Ms Jessica Benson-Egglenton

Department of Politics and International Relations

Research Associate

Jessica Benson-Egglenton
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Ms Jessica Benson-Egglenton
Department of Politics and International Relations
Modular Teaching Village
Northumberland Road
S10 1AJ

Jessica Benson-Egglenton is a Research Associate on the Stepping Out project, led by Professor Matthew Flinders. The project aims to evaluate the first phase of the ESRC Public Policy Fellowships, in order to maximise the impact, value and efficiency of subsequent phases of the scheme, while also generating insights that are of value to the broader ESRC public policy strategy and to UKRI’s overall ambitions.

Jessica is completing her PhD at Sheffield Hallam University, funded by the ESRC through the White Rose Social Sciences DTP. Her research uses narrative interviews to explore journeys into higher education for young women from white, working-class families; a group that experiences low rates of progression to university. The study considers these personal narratives within a broader context, critically examining what they reveal about the policy discourses negotiated by these young women in the construction of their journey and their subjectivities as HE students.

Before returning to academia, Jessica worked in HE professional services for around ten years, primarily as a mixed-methods evaluator and data and policy analyst focused on access and participation projects. She continues to work as an evaluation and research consultant, most recently working with the LSE on an evaluation of their contextual offer scheme. Her research interests include the HE inequalities and the widening participation agenda, processes of policy enactment in WP, and education outcomes and experiences for working-class girls.

  • BA Jt Hons English and American Studies, University of Nottingham
  • MA Arts Policy and Management, Birbeck College, University of London
  • Mres Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University



Jessica Benson-Egglenton (2022) Whose target group is it anyway?

The messy business of enacting widening participation policy, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 46:10, 1407-1420, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2022.2082276