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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Social Science researcher wins top European award

Published: 20 October 2016
Helen Kowalewska

A Postgraduate research student in comparative social policy and advanced quantitative methods has won the 2016 Doctoral Researcher Prize (DRP). The prize is jointly awarded annually by the Journal of European Social Policy and ESPAnet, the European Social Policy Analysts network.

Social Sciences researcher, Helen Kowalewska, is the 12th winner of this prize, first awarded in 2006. As the DRP winner, her paper will be published in the first issue of the Journal in 2017, the most influential comparative social policy journal.

Helen's paper takes stock of the labour market activation policies of 22 OECD countries, evaluating the extent to which these policies support gender equality. Entitled, "Beyond the ‘Train-First’/‘Work-First’ Dichotomy: How Welfare States Help or Hinder Maternal Employment, it is based on detailed empirical analysis to determine policy configurations of 22 countries. It also makes the point that after decades of feminist critique a lot of academic analysis remains gender blind.

Helen says, "I am delighted to have been awarded this prestigious prize. It not only gives me the valuable opportunity to be published in a top international journal, but increases the visibility of my work across the wider social policy academic community. Plus, the feedback I have received has vastly improved my PhD. I hope that by exposing some of the gaps in labour market and family policies for working mums my research can contribute to shaping a more women friendly policy agenda in the future."

Helen's research is funded by the Doctoral Training Centre. This is Helen’s second published paper, the first appeared in Social Policy and Society last year

Helen has recently written a blog about her paper which you can read about here



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