Professor Matthew Bennett

Department of Sociological Studies

Professorial Research Fellow


Dr Matthew Bennett
Profile picture of Dr Matthew Bennett

Full contact details

Professor Matthew Bennett
Department of Sociological Studies
Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS)
219 Portobello
S1 4DP

Matt is a Professorial Research Fellow and joined the University of Sheffield in 2021. He is based in both CIRCLE (the Centre for International Research on Care Labour and Equalities) and the Department of Sociological Studies

From 2013-2021 Matt worked in the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology at the University of Birmingham as an Assistant Professor before being promoted to Associate Professor. During his time there, he was the department’s Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes, the Midlands Graduate School DTP lead for Social Policy and Social Care, the Director of Postgraduate Research Methods Training for the College of Social Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences lead for the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. 

Matt holds an associate position in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, where he is also the Co-Director of the month-long Social Impact Fellowship (Matt was himself awarded a Social Impact Fellowship in 2013). 

He is a member of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) where he is also the Volunteering Track Chair and has served on the Annual Conference Best Paper panel. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Care and Caring.

Matt holds a BA(Hons) degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Washington. He completed both his MSc and DPhil in Sociology at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. 

Research interests

Matt’s research interests are in inequalities and wellbeing outcomes of care, prosocial behaviour and social diversity. He is Co-Investigator in the ESRC ‘Sustainable Care’ and NIHR ‘Achieving Closure?’ programmes that look at the cost and contributions of care and the impact of care home closures. He is also Principal Investigator on an ESRC award that looks at the impact of social diversity on stress (allostatic load) and wellbeing. His expertise is in linking and analysing large-scale surveys and administrative datasets using advanced statistical methods. 

  • Inequality
  • Social care
  • Unpaid care
  • Social diversity
  • Intergroup relations
  • Social cohesion
  • Prosocial behaviour
  • Quantitative methods

Journal articles


  • Bennett M (2015) Religiosity and Formal Volunteering in Global Perspective In Hustinx L, Von Essen J, Haers J & Mels S (Ed.), Religion and Volunteering RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wiertz D, Bennett M & Parameshwaran M (2015) Ethnic Heterogeneity, Ethnic and National Identity, and Social Cohesion in England In Koopmans R, Lancee B & Schaeffer M (Ed.), Social Cohesion and Immigration in Europe and North America — Mechanisms, Conditions, and Causality RIS download Bibtex download


  • Zhang Y, Bennett M & Yeandle S (2019) Will I care RIS download Bibtex download
Duration Role Project title Awarding body Funding amount
2021 Co-Investigator 'Carers Count' UKRI Engaging the Public with Census 2021.   £10,000
2021-24 Co-Investigator Achieving Closure?’ Improving outcomes when care homes close. NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research £1.2m
2019-20 Principal Investigator Unpaid caring and employment transitions. ESRC Quality-Related Strategic Priorities Fund. £11,070
2018-20 Principal Investigator Exploring the relationship between ethnic heterogeneity, intergroup relations and stress. ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative £199,746
2017-21 Co-Investigator Sustainable Care: connecting people and systems. ESRC Large Grant £2.5m
2017-21 Co-Investigator The Impact of Ethnic Diversity on Wellbeing and Health Nuffield Foundation Open Door £219,131
2010-13 Principal Investigator Solving the Degrees of Freedom Problem John Fell OUP Fund $60,000
2009-13   ESRC +3 Studentship and Advanced Quantitative Methods Enhanced Stipend     
2007-08 Principal Investigator Islamic Separatism in Britain? Mary Gates Endowment for Students Research $7,000
Teaching interests

Matt has taught a range of research methods and social statistics modules across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. He is a research-led teacher and is passionate about making quantitative methods accessible and engaging, and embedding them into substantive research topics, typically focusing on his own work. He has written and led a variety of methodological modules, including:

  • Social research methods
  • Fundamentals in quantitative research methods
  • Quantitative data analysis 
  • Regression models for categorical and limited dependent variables  
  • Multilevel modeling
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Survival analysis
  • Measurement
  • Data analysis for social impact
Postgraduate supervision

Matt welcomes enquiries from potential PhD students wishing to study topics related to his research interests. He is particularly interested in quantitative projects that explore care inequalities (material, relational and subjective) or the impact of social diversity on health/wellbeing and social cohesion. 

Current PhD students 

Unaysah Mogra, (2019-present). ‘Does school and neighbourhood diversity impact intergroup relations and social cohesion among youths?’ ESRC 1+3 Studentship

Kalim Ahmed, (2020-present)  ‘Exploring the effects of caring on mental and physical Health using population database linkages’. ESRC 1+3 Collaborative Award PhD studentship. Collaborative partner: Office for National Statistics.

Abigail Savory (2021-present). ‘The impact of caring on physical disease and mental health linking census and GP records’. ESRC 1+3 Collaborative Award PhD studentship. Collaborative partner: Office for National Statistics.

Tong Ren (2021-present). ‘The feasibility and financial sustainability of the long-term care insurance (LTCI) system under the public-private cooperation mechanism in China’. 

Harriet Ann Patrick (2021-present). ‘The financial costs of unpaid care in geographical context’. CDT-Data Analytics and Society 1+3 PhD studentship. Collaborative partner: Office for National Statistics

Eleanor Bale (2021-present). ‘Social frontiers in residential segregation: A data analytics approach’. CDT-Data Analytics and Society 1+3 PhD studentship. Collaborative partner: Delft University of Technology.

Christie Butcher (2021-present). ‘The characteristics and experiences of carers in the UK: trends and variations 2001-2021’. CDT-Data Analytics and Society 1+3 PhD studentship. Collaborative partner: Carers UK.