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Social Statistics and DemographyPart of Economic, Social & Political Science

Social Sciences' alumnus wins prestigious award for excellence in research impact

Published: 4 June 2013
Dr John Jerrim

Southampton Social Sciences’ alumnus Dr John Jerrim has won the first-ever Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) award for Outstanding Early Career Impact.

John, who studied a BSc in Economics, MSc in Social Statistics and PhD in Social Statistics at Southampton, was awarded the prestigious accolade for his research on the attainment of UK pupils compared to their peers in other countries.

It is the first time the prize has been given and is awarded to an ESRC-funded researcher "who has achieved, or is currently achieving, outstanding economic and/or societal impacts".

John’s award-winning research into measuring educational attainment in the UK follows on from work he started during his PhD at Southampton under supervisors Professor John Micklewright and Dr Sylke Schnepf.

His research investigates the claim that England has fallen down the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings of school pupils' academic achievement, revealing that there is no hard evidence of any decline in England’s comparative performance.

John has proactively promoted his findings to the national press and the Department for Education and these findings have been cited widely by senior politicians, practitioners and the media. Not only has his work changed the direction of the debate on an important issue facing the UK education system, but it has also challenged the way information is presented to the general public.

John said: "It is a privilege to have been awarded the Outstanding Early Career Impact award by the ESRC. It will be a significant boost to my future career both for my reputation and in gaining grants.

"I started my research into the area of cross-national comparisons as a PhD student in Social Statistics at the University of Southampton. My studies at Southampton taught me the skills, particularly the quantitative skills, that have enabled me to do this research."

John, who is now a Lecturer in Economics and Social Statistics at the Institute of Education, University of London, was named ‘most promising PhD student in quantitative social sciences’ while at Southampton.

He attended a special ceremony in Westminster where he received his prize of £10,000 to maximise the economic and social impact of his research.

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