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Dr Karen Schucan Bird
Social Science Research Unit
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
Room 203, 10 Woburn Square
Tel: 02076126465
Dr Karen Schucan Bird profile picture
  • Associate Professor
  • IOE - Social Research Institute
  • UCL Institute of Education

Karen completed her PhD at the Department of Government, University of Essex in which she analysed the British House of Commons between 1997 and 2001. Within her thesis, Karen used gender as a lens to interrogate the workings of Parliament and assess feminist theories of political representation. Building on her interest in politics and policy, Karen was appointed as Research officer at the EPPI Centre (The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre). Within this role, she has been undertaking policy relevant research and teaching in the field of social policy and research methods.

Research Summary

Karen’s research interests span gender, politics, and public policy. Her research training in political science has been strengthened by her experience of undertaking policy-relevant research in a range of disciplines. 

Karen is passionate about undertaking useful and policy-relevant research, completing projects for different government departments and policy audiences (ranging from UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to Department for International Development). 

Most recently, Karen's research has focused on domestic violence and abuse. Projects include systematic reviews on domestic violence and abuse, and collaborative projects to examine the barriers and facilitators to evidence use in the sector. This work builds on Karen's involvement in the research programme that underpinned the What Work’s Centre for Crime Reduction. As part of this, Karen led reviews on domestic violence and diversion of people with mental health issues, informed by her expertise in evidence mapping (describing a research field) and qualitative and quantitative synthesis (drawing together the findings from multiple studies). 

Karen is the founder of the Women’s Writing Collective (an informal and friendly network that promotes and supports women’s writing) and seeks to respond to gender inequalities in higher education through research and action. 

Teaching Summary


Karen is module leader of ‘Politics: from Power to Participation’, contributes a guest lecture for ‘Sociology of Gender’ and was seminar leader for ‘Understanding Social Policy’.

Karen is personal tutor and dissertation supervisor for undergraduate students. 


Karen also contributes to the MSc Social Policy and Social Research, and provides supervision for student dissertations.

Karen supervises PhD students on a range of social policy and political issues.  

2005 Research Officer Social Science Research Unit UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom
2005 – 2005 Research Assistant British Election Study The University of Essex, United Kingdom
2004 – 2004 Research Assistant Government and International Relations The University of Sydney, Australia
2002 – 2004 Graduate Teaching Assistant Government University of Essex, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2018   ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow University College London
2005   Doctor of Philosophy University of Essex
2000   Bachelor of Arts University of York
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