Staff Profile:Dr. Karen Jones

Dr Karen Jones
Job Title:
Associate Professor
  • PhD and EdD supervision
  • Deputy Director EdD
  • MA Education: Leadership & Management pathway leader
  • Chair of Ethics, Institute of Education
  • Member of Research committee
  • Member of the Post Graduate Research Committee
  • Member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee (IoE)
  • Member of the People Project Plan Board


  • Educational Leadership & Management (EDM173 - EdD)
  • Leadership in Education (ED2 BLE - BA Education Studies)
  • MA Dissertation supervision (EDM 133 – MA Education)
  • Contribute to Key Concepts in Educational Leadership & Management (EDM146 - MA Education)
  • Contribute to Leading Change (EDM147 - MA Education)
  • Contribute to Investigating Education (EDM007 - MA Education)
  • Contribute to Designing Qualitative and Mixed Method Educational Research (Doctoral training programme)
Areas of Interest:

Expertise and Research Interest:

  • Women and leadership, gender, identity, equity, power, feminist and critical perspectives 
  • Workplace sexism, gender stereotypes
  • The learning of leadership
  • Evaluation of leadership development
  • Leadership Learning transfer and impact
  • Qualitative research - lived experience, autobiographical storied accounts, semi-structured interviews, focus groups
  • Quantitative research – longitudinal studies, surveys, secondary analysis of national survey data and other large scale surveys

Masters, PhD and EdD Level Supervision offered in these areas:

In the areas outlined above.

Current PhD / EdD Students, with Topics/Titles of their Research:

Current Students

As first supervisor

  • Areej Makki M Al-Jahani (with Dr Chris Turner) A narrative study of identity, leadership and empowerment of female academics in higher education sector of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Empowerment.
  • Azzah Alsubaie (with Dr Chris Turner) The experience and perceptions female headteachers and teachers of School Performance Evaluation in Primary Schools in Saudi Arabia.
  • Nasreen Majid (with Professor Alan Floyd) Exploration of the metamorphosis of identities of teachers who become mathematics specialist teachers in England.
  • Charmaine Lynch (with Dr Chris Turner) An investigation into the perceptions of the barriers and enablers for deputy and assistant head teachers when considering a primary headship, within Hampshire.
  • Jiayi Zhao (with Professor Carol Fuller) Women’s career strategies and motivations in the pursuit of higher education leadership in China.
  • Meliha Sakin (with Professor Alan Floyd) Exploring Instructional Leadership practices in secondary schools in Turkey and the UK.
  • Fatima Zhara Abbou (with Dr Billy Wong) Women’s leadership in Higher Education in Algeria. 8. Clare McCullagh (with Dr Catherine Foley) career trajectories and motivation for pursing professional recognition of their teaching in higher education.
  • Wasilatu Harruna-Adam (with Dr Billy Wong) A Phenological study of the Lived Experience of Children with A Disability in Ghana.
  • Sarah Sherwood (with Professor Cathy Tissot) Emotion Work: the impacts when leading schools for young people with autism.
  • Hailz Osborne (with Professor Carol Fuller) The Golden Ticket – a study of masculinities in an elite boys’ school.
  • Sarah Marston Female headteachers in UK secondary education: leadership identities and authenticity.
  • Mourourhan Arifoglu, Woman and Leadership: opportunities and challenges in UK Higher Education for women in different career stages.
  • Lara Wilkinson, The impact of performance accountability and marketization on secondary school leaders in the independent sector.

As second supervisor

  • Kat Hall (with Professor Alan Floyd) An analysis of the lived experiences of healthcare professionals working in split roles in clinical practice and University (TI) (blended clinical and academic identity).
  • Beljeet Daffu (with Professor Alan Floyd) Exploring leaders professional identities and career trajectories in a private HEI.
  • Emad Alotaibi (with Professor Alan Floyd) Leading Rural Schools in Saudi Arabia: Opportunities and Challenges.

PhD/EdD Completions

  • Husain Almalki (with Professor Alan Floyd) School Leader’s experiences and perceptions of School Reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: autonomy, accountability and decision making. PhD Awarded 2019.
  • Kafa Alenezi. (with Dr Chris Turner) Leadership learning and development for administrators in Kuwait. PhD Awarded 2019.
  • Ahmad Alsewiket (with Professor Alan Floyd) The perspectives of male academic staff and postgraduate students on the effects of globalisation on higher education and cultural identity: A case study at a college of education in Saudi Arabia. PhD Awarded 2018.

