Dr Vanessa Higgins

Senior Research Fellow

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Data Skills Training

I am the Director of User Support and Training for the UK Data Service. I lead the UK Data Service programme of training events, web-based training resources and online help for researchers and teachers using the data.

I co-lead the Data, Skills and Training Research Group within the Cathie Marsh Institute. 

I am Co-investigator on the EmpoderaData project which aims to increase data literacy skills in Latin America.


My two research interests are (1) obesity, and (2) data literacy skills. My PhD was on the topic on Ethnic Differences in Obesity. I have worked on a number of projects related to obesity, including an ESRC-funded study to examine ethnic differences in obesity, diet and physical activity using the Health Survey for England data. My methodological interests are primarily in quantitative methods and the secondary analysis of data. Before joining the Cathie Marsh Institute I worked at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as a survey researcher on large-scale national surveys.


I  teach on the following Social Statistics courses:

  • Unequal Societies (first year undergraduate module)
  • Social Research Methods and Statistics MSc programme (Dissertation module)

I also supervise dissertations for the Social Research Methods and Statistics MSc students.

I do a wide variety of teaching for the UK Data Service. The teaching is generally related to the secondary analysis of large-scale data and quantative methods, for example workshops or webinars on using quantitative data for research. 



Social responsibility

Specific research interests:

Keywords: Survey Research; Health and lifestyle, Ethnicity, Obesity, Diet, Physical Activity.

Research Networks and Beacons


  • Survey Research, Health and lifestyle, Ethnicity, Obesity, Diet, Physical Activity

Related information


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Project: Research

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Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

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Media coverage and contribution

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Student Theses

UoM administered thesis: Phd

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