Dr Daniela Sime


Social Policy

Personal statement

I am a Reader in Education and Social Policy in the School of Social Work & Social Policy. 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 am the principal investigator on an ESRC-funded project which looks at issues of identity, citizenship and belonging among settled Eastern European young people in the UK (see www.migrantyouth.org). I am also a British Academy mid-Career Fellow, with funding until October 2017, working on a project on young people's experiences of poverty and stigma at the intersection of ethnicity, class and gender.

My research sits within the School's research theme of Children & Young People and Families. 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 postgraduate courses, including the Doctorate in Education, and have responsibility for coordinating the Research Skills Programme for research students in the Faculty. I also teach on our undergraduate BA course in Social Policy.

Before my arrival 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 awarded in 2004 by the University of Stirling 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.

    Over the last few years, I have been lead investigator on a range of research studies, including:

    • 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’ (Grant value: £7,000; Duration: Oct 2012- Jan 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; (Grant value: £,7500; Duration: Jan-Dec 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’ (Grant value: £99,400; Duration: Sept 2009-Jan 2011; Grant ID: RES 809-19-0020; 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’ (Grant value: £189,500; Duration: Jan 2008- May 2010; Grant ID: RES 061-25- 0121; Researcher: Dr Rachael Fox). See more information on the project website
    • An evaluation of home-school partnerships in early years in West Dunbartonshire Council (Funders: West Dunbartonshire Council/Save the Children; Grant value: £15,000; Jan-Sept 2009);
    • A scoping study on ethnic minority parents’ involvement in their children’s education (Funder: University of Strathclyde’s Research Fund; Grant value: £4,000; Mar-Sept 2008)
    • A scoping study on Gypsy/Traveller children’s learning experiences and opportunities of access to formal education (Funded by Save the Children; Grant value: £2,400; Sept-Nov 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; Grant value: £8,000; Jan 2007-June 2008)

    Previous research projects I worked on as a Research Fellow have included:

    • A study on the impact of poverty on children and young people's uses of public, private and voluntary services (Big Lottery Fund grant; PI: Prof Malcolm Hill)
    • A project on the ways in which adults can enhance children's interactions with ICT in nurseries and in homes, entitled Interplay: Play, Learning and ICT in pre-school education (ESRC grant; PI: Prof Lydia Plowman)
    • A study on children's access to technologies at home and their parents' perceptions of children's use of ICT; the project focused on the role of pre-school access to ICT in combating learning disadvantage in primary schools (BECTA grant; PI: Joanna McPake, University of Strathclyde)
    • A study of trainee teachers' perceptions of the uses of ICT in schools, with a focus on learning to teach with ICT and on using ICT in teacher training (PI: Dr. Mark Priestley, University of Stirling)
    • A case study of introducing formative assessment in primary schools in Scotland (PI: Dr. Mark Priestley, University of Stirling)

Prizes and awards

Member of the Young Academy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

more prizes and awards


Migrant children and young people's 'voice' in healthcare
Sime Daniela
Handbook of Migration and HealthHandbook of Migration and Health, (2016)
Relations between child poverty and new migrant child status, academic attainment and social participation : insights using social capital theory
Forbes Joan, Sime Daniela
Education Sciences Vol 6, pp. 1-15, (2016)
Migrant children, social capital and access to services : transitions, negotiations and complex agencies
Sime Daniela, Fox Rachael
Children and Society Vol 29, pp. 524–534, (2015)
Polish migrant children’s transcultural lives and transnational language use
Moskal Marta, Sime Daniela
Central and Eastern European Migration Review, (2015)
Home abroad : Eastern European children's family and peer relationships after migration
Sime Daniela, Fox Rachael
Childhood Vol 22, pp. 377-393, (2015)
Researching children's lives : on becoming and being a sociologist in education
Sime Daniela
Sociologists' TalesSociologists' Tales, (2015)

more publications


I am the postgraduate research coordinator 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 Studentship)
  • Dorota Szpakowicz- Research area: ‘More choices, no chances? Supporting interventions for promoting the reintegration of young people not in education, training or employment (NEET) through the use of mobile technologies’ (Capita Studentship)
  • Michaela Gardner Research area: ‘Negotiations of Classed Femininities and Engagement with Youth Services: An Intersectional Investigation of Inclusion and Empowerment’ (Doctoral Training Pathway, ESRC Studentship)
  • Marion Burns- ‘Starting school: Achieving curriculum continuity and progression in learning at transition from early years to primary school’ (EdD)

Research interests

My research interests centre upon the issues of education, equality and social justice and children and young people’s lives. Over the last few years, I’ve been mainly interested in engaging in research which promotes a strong social justice agenda that addresses social inequalities, especially in relation to traditionally marginalised groups. In pursuit of these interests, 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 the following main 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 children, Roma and Gypsy Traveller children;
  • Methodological and ethical issues in doing research with children and young people.

Poverty and its impact on children’s opportunities

  • Approaches to tackling child poverty and multi-agency working in tackling social disadvantage;
  • 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 children, poverty and education, children’s services, young people’s everyday lives, please get in touch.

Professional activities

World Education Research Association (WERA) Focal Meeting
Scottish Education Research Association Annual Conference
Research assessor for the Carnegie Trust
European Journal of Teacher Education (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Children and Society (Journal)
Peer reviewer
British Journal of Social Work (Journal)
Peer reviewer

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 - 29-Sep-2017
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)
Period 01-Apr-2016 - 31-Jul-2018
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) Fassetta, Giovanna (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) Fantoni, Gianluca (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