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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Donald Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Teesside. Initially he trained (University of Leicester) and worked as a primary school teacher. He has an MA (University College London Institute of Education) and was awarded a full time scholarship to complete his PhD (Open University). Donald worked as a contract researcher before taking up his current post.

Summary of Research Interests

Donald's research interests lie in the following areas:

1) working with the realities of poverty in the early years;
2) skills and learning as part of transitions among young people regarded as disadvantaged etc. and
3) exploring involvement and the relationships and learning experiences of children and young people in poverty in the field of education.

Research Projects & External Funding

Donald is leading research considering pre-school practitioners’ perspectives on child poverty and how they work with poverty. He is collaborating with colleagues across England and the USA on this project. This research sas supported by external funding grants awarded to Donald by The British Academy (in 2012 and again in 2020) and The Society for Educational Studies. See: http://www.soc-for-ed-studies.org.uk/grants/

Donald, supported by Teesside University's Research Fund, has completed an additional strand of research across Teesside connected to the High Achieving White Working Class Boys Project via collaboration with colleagues at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) in Birmingham.

Donald completed a project with colleagues at Teesside University exploring the role of learning in shaping care leavers' (dis)engagement with undergraduate study.

External funding - in recent years Donald has been awarded funding to support his research activity by The British Academy and The Society for Educational Studies.

PhD and Research Opportunities

Donald is currently supervising postgraduate research students, and welcomes expressions of interest from those who are considering completing postgraduate research - particularly within his areas of interest mentioned in this profile. Please feel free to get in touch.

External Roles and Professional Activities

External Examiner for Education Doctorate (University of Huddersfield)

External Research Collaborations

Donald has collaborated with a number of external organisations including other higher education institutions, charities, local authorities and schools to complete research activity including project fieldwork, production of scholarly articles for publication and funding applications. Recent collaborations have been with staff at:

  • University of Northampton
  • University of Worcester
  • Northumbria University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of North Florida
  • Indiana University Southeast
  • Children North East
  • Centre for Research in Early Childhood

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Donald is interested in sharing and applying knowledge and insights from his research activity to help support external organisations. To this end he recently:

Took up an invite to deliver a keynote speech at Cambridgeshire County Council Early Years' Service's Equalities Conference at Girton College, University of Cambridge (June 2017). This was delivered to an audience of Local Authority Advisers and Equalities Coordinators working within early years settings. Donald also provided a workshop with other collaborators in his research at the conference.

Took up an invite to write an article for Nursery Management, a supplement of Nursery World (Autumn 2015) - the leading national professional title for the early years education and childcare sector.

Took up an invite to sit on a panel of experts and present at an event organized by Public Policy Exchange in April 2016 titled Child and Adolescent Health and Well-being: The Next Steps Towards Tackling Child Poverty In Our Communities - https://www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/GD20-PPE

Other collaborators with Donald in his research have also applied knowledge from it when working with external organisations - e.g. in the role of academic advisor with local authorities.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Donald's teaching interests lie in the areas of early childhood, education and youth studies. Donald leads several undergraduate modules within the Education Department at Teesside. He has also led modules at Masters level and is a supervisor on the Education Doctorate.


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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