Written By:

Dr Sam Baars

Director of Research and Operations

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As Director of Research and Operations, Sam sets the strategic direction of our research programme, oversees our research team and leads on data security, as well as overseeing operations and team development. He has over a decade’s experience of designing, conducting and managing research projects drawing on a range of methods, from film-based participatory research to systematic literature reviews and statistical analysis of large-scale survey data. Whilst at The Centre for Education and Youth Sam has led and managed projects for the Department for Education, The University of Exeter, The Ambition Institute and The Communication Trust.

Sam has authored a range of publications in peer-reviewed journals and books and has particular interests in youth research, area-based inequalities, social science impact and local economic development. He has written for the Guardian, the New Statesman and Schools Week, and gave evidence to the Education Select Committee’s 2020 inquiry on left-behind white pupils. Previous freelance work involved authoring a rapid evidence review on local economic development for the ESRC Knowledge Navigator for local government. Sam is also an experienced podcaster, filmmaker, radio presenter, keynote speaker and blogger. He has a keen interest in the practical contribution that social research can make to wider society: he co-founded a charity which supports community-led regeneration, and supervised community-focused undergraduate research projects for the Manchester Leadership Programme. He holds a PhD and ESRC-accredited Masters from the University of Manchester, and a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford.