SMI Fellows

You can find details of external and internal Fellows who work with the SMI to help us promote high quality research methods and training here.

Sheffield Methods Institute team

Andy Dickerson

Professor Andy Dickerson - Director of the Sheffield Methods Institute

Andy is the Director of The Sheffield Methods Institute. Previously, Andy studied at the Universities of Durham (BA Maths and Economics) and Warwick (MA Economics, PhD Economics) and worked at the Bank of England and the University of York before taking up a post as Lecturer in Economics at the University of Kent from 1990-2002. He then moved to Warwick Institute for Employment Research from 2002-06 where he undertook a range of policy-focussed research projects for a wide variety of government departments and agencies. He joined the  University of Sheffield in September 2006 as Professor of Economics and became Head of Department from 2011-15.

Tim May

Professor Tim May - Professor of Social Scientific Methodology

Tim holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science (BSc Econ) and the Universities of Surrey (MSc) and Plymouth (PhD). These followed a career as an engineer in the agricultural sector and work in the retail sector, during which time he undertook a two-year evening return-to-study course to qualify for a university place. With a strong focus on methodology and in particular the relationship between knowledge, strategy, context and practice, Tim has worked on many different projects through funding from international, national and regional and local sources; for example ESRC, EPSRC, AHRC, European Commission, Mistra, Ford, NESTA, Whitehall and Manchester and Salford City Councils and the business sector.


Professor Gwilym Pryce - Co-Director of the ESRC CDT Data Analytics and Society

Gwilym is Professor of Urban Economics and Social Statistics, and Co-Director of the ESRC CDT Data Analytics and So. He is also a Co-Director of the £4m ESRC AQMEN Research Centre and currently leads the AQMEN Urban Segregation and Inequality research strand. He was formerly Associate Director of the £10m Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC), and continues to lead the UBDC research project: “URP3: Integrated Multi-sectoral Model of Employment and Migration”.


Dr Andrew Bell - Director of Research and Lecturer in Quantitative Social Sciences

Before moving to Sheffield, Andy was a lecturer at the University of Bristol, where he also completed his undergraduate degree (in Geography) and PhD (in Advanced Quantitative Methods). His current substantive research focuses on mental health from a life course perspective, but also spans a diverse range of other subject areas, including geography, political science, social epidemiology and economics. Methodologically, Andy’s interests are in the development and application of multilevel models, with work focusing on age-period-cohort analysis and fixed and random effects models.


Dr Todd Hartman - Director of University of Sheffield Q-Step Centre & Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Social Sciences

Todd is a political scientist and joined the Sheffield Methods Institute in 2014. Prior to this, he was Assistant Professor of Political Science at Appalachian State University and Director of Survey Research for the Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis. He is a graduate of the University of California at Davis (BA in International Relations), San Francisco State University (MA International Relations), and State University of New York at Stony Brook (PhD Political Science). Todd has extensive experience conducting surveys and experiments, and his research focuses on political psychology (especially political attitudes and intergroup relations).


Dr Lucy Jackson - Director of Learning at Teaching at SMI and Lecturer in Applied Social Sciences

Lucy joined the Sheffield Methods Institute as a lecturer in qualitative methods in October 2017. She received her PhD in human geography in 2012 after defending her thesis ‘Alternative sites of citizenship: emotions, performance and belonging for female migrants’ in the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Previously Lucy joined the University of Sheffield as a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on the ERC funded projected LIVEDIFFERENCE. Within this project Lucy worked on ‘spaces of conflict’ where she conducted research on conflicting and competing rights in the city associated with reproductive rights conflict and conflict between faith and secular groups. Lucy then joined the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool in 2015 where she was a lecturer in Human Geography.

Will Mason

Dr Will Mason - Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Lecturer in Applied Social Sciences

Will is a sociologist with interests in the study of childhood and youth, consumption, families, identities and inequalities. Before joining the Sheffield Methods Institute as a lecturer in Qualitative Methods, Will spent one year as a University Teacher in the Department of Sociological Studies (University of Sheffield) and two years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, working on the Nuffield-funded Child Welfare Inequalities Project. Will’s ongoing research projects use a co-production approach to explore residents’ experience of community services in a low income neighbourhood and to explore the everyday lives of marginalised young people in a Northern inner city neighbourhood.


Dr Aneta Piekut - Lecturer in Quantitative Social Sciences and Deputy Director of PGR in the Faculty of Social Sciences

Aneta is a sociologist by training, but her research spans disciplinary boundaries and is embedded in sociology, urban studies and human geography. Before joining the Sheffield Methods Institute, Aneta developed her research skills at the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and Warsaw.


Dr Mark Taylor - Director of Postgraduate Admissions,  Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Social Sciences and AHRC Leadership Fellow

Mark is a sociologist with interests in social stratification and inequality, the sociology of culture, particularly music, and the life course, with methodological interests in survey research, social network analysis, and geographic information systems. Before arriving at Sheffield, Mark worked at the Universities of Manchester and York, and studied at Oxford, where he received his DPhil under the superivision of Tak Wing Chan.


Dr Dan Olner - Research Associate

Dan is a research associate at the SMI working with the Urban Big Data Centre. The project is looking at how visualisation and simulation can make cities more transparent for the people living in them and policymakers, specifically how the movement of people interacts with housing, employment and communities. He also is working to develop the use of new computational methods. Before he joined the SMI, Dan used agent-based modelling to look at how changing distance costs could radically re-wire the shape of the economy.

Gwilym Owen

Dr Gwilym Owen - Research Associate

Gwilym is a postdoctoral research associate at the SMI, interested in inequality, segregation, social justice and health.

James Weinberg

Dr James Weinberg - Research Associate

James Weinberg is a postdoctoral research associate on the Q-Step programme at the University of Sheffield and an Associate Fellow of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre. Alongside his interdisciplinary work in the field of political psychology, James has a keen research interest in the practice and politics of citizenship education.

Joshua Townsley

Dr Joshua Townsley - Research Associate

Joshua is a Postdoctoral Research Associated at the SMI. He is in the final stages of his PhD at the University of Kent, where he also taught quantitative research methods for 3 years. Joshua's PhD research focused on the role that traditional local campaigning plays in current British politics.

Meng Le Zhang

Dr Meng Le Zhang - Research Associate

Meng Le is a research associate at the Sheffield Methods Institute. He is a quantitative social researcher with a background in education research. He is currently working on the ESRC funded Understanding Inequalities project.

Kitty N

Dr Kitty Nichols - University Teacher

Kitty joined the department in 2014, teaching whilst completing her PhD in Sociological studies. Before this she completed her Masters degree in Sociology and Social Research Methods at The University of Newcastle and her undergraduate degree at The University of Leicester.

Professional services staff

Keely Armitage - Administration Manager

Karen Bralsford - Clerical Officer

Amy Clare - Administration Officer

Ms. Andy Feast- Student Recruitment and Marketing Officer

Jamie Rodgers - Learning and Teaching Officer

Kerry Swain - Administration Officer

Matthew Wheeler - TEL Manager