Dr Daniela Sime


Social Work and Social Policy

Personal statement

My research interests are in the areas of social justice and inequalities, with a focus on children and young people's education, participation in society and equal opportunities. Currently, I lead on an ESRC-funded project which looks at issues of identity, citizenship and belonging among Eastern European young people in the UK (see www.migrantyouth.org). I am also a British Academy mid-Career Fellow, working on a project on young people's experiences of poverty and stigma in times of austerity.

My research sits within the Children & Young People and Families research cluster, which I also lead. 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, 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 mainly teach on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Social Policy, and have responsibility for coordinating the postgraduate Research Skills Programme in the Faculty. I am also the Postgraduate Director for the School.

Before I arrived at the University of Strathclyde in 2005, I worked as a research fellow at 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 as a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland in 2014.


Has expertise in:

    Recently completed ESRC-funded research projects include studies on the experiences of Eastern European migrant children in Scotland, approaches to provision of services for migrant children and on the role of multi-agency work in tackling child poverty.  I am currently leading a project which examines ethnic minority families’ access to health services in Scotland and working on disseminating findings from a study on Roma families’ experiences of access to services in the city of Glasgow.

    Other projects I led on over the last decade 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; Researcher: Giovanna Fassetta)
    • 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; Researcher: Emilia Pietka)
    • 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; CIs: Dr. Graham Connelly, Dr. Neil McGarvey, Liz Seagraves).
    • 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; Researcher: Dr Rachael Fox).
    • 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 small scale 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

Mid-Career Fellow of British Academy
Member of the Young Academy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

more prizes and awards


Academic and professional qualifications

  • PhD in Education
  • BA in English Language and Literature
  • Diploma in Primary Education

Other esteem indicators

Research funding reviewer:

  • ESRC Fellow of the Peer Reviewers’ College for grants and knowledge exchange proposals
  • Reviewer for Carnegie Trust, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Big Lottery Fund.

Member of professional associations:

  • Member of Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Social Policy Association (SPA);
  • British Education Research Association (BERA);
  • European Education Research Association (EERA);

Advisory and reviewer roles

  • Member of the Child Poverty Action Sub-Group, run in partnership by Glasgow City Council and the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde;
  • Member of the advisory group for Daisy Chain Early Years project, Govanhill;
  • Peer reviewer for journals: Scottish Educational Review, Journal of Social Work, Children & Society, Journal of Social Policy, Health & Place, American Educational Research Journal, Health & Place, Linguistics and Education, International Review of Applied Linguistics, Language and Intercultural Communication.


Belonging in Brexit Britain : Central and Eastern European 1.5 generation young people’s experiences
Tyrrell Naomi, Sime Daniela, Kelly Claire, McMellon Christina
Population, Space and Place (2018)
Educating migrant and refugee pupils
Sime Daniela
Scottish Education (2018) (2018)
Eastern European Young People's Political and Community Engagement in the UK
McMellon Christina, Sime Daniela, Corson Stephen, Käkelä Emmaleena, Tyrell Naomi, Kelly Claire, Moskal Marta
Eastern European Young People's Use of Services in the UK
Kelly Claire, Tyrell Naomi, Sime Daniela, Käkelä Emmaleena, Corson Stephen, McMellon Christina, Moskal Marta
Belonging and ontological security among Eastern European migrant parents and their children
Sime Daniela
Central and Eastern European Migration Review Vol 7, pp. 35-53 (2018)
Eastern European Young People's Feelings of Belonging : Any Place in Brexit Britain?
Tyrell Naomi, Käkelä Emmaleena, Corson Stephen, Sime Daniela, Kelly Claire, McMellon Christina, Moskal Marta

more publications


I am the Postgraduate Research Director for the School and deal with enquiries and applications for postgraduate degrees in Social Work and Social Policy. I organise 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 also interested in supervising postgraduate research in any of the research areas identified in my research outline.  

I currently supervise the following postgraduate students:

  • James Davies- Research area: ‘The volunteering experiences of young people in disadvantage areas’ (Faculty/Volunteer Scotland Studentship)
  • Dorota Szpakowicz- ‘More choices, no chances? Supporting interventions for promoting the reintegration of young people in the NEET group' (Capita Studentship)
  • Emmaleena Kakela- 'The impact of migration on cultural attitudes to female genital cutting in Scotland' (ESRC Studentship)
  • Michaela Gardner- ‘Negotiations of Classed Femininities and Engagement with Youth Services: An Intersectional Investigation of Inclusion and Empowerment’ (ESRC Studentship)
  • Marion Burns- ‘Starting school: Achieving curriculum continuity and progression in learning at transition from early years to primary school’ (Self funded EdD)

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 academia.edu, 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

The rights of migrant youth- Policy seminar on UNCRC incorporation in Scots Law
UK school racism rises since EU referendum
Everyday Experiences of Xenophobia and Racism among White Racialized Young EU Nationals in Brexit Britain
Contribution to BBC World Service Newshour
Research mentioned in the Independent
Xenophobic bullying souring lives of eastern European pupils in UK

more professional activities


Getting By: Young people’s experiences of poverty and stigma at the intersection of ethnicity, class and gender
Sime, Daniela (Fellow)
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
BTG: Navigating the multilingual city: a case study of Glasgow past, present and future
Cooke, Philip (Academic) Fantoni, Gianluca (Academic) Nickson, Dennis (Academic) Sime, Daniela (Academic) Smyth, Geri (Academic)
The project advocates and fosters ‘multilingualism’ as a fundamental part of the ‘Future Cities’ the University of Strathclyde aspires to help design and implement. By bringing together academics at Strathclyde, public institutions, the private sector and ordinary citizens, the project aims to create synergies conducive to the goal of a general advancement in social cohesion and community engagement in Glasgow (and potentially in other cities), mainly by making use of the opportunities offered by multilingualism. To achieve this goal, the project uses a range of tools: a documentary film, a report, a workshop, conference papers.
01-Jan-2014 - 30-Jan-2014
Young people's experiences of volunteering in deprived areas
Sime, Daniela (Principal Investigator) Stalker, Kirsten (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2013 - 30-Jan-2016
Sime, Daniela (Principal Investigator) Stalker, Kirsten (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2012 - 30-Jan-2016

more projects


Social Work and Social Policy
Lord Hope Building

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