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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Alison Koslowski

Alison Koslowski
Dr Alison Koslowski
University of Edinburgh Q-Step Director; Senior Lecturer in Social Policy
1.09 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 651 1147
Research Interests
Labour Market, gender, Family Policy, care, fathers and fatherhood, surveys

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Please email me for an appointment.


BA (Southampton), MA (Essex), DPhil (Oxford), PCertUT (Edinburgh)

Biographical statement

My research interests include the labour market, care and gender equality. I like to use large-scale cross-national survey data in my research as well as qualitative interviews. I am co-editor of the journal Families, Relationships and Societies. I am currently a partner on the EU-FP7 funded project "Families And Societies - Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations" (2013 - 2017). I am a member of the organising committee of the International Network on Leave Policies and Research and co-editor of their annual review. I am also involved with the ESRC/NRF International Partnership Centre Security at the Margins (SeaM). I am on the National Advisory Group for Scotland and the Research Ethics Committee for  the Big Lottery funded DRILL (Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning) programme.

I was (2009-2011) co-investigator on ESRC research grant "Welfare Markets and Personal Risk Management in England and Scotland", with colleagues Jochen Clasen (PI) and Traute Meyer (CI). I held an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship (2006-7) examining the intergenerational contributions to child care across Europe under the Understanding Population Trends and Processes initiative. I studied for my DPhil in Sociology (2002-2005) at Nuffield College, University of Oxford with Richard Breen as my supervisor. Before this I was at the European University Institute in Florence (2001-2002). Between March-December 2005 I was the research officer responsible for the data collection and data analysis of a DfES funded longitudinal study of basic skills teachers at the Institute of Education, University of London. I have also worked at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex as a senior data processing assistant on the British Household Panel Study (1998-2001).


I am the Director of the University of Edinburgh Q-Step Centre. Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, ESRC and HEFCE, Q-Step is a programme designed to promote a step-change in quantitative social science training.  I was honoured to be voted winner of the Best Personal Tutor Award by Edinburgh University Students' Association in 2015.

Current PhD Students

Nebojsa Martinovic Marinkovic, "Economic recession, gender and generational roles in countries with familialistic welfare models"

Fei Wang, "Gender equality in China and the two-child policy"

Dominique Green, "Conceptualizing poverty as social exclusion in the United States: Learning from Europe".

Byron Rodrigo Lozada Cherrez, "Conditional Cash Transfers: Can We Trust Poor Families with a Lump Sum Payment?", Ecuador Government Sponsorship (SENECYT).

Completed PhD Students

Marc Grau, "The benefits of multiple roles for working fathers: Evidence from Catalonia".

Sarah Rogers, "Exploring non-resident fatherhood in early childhood using the Growing Up in Scotland study: Non-resident father involvement, child well-being and the implications for law and policy", ESRC funded.

Alzbeta Bartova, "Reconciliation policies in the European Union: Effects on maternal employment and fertility decision", ESRC funded.

Caitlin McLean, "The role of institutions in women's employment patterns in the UK and the US", University of Edinburgh funded.

Tom Emery, "Integenerational transfers: Variations across Europe: ESRC funded. 

Tania Wood, "Social and neighbourhood differences in parents' use of personal networks and statutory services ", ESRC funded.

Hannah Zagel, "Timing of single motherhood: implications for employment careers in Great Britain and West Germany", University of Edinburgh & DAAD funded. 

Stephen Hinchliffe, "Collaboration between co-resident parents", ESRC CASE studentship. 

Hayley Bennett, "The marketization of UK employment programmes: The impact on a third sector organisation", ESRC CASE studentship. 

Helen Graham, "The effect of work-life balance policies on the division of paid work and care in couples with children", ESRC funded. 

Martin Pullinger, "The greenhouse gas emissions from different working patterns within households: A study of the UK and the Netherlands and implications for Work-Life Balance policy", ERSC funded. 

Valeria Skafida, "Habit of a lifetime? Babies diets and family life in Scotland", ESRC CASE studentship. 


Journal Articles 

McLean, C., Naumann, I. and Koslowski, A. (2016), "Access to Childcare in Europe: Parents' Logistial Challenges in Cross-national Perspective", Journal of Social Policy and Administration.

