this engagement with media and technologies.

Jackie also has conducted a number of research projects that have explored how creative and innovative teachers have responded to the challenges of the new media age. She has evaluated a number of national projects that have aimed to develop teachers' expertise in the teaching and learning of digital and media literacy. In her more recent research, Jackie has explored changes in children’s play due to developments in media, technology and commercial cultures.

Jackie was the Head of the School of Education, 2009-2012, and has been Faculty Director of Learning & Teaching since 2013.

Faculty Co-Director of Research & Innovation - Professor John Flint

Professor John FlintJohn was awarded an MA in Politics from the University of Glasgow in 1994. Whilst continuing his studies at Glasgow, he lectured part-time in HM Prison, Saughton, Edinburgh before gaining an MPhil in Urban Policy in 1998.

He was employed as a research associate at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow before becoming a lecturer in Housing Studies at the University of Glasgow. He joined the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam in 2005 and was appointed Professor in 2007.

In 2011 he moved to the University of Sheffield as Professor of Town and Regional Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (formerly TRP). He was Head of Department between 2012 and 2016 and then Interim Head of the Department of Geography until September 2017.

John is currently the Co-Executive Managing Editor of the Housing Studies journal and a Trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation. He was also a member of the REF2014 sub-panel 16 and was formerly a member of the Housing Studies Association Executive Committee.

Faculty Co-Director of Research and Innovation – Professor James Wilsdon

James R WilsdonJames is one of the Faculty’s two Directors of Research and Innovation, which he combines with a role as Professor of Research Policy in the Department of Politics.

He is also a programme leader for the ESRC/HEFCE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), and vice-chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA).

In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and he now chairs its Policy Working Group. From 2013 to 2017, he chaired the UK’s Campaign for Social Science, and led an independent review of the role of metrics in the management of the UK’s research system, which published its final report in 2015 as The Metric Tide.
His research interests include the role of evidence & expertise in policymaking; the politics and practice of scientific advice; interdisciplinarity, particularly between natural and social sciences; research and innovation policy in the UK and Europe; the future of the impact agenda; and public engagement in research.

Previously, he worked as Professor of Science and Democracy at the University of Sussex (2011-2015); Director of Science Policy at the Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science (2008-2011); Head of Science and Innovation at the think tank Demos (2001-2008); and Senior Research Fellow at Lancaster University's Institute for Advanced Studies (2006-2008).

He is one of the editors of the Guardian's 'Political Science' blog on science and research policy, and a regular contributor to Wonkhe. He is also a member of the editorial advisory panel of open access journal Palgrave Communications. You can find him on twitter @jameswilsdon.

Director of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership - Professor Ruth Blakeley

Professor Ruth BlakeleyRuth Blakeley joined the University of Sheffield in 2017 as Professor of Politics and International Relations, and Director of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership for the Social Sciences.

After completing an MSc and PhD in International Relations at the University of Bristol, her first post was as a lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent. In 2015, she was promoted to Professor. She held several leadership positions at Kent, including Head of School of Politics and International Relations (2016), and Sub-Dean and Director of Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Social Sciences (2012-2015).

Professor Blakeley is the Lead Editor of the Review of International Studies, a journal of the British International Studies Association (BISA), published by Cambridge University Press. She was the Honorary Secretary of BISA from 2012 to 2015, and is a member of the editorial advisory boards for several journals

Professor Blakeley’s research and teaching focus on international security, terrorism and political violence, and human rights.