Key People

Vice President and Head of Faculty - Professor Gill Valentine

Professor Gill ValentineProfessor Gill Valentine returned to the University of Sheffield as Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences in September 2012 having previously worked at the University between 1994- 2004 as a lecturer, senior lecturer and professor in the Department of Geography. In between Gill was Head of the School of Geography at University of Leeds where she also served as Director of the Leeds Social Science Institute. In addition, Gill has held academic posts at the universities of Manchester and Reading. Before settling into an academic career Gill trained as a journalist, working for Haymarket Publications and BBC Wales.

Gill's research interests are focused in three interconnected areas: social identities and belonging; childhood, parenting and family life; and urban cultures and consumption. Although, she trained as a Geographer much of Gill's work has been interdisciplinary involving collaboration with social science colleagues from Departments of: Education, Sociology and Social Policy, Information Studies and Theology and Religious Studies. Her research has been supported by the award of 14 grants (value of >£4 million) from the European Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and The Leverhulme Trust, as well as research contracts from Government Departments and Non Governmental Organisations (e.g. Gambling Commission, and Citizens Advice Bureau). She has supervised over twenty Ph.D. students.

Gill has (co-)authored/edited 15 books (with translations into Japanese, Chinese and Korean) and over 170 journal articles/reports. She was a co-founder and co-editor of the international journal Social & Cultural Geography (2000-08), and co-editor of Gender, Place and Culture (1999-2004) and is currently on the editorial boards of Children's Geographies and Geography Compass and a commissioning editor of a Taylor Francis book series. Gill's research has been recognised by the award of a Philip Leverhulme Prize: '…designed to recognise and facilitate the work of outstanding young research scholars of proven achievement' and a Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Gill Memorial Award: for contributions to Geography and gender.

Gill is an Academician in the Social Sciences. She plays an active role within the social science community serving as: a member of the ESRC's Steering Committee for the International Benchmarking Review of UK Human Geography; a member of the Philip Leverhulme Prize awards panel; and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Research Programme Advisory Group (2007-2010). She was also appointed by the ESRC to evaluate two of its interdisciplinary investments. Between 2008-2012 Gill was a trustee of the Drinkaware Trust (an independent charity with the objective of changing national drinking culture).


Faculty Director of Operations for Social Science - Jo Mallows

Jo Headshot ColourJo takes on the role of Faculty Director of Operations in Social Sciences, having been Deputy Faculty Director of Operations with responsibility for HR, Change Management and Learning and Teaching since 2012. She has worked at the University for a decade and has been Departmental Manager in the School of Education, Department of Geography and Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Jo's role is to support the Faculty Vice-President in the leadership and management of Social Sciences, helping ensure its ongoing success through effective business coordination and working in partnership with colleagues across the institution. Jo is member of various key University bodies including Professional Services Executive, and the Strategic Group on Student Numbers & Fees.

Prior to working at The University of Sheffield, Jo was a manager at the University of Leeds for eight years, where she is also an alumnus with an MEd in Higher Education, and a first degree in Geography from Loughborough University.

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 Director of Research & Innovation - 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 Impact and Engagement – Professor James Wilsdon

James R WilsdonJames joined the Faculty in January 2016 as Director of Impact and Engagement, which he combines with a role as Professor of Research Policy in the Department of Politics.

He is also Director of the Nexus Network, a £1.8m ESRC initiative to link research & policy across food, energy, water and the environment. Since 2013, he has been Chair of the Campaign for Social Science, and he led the working group for its 2015 report The Business of People.

James recently chaired a review of the role of metrics in the management of the UK’s research system, which published its final report The Metric Tide in July 2015. Building on this, he is now leading an expert panel for the European Commission on the role of altmetrics. He is also on the advisory board of Scientists for EU.

Previously, James worked as Professor of Science and Democracy at SPRU, University of Sussex (2011-2015), Director of Science Policy at the Royal Society (2008-2011) and Head of Science and Innovation at Demos (2001-2008).

His research interests include the role of evidence in policymaking; the politics and practice of scientific advice; interdisciplinarity, particularly between natural and social sciences;
and science and research policy in the UK, EU and China.

James contributes regularly to the media and is one of the editors of the Guardian's 'Political Science' blog.
In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. You can find him on twitter @jameswilsdon.