Changes to the SWDTP: Our New Director!

Professor Richard Harris Picture

The SWDTP is pleased to announce that Professor Richard Harris will be joining us as our new director.

Professor Harris is part of the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol and has been associated with the SWDTP as the Pathway Lead for Advanced Quantitative Methods for the University of Bristol.

Professor Harris trained as a social geographer, looking at the application of spatial statistics and geodemographics in marketing, public policy and urban geography. His more recent work has been in the geographies of education and learning, focusing on choice and markets in education systems, measures of social segregation and of ethnic polarisation, ways to support the transition of pupils from primary to secondary schools, and on supporting quantitative and statistical literacy among geographers and undergraduate social scientists.

Professor Harris is also a registered lay minister and the holder of a Guinness world record having visited all 272 underground stations in London in the fastest time!

We’re excited to work with him in his new capacity!

Read more about Professor Harris’ work here.

Many thanks to our previous director, Professor Sally Barnes for everything she’s done over the years to help make the SWDTP what it is.


We also welcome Dr Angeline Mbogo Barrett our new Deputy Director as of 1st March. Dr Barrett sits in the School of Education at the University of Bristol and is the  SWDTP’s pathway lead for Education at the University of Bristol. 

Dr Barrett’s research addresses the problematic of improving teaching and learning in public primary and secondary education ion under resourced contexts. Her scholarship critically debates international policy agendas that overdetermine education priorities in low income contexts.

Dr Barrett leads practical research projects that are impact on pedagogy in schools and teacher education institutions. The ongoing Language Supportive Teaching and Textbooks project involves five teacher education institutions in Tanzania and is introducing over 3000 trainee teachers to new pedagogies.  The first phase of this project developed textbooks for learners, transitioning from education in an African language to using English as the language of instruction. 

Read more about Dr Barrett’s work here.

We wish our previous Deputy Director Dr Margherita Pieraccini good luck and thank her for everything she’s done for the SWDTP.


Finally, we welcome back Dr Molly Conisbee to the SWDTP hub team as our collaboration facilitator. Having worked at the SWDTP previously, Molly is rejoining us after completing her PhD in social history. Molly will be in charge of placements, collaboration and student reps. Get in touch with her here.

Dr Jude Hill is remaining with the SWDTP team and will become our Academic Engagement Manager. She will be working with our new cohort building programme in liason with academic colleagues.