Dr Sarah Weakley
- Research and Impact Acceleration Officer (School of Social & Political Sciences)
Dr Weakley joined the University of Glasgow in October 2018 as a Research and Impact Officer at Policy Scotland a research and knowledge exchange unit in the College of Social Sciences.
Sarah's current research focuses on poverty, inequality, the social security system and youth transitions. She also contributes to collaborative research projects on the voluntary sector and place-based approaches to community development. Her work primarily uses quantitative methods but also collaborates with mixed method teams. She works as a quantiative specialist in the Children's Neighbourhoods Scotland research and evaluation team.
Sarah also serves as a knowledge exchange lead for Policy Scotland, working with Policy Scotland colleagues to deliver KE projects such as the COVID-19 Urgently Needed Insights project, the More Different Futures Housing Network, and The UofG Third Sector Knowledge Exchange Collaborative. In all KE activities the unit aims to foster co-operation between academics, practitioners and policymakers, and pool this collective expertise in order to flesh out new initiatives, test the effectiveness of interventions, generate better evidence and engage a wide variety of audiences.
In November 2020 she was appointed as a Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee for the duration of their inquiry into welfare policy in Scotland, a post undertaken alongside Dr Hayley Bennett at the University of Edinburgh.
Sarah completed her PhD in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh in July 2019. Her PhD is entitled, 'Young people’s transitions to economic independence and the role of government assistance: evidence from the US and the UK’.
This research investigated, using longitudinal survey data, the implications of poverty-reduction policies, implemented via government transfers, on a low-income young person's ability to become economically independent in early- to mid-adulthood in the US and UK.
During her PhD she served as a Research Associate for What Works Scotland, leading a survey of community planning officials and also served as a quantitative research assistant for a Leverhulme-funded project investigating public understanding of health inequalities.
She has a Masters of Public Administration from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Rhetoric from Washington State University. Before moving to Scotland she held posts in the US federal government and third sector organisations.
- Welfare reform and social security policy
- Youth transtions and labour market policy for young people
- Place-based policies for community development
- Third/Voluntary Sector and addressing inequalities
- Engagement between the academic, public and third sectors
- Youth Policy and Welfare (Undergraduate Honours)