Ms Ceri Hughes

Research Associate

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My research explores labour market inequalities in the UK and how these are shaped by government and employer policies and practices, with a particular focus on experiences of low-wage work and the design of activation and employment support policies.

I joined the University of Manchester in 2016, initially acting as the main researcher within the Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit (2016-2019) which was established with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the University with the aim of helping to make poverty reduction more central in discussions of economic growth and devolution in Greater Manchester and other cities.

Currently my time is divided between three research projects. The first is my ongoing mixed methods PhD research (started in 2018) that is drawing on the concept of time as a resource to examine some of the work expectations that are embedded in UK activation policies and how these interact with individual circumstances and labour market conditions. The second piece of research sits within the Work and Equalities institute and will explore the conceptualisation and potential means of achieving in-work progression. Finally, I am engaged as a topic expert on inclusive growth for the SIPHER project, an interdisciplinary project aiming to use complex systems modelling to understand how policy interventions can impact on health inequalities.

I previously worked at the New Policy Institute and the Work Foundation where I contributed to and led research on the interaction between poverty and informal caring, youth unemployment, the role of employers in tackling poverty, and the impacts of social security reforms.

External positions

Researcher, New Policy Institute

Jul 2015Jun 2016

Researcher, The Work Foundation, Lancaster University

Jan 2013Jul 2015

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2013 - MSc Social Science Research Methods, Social Policy pathway, Cardiff University (2011 - 2012)
  • 2007 - BA(Hons) English Language and Literature, Oxford University (2004 - 2007)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Command over time: time use decisions and constraints among working-age people in poverty, London School of Economics & Political Science (University of London) (2018)

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