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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences
(023) 8059 8940

Professor Athina Vlachantoni PhD, FAcSS

Professor of Gerontology and Social Policy, Departmental Head of Teaching Programmes and PGT Admissions Officer, Director ESRC SCDTP

Professor Athina Vlachantoni's photo

Athina Vlachantoni is Professor of Gerontology and Social Policy at the University of Southampton

My research interests broadly combine the areas of ageing, gender and social policy.

I joined the University of Southampton in 2007, following a PhD in social policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, an MSc Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford (Wolfson College) and a BA Social Policy and Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London

I am a member of the Gerontological Society of America, the UK Social Policy Association, the British Society of Gerontology, and the British Society of Population Studies. I am a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, Chair of the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel (D), and Director of the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. I am also Deputy Director of Ageing & Society, and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Social Policy. I was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2022.

Research interests

ESRC CPC - Connecting Generations: From 1 April 2022 and for 5 years, I will be working alongside Prof. Jane Falkingham (PI), Prof. Maria Evandrou, Dr Min Qin and other colleagues as part of the new CPC-Connecting Generations research programme. Our research will cover areas such as changing intergenerational relationships; intergenerational flows of support in later life; and work-life balance, employment and caring responsibilities in mid-life. You can read more about this programme of work here.

ESRC Centre for Population Change: I currently work with Prof. Falkingham, Prof. Evandrou, and Dr Min Qin (and previously with Dr Gomez-Leon and Dr Hamalainen), as part of the ESRC CPC, focusing on a) Increasing longevity and the changing life course, and b) Understanding intergenerational relations & exchange. For more information, please visit the CPC website. Recent additions to our programme of work related to the debate on the UK’s referendum on exiting the EU (see here for more information UK in a changing Europe, and on the blog of the British Society of Gerontology, Ageing Issues); the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on support patterns and sleep patterns. In December 2020, I was part of a team from the CPC who won the 2020 ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize, click for more information.

ESRC Secondary Data Initiative: I have led two projects funded under this initiative. The first one (2012-4) included colleagues Dr Feng, Prof. Falkingham and Prof. Evandrou, and focused on the pension protection among ethnic minority groups in the UK using Understanding Society data; and the second one (2016-8) included colleagues Dr Feng, Prof. Falkingham, Prof. Evandrou and Dr Wang, and used mixed methods to analyse data from the National Child Development Study in order to explore informal care provision in mid-life. More information can be found on the CRA's research projects page.

ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund: I am working as part of an international project led by Professor Maria Evandrou called the Global Ageing and Long-term Care Network (GALNet), involving colleagues from the UK, India, China, Kenya and Argentina. More details can be found on the Global Ageing and Long-Term Care Network (GALNet) project page.

ESRC/DFID ESRA project: This project, which also involved Prof. Evandrou and Prof. Falkingham, was funded through the ESRC/DFID/ESRA initiative, was aimed at identifying the substantive and methodological lessons of research in the area of poverty alleviation and social pensions, and the gaps where research could contribute in the future.

ANR/DFG/ESRC/NWO with ICSSR: As part of an internationally collaborative project funded by the ESRC with colleagues in the Netherlands and India, which in the UK was led by Prof. Evandrou, I explored a range of wellbeing indicators for older persons in the context of a globalizing world using nationally representative datasets. For more information please visit our Centre’s Age-Globe Network page.

EPSRC The Care Life Cycle: I was part of a research team led by Prof. Falkingham, and including colleagues from Demography, Operational Research and Complexity Science, which aimed to develop a suite of models reflecting the supply and demand for health and social care in the UK. As part of Workstream A of this project, I worked within a number of sub-projects producing empirical evidence for the supply of, and demand for, social care, for example the determinants of transitioning into types of long-term care, the determinants of receiving social care, the socio-economic determinants of the disablement process, and the investigation of unmet need for social care. Please visit the CLC website for more details.

ESRC Pathfinders project: Along with colleagues from Southampton, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the University of Witwatersrand/Agincourt DSS and the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, in a project exploring the impact of internal labour migration on intergenerational support and wellbeing of children and older people in China and South Africa. For more information visit our Research pages.

ESRC Quantitative Methods project: I was involved, with colleagues from Demography/ Social Statistics and Sociology/ Social Policy in a project entitled ‘Researcher Development Initiative: Quantitative Methods’, which was part of a large ESRC initiative aiming at capacity building in quantitative research methods for social scientists in the UK.

PhD Students

  • Ella Moonan-Howard (ESRC SCDTP scholar, co-supervised with Prof. Maria Evandrou) - Topic: Social networks and well-being in later life: understanding the role of neighbourhood
  • Wanting Huang (co-supervised with Prof. Maria Evandrou) - PhD Title: The divergence in the health status and care demands of the older Chinese population
  • Haiyu Jin (ESRC SCDTP Scholar, co-supervised with Prof. Maria Evandrou) - PhD Title: Study on the association of caregiving with spousal caregivers' health outcome
  • Nadine K. Marshall (ESRC SCDTP scholar, co-supervised with Prof. Maria Evandrou) - PhD Title: Ageing Well in Later Life: Health Behaviour Change and Implications for the Social Care of Widows in England

Head of Teaching Programmes, Gerontology
Director, ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership
Admissions Tutor, PGT Gerontology programmes

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Working Papers

I contribute to teaching across the MSc Gerontology, MSc Gerontology (Research), MSc Gerontology (Distance Learning), MSc Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning) and MSc Social Research Methods programmes.

In 2021-22, I also convene the following modules:

  • GERO6022 Poverty and social protection around the world (DL)
  • RESM6305 Mixed Methods
  • GERO6027 Ageing in China and South-east Asia (DL)
Professor Athina Vlachantoni
Reception Building 58 University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number : 58/4103

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