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Dr Daniela Sime


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 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


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 EducationScottish Education, (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, (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, 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

Here to Stay? art exhibition
IMISCOE conference
How Brexit is making Eastern European young people in the UK fear for their future
EU nationals events- organised by EU Citizens Rights project
COSLA Conference on Brexit impact
Here to stay? project presentation

more professional activities


Wilson, Alastair (Principal Investigator) Sime, Daniela (Co-investigator) Hunter, Katie (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2009 - 01-Oct-2012
Getting By: Young people’s experiences of poverty and stigma at the intersection of ethnicity, class and gender
Sime, Daniela (Fellow)
Period 03-Oct-2016 - 31-Jan-2018
Young people's experiences of volunteering in deprived areas
Sime, Daniela (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2013 - 30-Sep-2016
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)
"Focus of the project Eastern Europeans who have arrived in the UK in the last decade are the fastest growing ethnic groups in the UK. This study will be the first to focus specifically on Eastern European migrant children who have lived in the UK for at least three years, and to compare their everyday lives and sense of cultural and national identity and belonging in Scotland and England. The primary aim of the research is to inform public debate, policy makers and service providers on the issue of children of Eastern European migrants settled in Britain. The study will promote social inclusion, by exploring the experiences of settled migrant children in relation to the distinct discourses around migration, identity and citizenship in the UK and by ensuring that voices of children from the 'new' minority groups are taken into account in current debates on national identity. Settled migrant children's perspectives help us understand whether or not they are being socialised into their local communities' culture and can highlight the spatial and temporal dimensions of their social lives and opportunities for future. Concepts of ethnic and diasporic identity, belonging, transnationalism, culture and nation are taking new meanings across Europe and need reassessment and questioning when discussing national identity and social inclusion. Evidence to be produced By bringing together discourses on migration and integration of migrant groups with knowledge on how children experience these discourses in their everyday interactions, the study will generate new knowledge on the UK's new ethnic minority children and their long-term experiences of integration. Focussing on children aged 12-18 of Eastern European migrants living in the UK for 3+ years, the study will provide a unique understanding on migrant children's long term experiences of settlement, exploring family, peer and community social networks. Another key area of investigation will be children's expressed needs in terms of the array of services they use, issues in access and the extent to which services are meeting their needs. Third, we will explore the factors that enable children of Eastern European migrants to adapt to the new social, economic and political context of the regions in which they live, as they negotiate national, social, cultural and political identities in the context of a changing Europe. Data will be generated through a review of existing evidence, a survey of between 500-600 children across six urban, semi-urban/rural areas in the UK and focus groups with between 70-100 children. In depth case studies 16-20 families will also be conducted. A young people's advisory group will have a central role in the project development and dissemination. Originality, contribution to knowledge and anticipated impact The originality of the project stems from the consideration given to the ways in which Eastern European children living in diverse geographical spaces are engaged in on-going, dynamic processes of making sense of the world, and their place within it, at local, national and global levels. The study will fill a gap in information on newly settled migrant communities, with a view of informing policy and practice. Information on settled migrant children's social practices, educational achievement and aspirations, sense of cultural and national identity and belonging will provide insights into the extent of European migrant communities' integration in the UK, in the context of various representations of 'nation' that circulate in policy, political and public discourses. The study will address the relative absence of migrant children's voices in public debates and provide policy makers and the public with an improved understanding of the lives of children who were originally migrants, but have settled long-term in the UK. This information will be disseminated widely, to benefit children, service providers, policy makers and the general public."
Period 01-Apr-2016 - 31-Jan-2019
BTG: Promoting the health and well-being of ethnic minority families in Glasgow
Sime, Daniela (Academic) Quinn, Neil (Academic) Da Lomba, Sylvie (Academic) Garvey, Brian (Academic)
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.
Period 16-Jun-2014 - 15-Jun-2015
BTG: Navigating the multilingual city: a case study of Glasgow past, present and future
Cooke, Philip (Academic) Nickson, Dennis (Academic) Sime, Daniela (Academic) Smyth, Geraldine (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.
Period 01-Mar-2014 - 31-Aug-2014

more projects