Professor Daniela Sime

Social Work and Social Policy

Personal statement

I am Professor of Youth, Migration and Social Justice in the School of Social Work & Social Policy. My research interests are in the areas of social justice and inequalities, with a focus on young people's experiences and views, participation in society and equal opportunities.

I am currently developing two new ESRC-funded projects:

Between 2016-2019, I led an ESRC-funded project which looks at issues of identity, citizenship and belonging among Eastern European young people in the UK (see I was also a British Academy mid-Career Fellow, 2016-2018, working on a project on young people's experiences of poverty and stigma.

My research sits within the Children & Young People and Families research cluster, which I lead in the School. I have expertise in research, policy and practice in relation to migrant children and youth, child and youth poverty, youth citizenship and belonging and young people's access to services.

My research has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, British Academy, Volunteer Scotland, Save the Children and the Scottish Government. I regularly provide consultancy and training for local authorities and NGOs in my specialist areas and sit on advisory groups for a range of organisations. I teach on courses in Social Policy, and also coordinate the postgraduate Research Skills Programme in the Faculty. 

Before I moved to Strathclyde in 2005, I worked in the Centre for the Child and Society, University of Glasgow, and in the School of Education at the University of Stirling.

I have a PhD in Education from the University of Stirling (2004) and I have been Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2010. I was also elected member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland (2014-2019).


Has expertise in:

    Completed ESRC-funded research projects include studies on the experiences of Eastern European migrant young people in the UK and approaches to provision of services for migrant families.  I also led a project which examined ethnic minority families’ access to health services in Scotland and a study on Roma families’ experiences of education and other services in Glasgow.

    Other projects I led as Principal Investigator include:

    • A project funded by the British Academy, conducted in partnership with Glasgow City Council, entitled Children on the margins: Roma migrants’ experiences of schooling and other services (£7,000; 2012- 2014)
    • A scoping study entitled Intergenerational learning in Polish families funded by a grant from the Scottish Centre for Intergenerational Practice (SCIP), supported by the Scottish Government; (£,7500; 2011)
    • An ESRC/SFC/LARCI-funded knowledge exchange programme under the ‘Engaging with Scottish Local Authorities Scheme’ conducted in partnership with Glasgow City Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and Save the Children, entitled Co-ordinating service provision and improving life changes for children in severe poverty (£99,400; 2009-2011).
    • An ESRC-funded project examining children’s experiences of migration in Scotland, entitled At Home Abroad: The life experiences of children of Eastern European migrant workers in Scotland (£189,500; 2008- 2010).
    • An evaluation of home-school partnerships in early years in West Dunbartonshire Council (Funders: West Dunbartonshire Council/Save the Children; £15,000; 2009);
    • A scoping study on ethnic minority parents’ involvement in their children’s education (University of Strathclyde’s Research Fund; £4,000;  2008)
    • A scoping study on Gypsy/Traveller children’s learning experiences and opportunities of access to formal education (Funded by Save the Children; £2,400; 2007);
    • A project entitled Improving educational outcomes for children living in poverty through parental involvement in primary schools (Funded by Save the Children; £8,000; 2007- 2008)


Prizes and awards

Women in Leadership Certificate from Oxford University Said Business School
Strathclyde Medal for Leadership
Mid-Career Fellow of British Academy
Member of the Young Academy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

More prizes and awards


Academic and professional qualifications

  • Certificate in Leadership, Said Business School, University of Oxford
  • PhD in Education, University of Stirling
  • BA in English Literature, University of Oradea, Romania
  • Diploma in Primary Education, Pedagogic College, Oradea, Romania

Other esteem indicators

Research funding reviewer:

  • ESRC Senior Fellow of the Peer Reviewers’ College
  • Grant Panel member: Carnegie Trust, FCT Portugal- Sociology and Economics panels

Member of professional associations:

  • Member of Royal Society of Edinburgh, Young Academy of Scotland (2015-2019)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Social Policy Association (SPA);
  • British Sociological Association (BSA)


Performing whiteness : Central and Eastern European young people's experiences of xenophobia and racialisation in the UK post-Brexit
Sime Daniela, Tyrrell Naomi, Käkelä Emmaleena, Moskal Marta
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2022)
Young Europeans in Brexit Britain : unsettling identities
Moskal Marta, Sime Daniela
Global Networks Vol 22, pp. 183-196 (2021)
Children at transition from primary school reflecting on what schools are for - narratives of connectedness, (mis)recognition and becoming
Sime Daniela, Gilligan Robbie, Scholtz Jennifer
Childhood Vol 28, pp. 294-308 (2021)
"I feel like it's just going to get worse" : Young people, marginality and neoliberal personhoods in austere times
Sime Daniela, Reynolds Rebecca
Austerity Across Europe Lived Experiences of Economic Crises (2020) (2020)
New Scots? Eastern European young people's feelings of belonging and national identity in Scotland post-Brexit
Sime Daniela
Scottish Affairs Vol 29, pp. 336-353 (2020)
Going back, staying put, moving on : Brexit and the future imaginaries of Central and Eastern European young people in Britain
Sime Daniela, Moskal Marta, Tyrrell Naomi
Central and Eastern European Migration Review (2020)

More publications


I was Postgraduate Research Director between 2016-2019. I currently lead the Research Skills Programme for postgraduate students in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and teach research skills at postgraduate level. I can provide teaching, training and consultancy in the areas of expertise identified under my research profile.