Current and Recent Research Projects:


  • ‘Leadership and Diversity in Higher Education’, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Fund, University of Reading. The overall goal of this project is to support UoR goals and targets for equality in leadership, specifically the gender and BAME balance in professorial, senior grade roles and university committees.
  • Supported by funding from the University of Reading Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (2017), secondary analysis was undertaken of two sub-sets of data from a global survey on career breaks conducted by, and Research Media in 2016. The findings from these two projects are currently being written up for publication and dissemination. The first paper, based on analysis of female academics experiences of maternity breaks, theorises identity construction in the academy and what it means to be a working mother in Higher Education in the 21st century, showing how, on the one hand, higher education can provide the means to renegotiate and redefine who one wants to be through working practices that support professional and personal identities, yet on the other, does so at what appears to be the cost of existential angst (Fuller, 2016). The second paper, based on secondary analysis of post doctorate researches experiences of career breaks, reveals the pervasiveness of neoliberal ideas. Synergies are drawn between neoliberal subjectivity, the ideal subject, and what is valued as internal and external career capital in the career field (Floyd and Dimmock 2011). This paper also advances theories of gender in the neoliberalised global academy (Morley and Crossouard 2016) and academic identity-trajectories (McAlpine 2012, McAlpine and Lucas 2011, McAlpine et al 2012).


  • Tackling stereotypes, sexism and unconscious biases in teaching and learning, funded by University of Reading Teaching & Learning Fund in 2016.
  • Learning to lead in the public sector, funded by University of Plymouth seed corn fund.
  • LEAD Wales programme (2009-2015), an £8m programme of leadership development for over 800 owner-managers of small and medium sized businesses in the West Wales and the Valleys Convergence Region, funded by the European Social Fund, the Welsh Government, Swansea University and Bangor University. See 2010-2012 research report.
Research groups / Centres:
  • Prosperity and Resilience Theme
  • Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education Research Group
Jump to: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
Number of items: 18.









This list was generated on Mon Jul 13 19:35:35 2020 UTC.

Forthcoming publications:

  • ‘Challenging Gender Stereotypes in Education’ (Eds), Sage Publications Ltd Learning Matters.
  • ‘A feminist poststructuralist analysis of Discourses invoked in the construction of women’s leadership identities in Higher Education’. Educational Administration and Leadership Identity Formation: International Theories, Problems and Challenges (Eds), Abingdon: Routledge.
  • ‘Academic Career Breaks in the neoliberal academy: postdoctoral researchers as neoliberal subjects, identity work and existential angst’ (in progress).
  • ‘The experiences and implications of a maternity break from academia’ (in progress).

Invited presentations and peer reviewed conference papers:

  • Invited Panel Speaker: Open Research Conference, University of Reading, 4 April 2019
  • Jones, K. Tackling Sexism, Gender Stereotyping and Unconscious Bias in Education, 2nd International Conference on Gender Research, to be presented Apr 11, 2019 - Apr 12, 2019, Rome, Italy.
  • Jones, K. and Danos-Kambouri, M. Gender Stereotypes in Teaching and Learning. Early Years Conference. Institute of Education, University of Reading. 16 March 2017.
  • Invited workshop: Gender Stereotypes, sexism and unconscious bias in the research environment, Women Rising Programme, University of Leeds. 2017.
  • Jones, K. ‘Unconscious bias, gender stereotypes and sexism in pedagogy and the research environment’, Vitae Researcher Development International Conference 2016, Manchester, 12-13 September 2016.
  • Chaired 'Women in Business Symposium’, University of Plymouth, 27 March 2015.
  • Jones, K. 'Gender Dynamics: women leading in entrepreneurial settings', The 2nd International Leadership Association (ILA) Women and Leadership Affinity Group Conference, Asilomar Conference Grounds, California, 7th-10th June 2015.
  • Jones, K. 'Exploring the Potential of Biographical Research to Provide an Explanation of Leadership Learning through Collaborative Inquiry', The 13th International Studying Leadership Conference (ISLC), Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, 14th-16th December 2014.
  • Huxtable-Thomas, L., Hannon, P., Sambrook, S. and Jones, K. ‘Emotional Learning Applied to Extant Entrepreneurs in Wales’, The 36th Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Conference, Cardiff, 12th – 13th November 2013.
  • Jones, K. ‘Women’s Leadership Journeys: A Feminist Approach’, The 35th Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Conference, Dublin, 7th – 9th November 2012.
  • Jones, K. ‘Exploring the Lived Experience of Entrepreneurship in Wales through the Lens of Language and Culture’, The 3rd ‘Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods’ (WISERD) Annual Conference, Bangor University, Bangor, 28th-29th March 2012.
  • Jones, K., Sambrook, S., Henley, A. and Norbury, H. ‘Entrepreneurial Leadership Learning and Development: An Autobiographical Narrative Approach’, The 34th Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Conference, The Octagon, Sheffield, 9th – 10th November 2011.
  • Henley, A. Jones, K. and Norbury, H. ‘Antecedents of entrepreneurial success: a preliminary assessment using data from a leadership development programme for SME Owner-Managers in Wales’, Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Conference, Sheffield, November 2011.
  • Henley, A., Jones, K., Norbury, H. ‘Preliminary Evaluation of the Impact of an Integrated Leadership Development Programme for SME Owner-Managers in Wales’, The 34th Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Conference, The Octagon, Sheffield, 9th – 10th November 2011.
  • Jones, K. ‘A Biographical Approach to Researching Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development Processes in a Small Business Context’, 7th European Conference on Leadership, Management and Governance (ECLMG), SKEMA Business School, Sophia-Antipolis, France, 6-7th October 2011.
  • Jones, K. The Impact of Advice on Health, Launch of Citizens Advice Research Findings, Galeri, Caernarfon, June 2010.
  • Jones, K., Tommis Y, and Robinson C. ‘Determining the Health of Children in Wales’, 9th Global Conference Making Sense of: Health Illness and Disease, Oriel College, Oxford University, 11th – 13th September 2010.
  • Jones, K ‘The Impact of Advice on Health’, 2nd Beyond Boundaries Conference, University of Bangor, Bangor, January 2009.
  • Jones, K ‘Outcomes of wave one of a longitudinal study of Citizens Advice Bureau Clients in Wales’, First Beyond Boundaries Conference, University of Bangor, Bangor, January 2008.


