SRA trustees

Dr Helen Kara

dr helen kara
Helen Kara has been an independent social researcher in social care and health since 1999, working with statutory and third sector organisations and partnerships.  She is the author of two well-reviewed books on research methods, and teaches research methods to practitioners and postgraduate students.  Helen is a Visiting Fellow at the National Centre for Research Methods.


Faye Gracey

faye gracey

Faye has been both a research commissioner (e.g. Audit Commission, WRAP) and a research consultant for most UK government departments (Home Office, Department for Education, etc) and other bodies (e.g. Wellcome Trust, Estyn). Now working for Welsh Government, Faye is responsible for European funded education and skills programme evaluations, as well as supporting the development of new programmes based on evidence.


David Johnson (Chair)

David is the current Chair of the Social Research Association and in his day job works in the DWP and DHSC Joint Work and Health Unit, where he leads on trialling and evaluation work. Previously, he was Head of Research for the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s Green Deal programme, and before that Head of Profession for Social Research in the Treasury, where he sat on the Social Policy and Social Work REF panel. David have worked in a large number of roles using applied social research and evaluation to support public policy design and delivery.


Isabella Pereira

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Isabella is a Research Director in Ipsos MORI’s dedicated qualitative social research methods team, which she helped found in 2013.  She directs large-scale, complex qualitative and mixed methods research studies for government departments, think tanks and charities.  She also leads Ipsos MORI's qualitative social research training programme and their in-house research ethics committee. Isabella is a trustee for the refugee and migrants' charity, the Migrants Resource Centre and is a mentee on the Fabian Women’s Network 2016 mentoring programme.


Sophie Ellison

sophie ellison

Sophie Ellison is Senior Research Officer in the Strategy Unit at the Scottish Government and Chair of SRA Scotland.  She graduated in Social Anthropology and her first job in Social Research was in 2008, as a Research Consultant at a Scotland-based consultancy, Blake Stevenson. Sophie became a Senior Consultant for Blake Stevenson and having covered more than 30 varied and fascinating projects she left in 2014 to join the Scottish Government Strategy Unit.


Nigel Meager (Hon. Treasurer)

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Nigel recently retired as Director of the Institute for Employment Studies. He has a long track record of research on labour market and employment policy topics. Much of his work has an international emphasis and he is especially interested in the identification and transfer of good practice in policy development. He has been a specialist adviser to parliamentary select committees, and he was previously chair of the Association of Research Centres in the Social Sciences (ARCISS). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and of the Royal Society of Arts.


Kieran O’Leary

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Kieran is a Director at Ipsos MRBI in Ireland having worked in research for almost 20 years in a range of roles on the client and agency sides. He works with a variety of policy-focussed clients in delivering largescale complex social research projects. He has a range of research qualifications, including a M.Sc. in Applied Social Research (Trinity College Dublin) and a Diploma in Market and Social Research Practice (Market Research Society).


Bob Erens

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Bob is Deputy Director of the Policy Innovation Research Unit at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and has over 30 years’ experience in social and health research. He is currently involved in evaluating complex policy interventions in the NHS, social care and public health. Bob previously worked at NatCen for 20+ years where he was head of the Health Research Group and the Survey Methods Centre. He is an honorary senior research associate at UCL, a member of the Society for Social Medicine and a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.


Mark Carrigan

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Mark Carrigan is a digital sociologist based at The Sociological Review Foundation and in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. He works at the intersection between qualitative sociology and social ontology, with a current focus on digital platforms within higher education and their implications for academic labour. His book Social Media for Academics was published by Sage in 2016.


Vicki Belt

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Vicki is Deputy Director for impact and engagement at the Enterprise Research Centre at Warwick University, a research centre specialising in insights into small business growth and performance. Prior to this Vicki was an Assistant Director at the government agency the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), where she directed a range of flagship research projects, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Vicki has over 20 years of experience leading, conducting and communicating research on business, employment and skills issues.