De Haro, M. T. and Koslowski, A. (2013), "Fuel Poverty and High-Rise Living: Using community-based interviewers to investigate tenants' inability to keep warm in their homes", Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 21 (2): 109-122.

Clasen, J. and Koslowski, A. (2013), "Unemployment and income protection: how do better earning households expect to manage financially?", Journal of Social Policy, 42 (3): 587-604.  

Smith Koslowski, A. (2011), "Working Fathers in Europe: Earning and Caring", European Sociological Review, 27 (2): 230-245.

De Coulon, A. and Koslowski, A. (2010), "Teenage Learners and Teachers' Job Satisfaction in Vocational Education", Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training, 2 (1): 1-20.

Smith, A. J. and Williams, D. (2007), "Father Friendly Legislation And Paternal Time Across Western Europe" Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 9 (3): 175-192.

Published Monograph 

Smith Koslowski, A. (2008), Who Cares? European fathers and the time they spend looking after their children, VDM Verlag: SaarbrÜcken. 

Book Chapters 

Koslowski, A. and McLean, C. (2015), “Variation in the prevalence of temporary contracts across occupations in the UK”, Chapter 8 in W. Eichhorst and P. Marx (eds) Non-standard employment in post- industrial labour markets: an occupational perspective, Bristol: Edward Elgar.

Eichhorst, W., Konle-Seidl, R., Koslowski, A. and Marx, P. (2011) "Quantity over Quality? A European Comparison of the Changing Nature of Transitions between Non-Employment and Employment", in Clasen, J. and Clegg, D. Regulating the Risk of Unemployment, Oxford University Press.

Smith Koslowski, A. (2009) "Grandparents and the care of their grandchildren" pp.171-190 in Stillwell, J., Coast, E. and Keele, D. (eds.), Fertility, Living Arrangements and Care: Understanding Population Trends and Processes, Springer: Dordrecht.  

Smith, A. J. (2008), "Working Fathers as Providers and Carers: Towards a New Conceptualisation of Fatherhood", in Social Policy Review 20, Chapter 14, Policy Press. 

Other Publications 

Koslowski, A., Blum, S. and Moss, P. (2016), International Review of Leave Policies and  Research 2016.

O'Brien, M. and Koslowski, A. (2016), "United Kingdom", in the International Review of Leave Policies and  Research 2016.

Koslowski, A., McLean, C. and Naumann, I. (2015), "Report on incentive structures of parents' use of particular childcare forms", FamiliesAndSocieties Working Paper, 35(2015).

Scottish Government, (2015), Fathers in the Early Years: how do they balance their work and family life?, Scottish Government Publication.

Fathers Network Scotland, (2015), Fathers in the Early Years. How do they balance their work and family life?Fathers Network Scotland publication.

Koslowski, A. (2014), Leave Policies for Parents in Scotland: A briefing document, Prepared for the SG Parental Leave Advisory Group. Available on request.

Naumann, I., McLean, C., Koslowski, A., Tisdall, K., Lloyd, E. (2013), "Early Childhood Education and Care Provision: International Review of Policy, Delivery and Funding", Scottish Government Publication.  

O'Brien, M., Moss, P., Koslowski, A. and Daly, M. (2013), "United Kingdom", in the Annual Review of Leave Polices and Research, International Network of Leave Policies and Research.  

Koslowski, A. (2011), "Margaret Thatcher" and "UK", in M. Zeiss Stange and C. K. Oyster (General Editors), Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 

Smith Koslowski, A. (2010), "European Union", in A. O'Reilly (General Editor), Encyclopedia of Motherhood, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 

Koslowski, A. (2009), "Helping fathers stay at home is key to equality", p. 102 in J. Clacke (editor) Britain in 2010, ESRC: Swindon.

Smith, A. J. (2005), "Longitudinal Research", Reflect, 4: 37.

Smith, A. J. (2004), "Who Cares? European Fathers and the Time They Spend Looking After Children", University of Oxford Sociology Working Papers: 2004-05. 

Photo credit: Sam Sills, Whitedog Photography

Topics interested in supervising

I am interested in supervising projects about the labour market, care and gender equality.

If you are interested in being supervised by Alison Koslowski, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Policy; PhD in Sociology