Director of Research
Sam is a researcher with particular interests in youth research, area-based inequalities and social science impact. He has experience using a range of quantitative and qualitative methods, from film-based work in schools to rapid research reviews and large-scale survey analysis. Sam believes that robust, innovative social research is the key to tackling the barriers that prevent some young people from making fulfilling transitions to adulthood, and he channels this belief into a range of research projects at LKMco.
Sam’s underlying interest in area-based inequalities has shaped the projects he works on inside and outside of his research. His PhD in Social Change explored how young people’s occupational aspirations are shaped by the areas they live in, based on fieldwork in a secondary school in Manchester and national level survey analysis. Alongside his academic work, in 2011 he co-founded the Ancoats Canal Project, which works to engage local residents with the regeneration of an inner city area of Manchester, and more recently his fieldwork with young people in Wythenshawe led to the production of a short film on the garden cities movement.
Sam is passionate about linking academic social science more strongly to the communities it studies. His first publication argues that social scientists should endeavour to embed their research within organisations outside academia, drawing on his experience of providing research training for students on the Manchester Leadership Programme. Sam also authored a review of the evidence base on local economic development for the ESRC Knowledge Navigator for Local Government, which aims to facilitate stronger connections between the research community and local authorities. This desire to realise the public value of high quality social research is fundamental to the way Sam conducts his role as Director of Research at LKMco.