School of Social and Political Science

Alison Koslowski

Job Title

Professor of Social Policy and Research Methods


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)




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

Biographical statement

My research interests include the labour market, care and gender equality. As well as my position at the University of Edinburgh, I am also an Honorary Visiting Professor at University College London based at the Thomas Coram Research Unit. I am a member of the organising committee of the International Network on Leave Policies and Research and currently lead co-editor of their annual review. I chaired the Research Ethics Committee for the Big Lottery funded DRILL (Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning) programme (2017-2020).

I was a visiting researcher at SUDA within the Sociology department at Stockholm University during 2017-8 with support from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Before this I was 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).


Recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Teaching 2017.

I was the founding Director of the University of Edinburgh Q-Step Centre (2013 - 2017). 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.

This year I am teaching on Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy, Contemporary Feminist Debates, and Social Inequalities and the Lifecourse.

Current PhD Students

Ellen Frank Delgado, "Measuring inclusion beyond diversity: A new methodology in computational social science".

Clara Mascaro, "Comparing labour market transition sof people in receipt of disability benefits in four countries", ESRC funded.

Fei Wang, "Financial security in retirement for women in China"

Completed PhD Students

Dominique Green, "Reconsidering Disadvantage in the United States: an application of social exclusion to 'Big' American data".

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

Marc Grau 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

Duvander, A-Z., Halldén, K., Koslowski, A., Sjögren Lindquist, G. (2020),  "Income Loss and Leave Taking: Do Financial Benefit Top-ups Influence Fathers' Parental Leave Use in Sweden?" Stockholm Research Reports in Demography, SRRD 2020:13.

The two articles below are discussed in Koslowski, A. (2018), "When Workplace Cultures Support Paternity Leave, All Employees Benefit", Harvard Business Review, Published at on June 14th 2018.

Moran, J. and Koslowski, A. (2019), "Making Use of Work-Family Balance Entitlements: How to support fathers with combining employment and caregiving", Special Issue on 'Company Support and European Fathers’ Use of State Policies Promoting Shared Childcare', Community, Work & Family22(1): 111-128.

Koslowski, A. and Kadar-Satat, G. (2019), "Fathers at Work: Explaining the gaps between entitlement to leave and uptake", Community, Work & Family. 22(2):129-145.

Janus, A.L. and Koslowski, A. (2019), "Whose Responsibility? Elder support norms regarding the provision and financing of assistance with daily activities across economically developed countries", European Journal of Ageing, 17, 95-108.

Koslowski, A. and Duvander, A.-Z., (2018), "Basic Income: The potential for gendered empowerment", Social Inclusion. 6(4) .

McLean, C., Naumann, I. and Koslowski, A. (2017), "Access to Childcare in Europe: Parents' Logistical Challenges in Cross-National Perspective", Journal of Social Policy and Administration, 51 (7): 1367-1385.

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.

Edited Book

Moss, P., Duvander, A-Z., and Koslowski, A. (eds) (2019), Parental Leave and Beyond: recent developments, current issues, future directions, Policy Press: Bristol.

Blog pieces & editorials

Koslowski, A. (2020) A shifting sense of sanctuary in the time of pandemic, Edinburgh Decameron: Lockdown Sociology at Work, July 2020.

Koslowski, A., Jamieson, L., Roesch-Marsh, A., Miller, T. and Dermott, E. (2019), Relationship expectations: normative ideals, practice and social changeFamilies, Relationships and Societies, 8(1): 3-5.

Contribution to The Mwangaza Mama ebook - telling the stories of migration to Johannesburg and the SeaM: Security at the Margins project ebook.

No 36: Supporting Fathers to Take Parental Leave to Reduce Gender Pay Gaps, Social Policy Association 50th Anniversary Blog Series, July 2018.

Holmes, M., Jamieson, L. and Koslowski, A. (2018), Social forms of care: changing relationships of supportFamilies, Relationships and Societies, 7(1): 3-5.

Focus: The State of Families and Societies - Discover Society, October 2017.

More than my mother: how many parents do you have? - Discover Society, October 2017.

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. (2019), ‘Universal Basic Income: What could it mean for gender equality in care work?’ in P. Moss, A-Z. Duvander and A. Koslowski (eds). Parental leave and beyond: recent developments, current issues, future direction, Policy Press: Bristol.

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., Dobrotić, I., Kaufman, G. and Moss, P. (2020), International Review of Leave Policies and Research 2020 . DOI: 10.18445/20200915-131331-0 including Policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic for parents and other carers.

Koslowski, A., Blum, S., Dobrotić, I., Macht, A. and Moss. P. (2019), International Review of Leave Policies and Research 2019.

Blum, S., Koslowski, A., Macht, A. and Moss. P. (2018), International Review of Leave Policies and Research 2018.

Blum, S., Koslowski, A. and Moss, P. (2017), International Reivew of Leave Policies and Research 2017.

O'Brien, M. and Koslowski, A. (2017), "United Kingdom", in the International Review of Leave Policies and Research 2017.

Koslowski, A., Blum, S. and Moss, P. (2016), 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: Marie Storrar

Research interests

Research interests

Labour Market, Family Policy, care, fathers and fatherhood, Gender, Parental Leaves, Early childhood education and care policies

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 (opening in new windows) for more information:

Works within

Staff Hours and Guidance

Please email me for an appointment.