Who we are

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Anna Mountford-Zimdars

Head of Centre for Social Mobility, Exeter University

Anna Mountford-Zimdars is an academic with experience of quantitative and mixed-methods research. She heads up the Centre for Social Mobility within the Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, and has a track record of leading the delivery of projects for the OfS and its predecessors, including research into Effective Evaluation of Outreach (2019). Her extensive publications include empirical (quantitative and qualitative) and theoretical work in the field of widening participation and access to undergraduate and postgraduate study. She is co-editor of ‘Fairness and Access to higher education’, Chicago: University of Chicago Press (2014). She led research to evaluate KCL’s K+ programme and their extended Medicine programme. Her teaching includes research design, advanced statistics and SPSS.

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Colin McCaig

Professor of Higher Education Policy, Sheffield Institute of Education

Colin has 15 years experience as a WP evaluator having contributed to the first National Evaluation of Aimhigher in 2005/6 (for HEFCE), led on the Evaluation of the National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (for HEFCE 2014-16) and supported CFE on the Formative Evaluation of NCOP. Colin was part of the team that undertook research to understand the evaluation of outreach interventions to widen access to higher education to under 16 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds (OFFA/OfS 2017-19). He is prominent in the academic development of WP/Outreach practitioners.

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Julian Crockford

Manager of Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Unit, University of Sheffield

Julian manages Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Unit (WPREU) at The University of Sheffield and has been very active in networking and community building bringing evaluation practitioners together, hosting a range of practitioner meetings (including co-hosting OFFA 2017’s Why Evaluate conference) and an online community of practice. He has seven years direct experience of leading the research and evaluation of WP activities in an HEI setting. He serves on the Data and Evaluation Steering Group of the South Yorkshire NCOP HEPPSY+. Julian and Greg have developed a theory of change toolkit for practitioners and evaluators.

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Greg Brown

Research with WPREU, University of Sheffield

Greg Brown is a researcher and evaluator with WPREU who has experience in developing theories of change and designing, undertaking and overseeing a variety of mixed-methods research and evaluation projects spanning the full student lifecycle. Sheffield has included his evaluation work in their return to TASO’s initial call for evidence. Greg is currently undertaking evaluation work for the NCOP HeppSY+ exploring the effectiveness of the consortia governance and delivery structures, as well as their evaluation framework.

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Joanne Moore

Research Fellow, Centre for Social Mobility, University of Exeter

Joanne Moore has supported widening participation practitioners in the evaluation of their interventions for many years, initially as Research and Evaluation Officer at the University of Manchester, before becoming the Data and Evaluation Manager at Aimhigher Greater Manchester. She is one of the founders of the Aimhigher Research Network and has undertaken a number of evaluation-related studies including most recently a substantial research study for the OfS that has developed guidance and written up case studies on effective evaluation of the impact of outreach and an evaluation self-assessment tool.