  • Principal Applicant and Principal Investigator: ‘Leadership and Diversity in Higher Education’, funded by Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Fund, University of Reading (£987.10). 2019.
  • Co-Investigator: Two Projects - Gender Equality and Gender Intelligence. Private Funder (£18,000). 2017-18.
  • Co-applicant: Community outreach project, funded by Widening Participation, University of Reading (£4,000). 2017.
  • Principal Applicant and Principal Investigator: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Project (UROP), University of Reading. Taking a maternity break from academia: the perceptions, implications and experiences of women returning to academia (£1,320). 2017.
  • Principal Applicant and Principal Investigator: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Project (UROP), University of Reading. Academic Career Breaks: post-doctorate hell – rhetoric or reality (£1,320). 2017.
  • Principal Applicant and Principal Investigator: Tackling stereotypes, sexism and unconscious biases in teaching and learning. Teaching and Learning Development Fund (TLDF), with Institute of Education, Department of Economics, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, Department of Mathematics and Statistics (£500) 2016-18.
  • Principal Applicant and Principal Investigator: NHS ‘Organisational Leadership Development (OD) Training’, Post Graduate Certificate and Post Graduate Diploma in Organisational Leadership. (£150,000) Funded by NHS Leadership Academy South West. 2013-15. Community and Primary Care Workforce Development Tender. Co-ordinated Lot 7- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Lot 10 Leadership. (circa £500,000) Funded by Health Education South West. 2015.
  • Principal Applicant and Principal Investigator: ‘Learning to Lead in the Public Sector’ (£2,500) Funded by Plymouth University Seed Corn Fund. 2014.
  • LEAD Wales Expansion - ‘Leadership Wales’ (circa £600,000): Made a significant contribution to an application awarded to Swansea University (partner to Bangor University in ‘LEAD Wales’) funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO). 2013.
  • Principal Applicant and Principal Investigator: Developing Strategic links between Higher Education and the Third Sector in Wales, Strategic Insight Programme (£7,000). Funding awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). 2013.
  • Co-Applicant and Co-Investigator: Determining the Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People Living with a Parent or Guardian with a Chronic Condition (£10,000). Funding awarded by the Office of the Chief Social Research Officer, Welsh Government. 2009.

Internal and External Roles and Consultancy:

  • Review of UK Research and Innovation proposals for research funding
  • Conference Chair, International Conference on Gender Research (ICGR), hosted by University of Reading (forthcoming) 2-3 April 2020
  • Internal panel member, Periodic Review of Classics (2018-19)
  • Conducted focus groups, Department of Economics Athena Swan application (2019)
  • Delivered staff training on Gender and Language, School of Law (2019)
  • Panel member, Open Research Panel Debate, Open Research Conference (2019)
  • Conference Chair (and organiser) Gender and Women’s Empowerment – Rhetoric or Reality? University of Reading, 26 June 2019
  • I have reviewed many journal articles and book proposals for major publishers and journals.
  • I undertake internal and external examining of doctoral research students (EdD and PhD).
  • I was Guest Editor for Administrative Sciences Special Issue "Perspectives on Women’s Higher Education Leadership from around the World". in 2017-2018. For information see journal website.
  • External Advisor, Revalidation Panel, MA in Education Leadership and Management, University of Roehampton. 2019.
  • External Expert on scrutiny panel for approval of new level 7 course, Aberystwyth University. 2017. Consultancy project - An exploration of best practice in leadership Development and its application to the Further Education Sector (white paper) with Professor Peter Hawkins Henley Business School. February 2017.
  • External Expert Organisational Leadership course approval, Aberystwyth University. 2015. 
  • Leadership Live for South West NHS Leadership Academy. See final report.
  • Commissioning in the Third Sector course material for 'Certificate in Professional Practice in Delivering Public Services', Open University. 2010.
  • How to 'get' practice-based professional learning project with the 'Practice Based Professional Learning Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning' at the Open University. 2008-2009.


Chair 'Women in Business Symposium' University of Plymouth, 2015.


  • British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS)
  • BELMAS Gender and Educational Research RIG
  • Gender and Education Association (GEA)
  • Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LF)
  • International Leadership Association (ILA)
  • ILA Woman and Leadership Affinity Group
  • British Academy of Management (BAM).


PhD, BA Hons (First Class), HEDip, Cert Ed (Post Compulsory Education & Training), Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

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