Project Investigators

Markus Klein (PI):

Dr Markus Klein is a Reader in Human Development and Education Policy and currently Director of Research in the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Life Course Research Affiliate at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course at the University of Queensland. Previously he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the ‘Social Stratification and Education’ strand of the ESRC-funded research centre AQMeN (Applied Quantitative Methods Network). Markus studies how and why family socioeconomic status shapes individuals’ development and outcomes at various stages of the life course. His research appears in Sociological Science, Child Development, Sociology, British Journal of Sociology, European Sociological Review or Social Science Research.

Edward Sosu (Co-I):

Dr Edward Sosu is a Reader and currently Deputy Head of School for Research in the School of Education. He has a strong interest in quantitative methods and in addressing educational issues from a psychological perspective. His current research is predominantly focused on understanding how socioeconomic disadvantage influences educational and psychological trajectories from early childhood.
Edward’s research interest cuts across high-, middle- and low-income country contexts. He was the lead author of the influential Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on Closing the Attainment Gap In Scottish Education. He has extensive experience of policy engagement and is keen to find ways that to enable research outcomes to make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable in society.

Research Associates

Valentina Perinetti Casoni:

Valentina Perinetti Casoni holds a Research Associate position at the University of Strathclyde and a Senior Research Associate position at the University of Bristol. She has a BA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the Università degli Studi di Trieste and a Double MSc in Public Policy & Human Development from Maastricht University (MU) and the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) where she specialised in Social Protection Policy Design and Financing. At the University of Bristol, she is currently involved in the ESRC-funded BIPE project BIPE project which investigates how students’ socioeconomic background and ethnicity impact on teachers’ views of their attitudes to school and school performance. Valentina’s research aims at producing robust, policy-relevant, quantitative evidence of how educational systems and policies can re-balance or reinforce educational inequalities and social stratification. In particular, she is interested in investigating school-related and classroom-related mechanisms that might exacerbate or reduce differences not just in achievement but also in learning experiences between children of high and low socio-economic status. .

Jascha Drager:

Dr Jascha Drager is a Research Associate in the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde. He has a BA in Sociology from the University of Kassel and a PhD and MA in Sociology from the University of Mannheim. Previously he has worked as research assistant in the projects “The Effect of Parental Wealth on Education Decisions” at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and “The Development of Inequalites in Child Educational Achievement: A Six Country Study Project” at Leipzig University. His main research interests are social stratification in education and quantitative analysis methods. His recent research has been published in Advances in Life Course Research, European Sociological Review, and Research in Social Stratification and Mobility.

Research Assistants

Esme Lillywhite:

Esme Lillywhite is currently undertaking PhD research in the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde. Her work is focused on the intergenerational transmission of poverty and she is part of the Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures Doctoral Research Centre. She has a Masters in International Development from Sciences Po, Paris and an BA(Hons) in Politics from the University of Exeter. Her research interests include quantitative methods, stratification in education, inequality, and social mobility.

Kenvil Souza:

Kenvil Souza is a PhD student in psychology at the University of Strathclyde. Her research focusses on the association between childhood experiences and suicide risk through the application and testing of theoretical models. Previously, she completed her MSc in psychological science (conversion) at the University of Glasgow and assisted on research projects focussed on guidelines for digital play in children, perception of facial cues in social robots, etc.

Samara Marta:

Samara Marta is an ESRC 1+3 PhD student at the University of Strathclyde. Her project examines the role of behavioural and psychosocial dispositions in the relationship between family socioeconomic status and school absenteeism. She is currently completing her MSc in Applied Educational and Social Research and previously completed her BSc in Psychology in Education at the University of York. Her research interests include school absenteeism, quantitative methods, and addressing inequalities.

Previous Research Associates

Dr Shadrach Dare
Dr Claire Goodfellow


General Teaching Council for Scotland
Poverty Alliance