Carmen Lau-Clayton

Professor Carmen Lau-Clayton


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Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Leeds

    - 2009
  • Master of Arts, Leeds Beckett University

    - 2006
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Leeds

    - 2005

Professional Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy,

  • UTLA 2, University of Leeds,


Carmen joined Leeds Trinity University in 2010 and is a Professor of Family and Cultural Dynamics.  


Carmen’s research interests revolve around young people, families and childhood with specific expertise concerning young fatherhood, migration, ethnicity and culture. Her doctorate looked at the Chinese diaspora and generational and cultural patterns for British Chinese households. Her book 'British Chinese Families: Parenting, Relationships and Childhoods' was nominated for the BSA/British Sociological Association's Philip Abram's award (2015). 


Carmen’s recent research has looked into the impact of lockdown for a diverse set of parents and young people. The ‘British Families in Lockdown’ study/BFiL has had several evidence papers accepted by UK Parliament and national media interest (e.g. The Guardian and BBC).  BFiL has also collaborated with national and international partners.


Carmen has also been focusing on young fatherhood research. Her latest study ‘New Pathways for Young Fathers’ worked in partnership with several external organisations to investigate 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 interests. She was 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.


Carmen is also involved in a number of external committees, is a peer reviewer for a range of academic journals and publishers, funding organisations and is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood.

Research interests

Carmen’s research has been recognised on a local, national and international level. This includes for example, collaborative working with local practitioners (and new initiatives), a presentation at the House of Commons for the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) on Fatherhood and an invited consultation with the Head of the Child Maintenance Strategy Group at the Department of Work and Pensions.


Before Carmen joined Leeds Trinity University she was a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds.

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 Deputy Chair of the  ICE (Institute of Childhood and Education) Ethics 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).

Willingness to take PhD students