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research in any of the research areas identified in my research outline and have an excellent record on supporting students apply for ESRC and Commonwealth scholarships. Get in touch with your proposal outline, if you think your research interests are aligned to mine and you have a clear commitment to doctoral studies.  

I currently supervise the following doctoral students:

  • Silvia Behrens - Young people, activism and political participation 
  • David Bomark- What we do together: Associational life, volunteering and the benefits for health and well-being 
  • Elita Chamdimba- Beyond bio-sociality: An ethnography of adolescents living with albinism in Malawi 
  • Laureen Walker- The impact and effectiveness of mentoring projects with unaccompanied minors 
  • Sne Zondo- Experiences of health services and mental health support seeking among African migrants in Scotland 

Research interests

My research aims to promote a strong social justice agenda that addresses social inequalities, especially in relation to traditionally marginalised groups, and to translate this research in changes in policy and practice. In pursuit of these aims, I draw upon theoretical and methodological insights from the new sociology of childhood, sociology of education, race and ethnicity studies and social policy. My research is particularly interested in social, cultural and educational contexts of exclusion, segregation and marginalisation - along with a concern for making research relevant to practitioners and policy makers- and falls within these themes:

Children and young people, migration, ethnicities and identity

  • Impact of family migration on children’s everyday lives, including educational opportunities, well-being and relationships;
  • Intergenerational relations and cultural learning in transnational families;
  • Ethnic minority children, inclusion, identity and civic participation;
  • Inclusive approaches in the education of ethnic minority groups, with a focus on Eastern European groups, Roma, Gypsy Travellers;
  • Methodological and ethical issues in doing research with young people.

Poverty and its impact on children’s opportunities

  • Approaches to tackling poverty and social disadvantage, including multi-agency working;
  • Reducing the educational underachievement in disadvantaged areas;
  • Impact of poverty on neighborhoods and children as service users and their involvement in consultation about service improvement;
  • Approaches to supporting parental engagement in children's learning;
  • Young people’s use of technologies and the technological divide;
  • Approaches to involving users such as practitioners and policy makers with research findings and ways of supporting evidence-based practice.

A list of my publications can be found on the ‘Publications’ section on this site or on, which has downloadable versions of some of my papers.

If you share some of my research interests and you are thinking about a PhD in the areas of migrant groups, poverty and education, young people and services, young people’s everyday lives, please get in touch.

Professional activities

External Examiner- PhD thesis
Expert on migration for BBC programme - 'Who lives in Scotland'
Here to Stay? Researching young people’s identities and future migration plans in times of crises
Tackling racism in Scotland's schools
After the crises: The futures of EU-born young people in post-Brexit, post-Covid Britain
An issue of rights: Promoting the participation of children and young people in family migration research

More professional activities


GEN-MIGRA: Gender, mobilities and migration during and post COVID-19 pandemic - vulnerability, resilience and renewal
Sime, Daniela (Principal Investigator)
02-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2024
Post-migration transitions and pathways to citizenship for EU youth in the UK amidst Brexit debates, challenges and anticipations
Sime, Daniela (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2023
What we do together: associational life, volunteering and the benefits for well-being and health for younger and older volunteers
Sime, Daniela (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2023
Getting By: Young people’s experiences of poverty and stigma at the intersection of ethnicity, class and gender
Sime, Daniela (Fellow)
Getting By: Young people’s experiences of poverty and stigma at the intersection of ethnicity, class and gender
03-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2018
Here to Stay? Identity, belonging and citizenship among Eastern European settled migrant children in the UK (a decade after EU Enlargement)
Sime, Daniela (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2019
BTG: Promoting the health and well-being of ethnic minority families in Glasgow
Sime, Daniela (Academic) Quinn, Neil (Academic) Meer, Nasar (Academic) Da Lomba, Sylvie (Academic) Garvey, Brian (Academic) Fassetta, Giovanna (Academic) Siebelt, Lindsay (Academic) Moore-Milne, Keith (Co-investigator)
This study aims to document the experiences of ethnic minority families’ engagement with health services. The project will explore the experiences of families with children from three minority groups (established minority, new minority, nomadic minority) to generate initial findings to inform further research applications. The proposed activities include dataset analysis on migrants’ health, interviews with service providers and families, and policy analysis. The project adopts a cross-disciplinary approach to investigating minorities’ health and well-being. Outputs will include a research report, publications and conference papers, a policy briefing, and dissemination events with potential research users, to explore further applications for funding.

Planned outputs will include a research report, publications and conference papers, a policy briefing, and dissemination events with potential research users, to explore further applications for funding.

We will aim to produce a research report based on the findings and disseminate this through an event held by the Centre for Health Policy for service providers and policy makers. A policy briefing will also be issued. In order to reach a wide range of users, we will organise two dissemination workshops, sharing the research findings and engaging practitioners in coproduction of ideas on best practice to tackling health inequalities in the city. In addition to publication in highly rated journals and one or two conference papers, we aim to submit at least one proposal for funding to Horizon 2020 under the ‘Health and well-being’ theme.
16-Jan-2014 - 15-Jan-2015

More projects


Social Work and Social Policy
Lord Hope Building

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