Carmen Clayton


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Personal profile


Carmen is an active researcher with a particular interest in family lives, marginalised voices (such as young fatherhood), migration, ethnicity and culture. 
Carmen currently leads the 'British Families in Lockdown'/BFiL study. BFiL interviewed 60 parents from diverse backgrounds during the first lockdown and data collection is ongoing. Carmen is also the Co-Investigator on 'New Uses of Screens in Post-Lockdown Britain'/NUSPB  which is a research study led by the University of Leeds.

Carmen's young fatherhood research includes several studies and this has spanned over thirteen years. This includes 'Connected Young Fatherhood: Rural and Urban Experiences', which was a collaborative project with Daddilife, Leeds City Council and the County Councils Network. This study focused on young fathers' employment and professional support experiences during the pandemic. Other examples include ‘New Pathways for Young Fathers’, which investigated young fathers’ EET (employment, education, and training) and NEET (not in employment, education, and training) trajectories, formal support provision available and wider policy implications. Prior to this, she undertook research which explored young fathers’ higher education/HE interests and she was also a recipient of ESRC (Economic Social Research Council) funding to conduct a qualitative longitudinal study on young fatherhood and service support needs at the University of Leeds between 2012-15. To date, Carmen has received over £500,000 in research funding. 


Carmen regularly engages with policy makers and policy debates (submitting oral and written evidence to various UK Parliament Select Committee inquiries, contributing to UK Parliament POSTnote reports, invited meetings and presentations), and receives regular media interest for her work (such as The Guardian and BBC).  

Carmen is involved in several external committees, is a peer reviewer for a range of academic journals,  publishers and funders. Carmen is also the Chair of the Faculty of Health, Wellness and Life Sciences Ethics and Integrity Committee and is jointly overseeing the UOA 23 Education submission for REF 2028.



Research interests

Carmen’s research attracts international, national and local attention, resulting in a wide network of academic, professional and policy connections. Carmen is involved in various international initiatives across the globe, working with academics and professionals in America, Germany, France, Ukraine, Canada, Australia, and India for example.

Carmen often engages with policy makers and policy debates. Her research is regularly accepted as written evidence for various UK Parliament Select Committee inquiries (leading to invites to provide oral evidence), and she contributes to UK Parliament POSTnote reports. Carmen has been invited to meet with MPs (such as Helen Hayes MP Shadow Minister for Education), to provide consultations (Head of the Child Maintenance Strategy Group, Department for Work and Pensions), and to present to APPGs/All Party Parliamentary Groups and Government Agencies.

Teaching and Administration

Carmen teaches on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate modules with the Institute of Childhood and Education. As well as teaching, Carmen is the Co-Chair of the ICE (Institute of Childhood and Education) Ethics and Integrity Sub-Committee.


Current teaching provision includes:

  • International Perspectives on Child Welfare (Master’s Degree)
  • Difficulties Families Face (BA Level 6)
  • Research Methods: Evidence Informed Practice (BA Level 5)


Student supervision includes:

  • PhD supervision
  • Research Dissertation Supervision (Master’s Degree)
  • Research Project/ Dissertation supervision (BA Level 6)


Before teaching at Leeds Trinity University, Carmen taught at the University of Leeds (Department of Sociology and Social Policy), supervised MA Dissertation students and was involved in PhD panels. Nominations include a Personal Tutor Awards at the University of Leeds (2009).

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Leeds

… → 2009

Master of Arts, Leeds Beckett University

… → 2006

Bachelor of Arts, University of Leeds

… → 2005

External positions

External Examiner , University of Hull

PhD supervisor University of Tours, France , University of Tours

REF 2029 UOA

  • UOA20 - Social Work and Social Policy
  • UOA23 - Education


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