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Alison Koslowski
Professor Alison Koslowski
Professor of Social Policy and Research Methods
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
Labour Market Family Policy care fathers and fatherhood surveys Gender Parental Leaves circadian rhythms


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

Biographical statement

I am visiting the Sociology department of the University of Stockholm during 2017-8 with support from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

My research interests include the labour market, care and gender equality. I am co-editor of the journal Families, Relationships and Societies.  I am a member of the organising committee of the International Network on Leave Policies and Research and co-editor of their annual review. I am also involved with the ESRC/NRF International Partnership Centre Security at the Margins (SeaM). I chair the Research Ethics Committee for  the Big Lottery funded DRILL (Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning) programme. I was recently 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.

Current PhD Students

Fei Wang, "Financial Security in Retirement for Women in China"

Dominique Green, "Conceptualizing Poverty as Social Exclusion in the United States: Learning from Europe".

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

Completed PhD Students

Marc 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. 


Blog pieces

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.

Journal Articles 

Koslowski, A. and Kadar-Satat, G. (2018), "Fathers at Work: Explaining the gaps between entitlement to leave and uptake", Community, Work & Family.

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) (In progress), Parental Leave and Beyond: recent developments, current issues, future directions, Policy Press: Bristol.

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. (forthcoming), ‘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 

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: Sam Sills, Whitedog Photography