Sample Statements of Justification

IMPORTANT: Please note these samples are wholly fictitious and any apparent reference to any person or organisation, living or dead, is purely coincidental. These sample statements are offered simply as a guide to the general style and approach that is welcomed by the Nominations Committee. They are not in any way prescriptive, but are merely indicative. The key purpose of the Statement of Justification is to outline the ways in which the nominee meets the criteria laid out in the Nominations Guidelines under ‘What Makes a Good Nominee?‘, the evidence for which is contained clearly within the summary CV that is supplied as part of the nomination.  


Professor Jane Jones

Professor Jane Jones is one of the leading figures in the field of Social Science Studies, both nationally and internationally and would be an admirable and useful addition to the Academy’s Fellowship.

Her standing in the field is well-established and widely acknowledged both through extensive use and citation of her work and also through strong and frequent engagement with the academic community worldwide.

She was a pioneer in developing this new field of research, having already established herself strongly within the field of General Social Studies. Of particular note was her drive and enthusiasm to develop new methods of research, including the ‘Jones Variability Test’ which has since become a standard tool in Social Science Studies research and teaching. Having received a grant for £1.5 million in 2013 from the ESRC, Jane was able to develop a training programme, subsequently taken up widely by UK doctoral research training centres. This was the first in a series of grants – the latest being in 2020 – to support her research into methodological approaches, the outcomes of which have been widely disseminated and applied within academia and wider professional analytical sectors.

She has also gone above and beyond the normal demands of her position, actively promoting the findings of her substantive research on social mobility dynamics in the UK to wider audiences through interaction with the media and the policy world. For example, you will see from her CV that she has appeared on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 and before the Education Select Committee on the topic of social mobility and its implications for education policy. She was also Senior Education Advisor to BEIS and the DfE, 2016-2019.

Jane has published over 100 peer reviewed journal articles, co-authored three books and contributed to a number of government policy statements in her role as Senior Education Advisor. Her Google Scholar citation index is 12,786.

Having supervised over 30 PhD students, Jane’s research work remains at the forefront of profession and her legacy continues through her teaching, albeit part-time now.

She has presented invited papers at over 20 international conferences, been a keynote speaker at many UK based events and chaired the 2017 Social Studies conference in Leeds. In 2020 she was elected President of the Social Studies Society. All of these esteem factors are a testament to her reputation.

Jane’s contribution to scholarship and training in social science studies is outstanding and her wider impact on the social sciences far exceeds her academic profile. She is an excellent candidate for Fellowship.

Professor Vijay Thakur OBE

  • Professor Vijay Thakur OBE has been at the forefront of the field of International Social Science Studies for the last thirty years.
  • His early work on the nature of global people organisations (with Jane Smith) is considered seminal, and the THE cited him in 2018 as one of the most ‘successful academic writers’. He has published over 190 scholarly articles in edited volumes and international journals, including 23 in the Journal of Studies in Internationalization, the leading journal in the field.
  • Vijay was appointed Chair of the REF 2014 sub-Panel for Social Science Studies and was a member of the RAE Panel in 2008. Further evidence of his eminence in the field is contained below in his CV.
  • The scale and depth of the academic impact of Vijay Thakur’s work is best exemplified by the April 2017 special issue of the Journal of Social Science Studies which was dedicated to Vijay Thakur and Jane Smith’s path-breaking 2007 book Leadership in Internationalization and his subsequent work in the field. Further evidence of the strength of his publication record and the impact of his work is enumerated below in his CV.
  • Vijay has been constantly active in his service to the wider social science profession beyond the academy. One significant focus and outlet for his contributions has been the British Society for International Studies, which he chaired for six years (2011-2017). He was the driving force in developing the Society’s extensive and widely admired work with young career researchers. This has since been cited as a model project by the European Association of International Studies, and widely adopted as an approach.
  • Professor Thakur has constantly sought to contribute to policy debates and to disseminate his work to wider audience. His sustained communication of academic research findings to practitioner communities included the CBI and Whitehall (the Treasury). Most noteworthy in this regard was his establishment of a regular seminar series to bring the senior levels of the practitioner and academic communities together.
  • Professor Thakur was awarded the OBE in 2017 for services to Internationalisation.

Florence Pinchbeck FEA

  • Florence Pinchbeck is a Fellow of the European Academy and a leading figure in developing successful interfaces between academic research and commercial enterprise. She is Director of Policy at LargeCompany PLC and is on the team for the Government Office for Science’s Foresight project on The Future of People.
  • She co-founded LargeCompany’s research and policy team, leading it to be a beacon for the application of social science research in the commercial world. Several other large PLCs (including NationalCompany and InternationalCompany) have adopted Florence’s model of

interaction with the research community and publicly acknowledge the benefits that this has brought in terms of financial returns, innovation and influencing policy.

  • Florence has established a strong personal reputation on strategic policy issues at the interface between People studies, economics, environment and planning during a career spanning over thirty years. She has been and is currently a member of many high-level bodies as detailed in her CV; of particular note is her work on the Government Advisory Committee on environmental standards and her membership of the London Mayor’s Ever-Bigger City Commission. She also chaired 5 public examinations of draft local environmental strategies on behalf of the government’s Environmental Agency in 2017-2020. Her work has been independently recognised with two Honorary Doctorates.
  • As a leading practitioner, her opportunity to write and publish has naturally been limited. Nevertheless, Florence has authored and co-authored several articles in leading environmental journals, as outlined in her CV. She has published particularly on the experience and benefits of establishing systems for bringing academic researchers together with the corporate world.
  • The British Association of Applied Social Science Research believes that Florence’s eminence and contribution to wider social science through her intellectual leadership of People studies and environmental issues, make her a most worthy addition to the Academy’s Fellowship.

Prof Julius Todd

Julius has been at the forefront of pedagogy for over 30 years, working at the cross over between education research and practice. From an early career as an economics teacher, he then focused his career on the research and application of formative assessment, producing one of the leading guides for secondary teachers ‘How to feedback without grades’. During this time he held a number of leading roles in UK university education departments, gaining a personal chair in 2002.

The impact of Julius’ work was demonstrated when his approach to assessment was included in the publication of the National curriculum and assessment from September 2014: information for schools. It has featured regularly since then in successive advice to the education community, as evidenced from his CV. This work is of particular importance to teachers working in mainstream education settings, where this approach has seen significant increases in the value-added, particularly for those pupils who are eligible for pupil premium.

Having co-authored five books, Julius has been in demand as a speaker at national conferences about how to embed formative assessment into everyday secondary education. His expertise has been drawn upon in many other ways too, as attested by his CV, including his advisory role in three major grant awarding organisations, acting as lead peer reviewer in this specialist field.

Appointed CEO of the Pedagogy Association UK in 2016, Julius continued to influence academics and practitioners through their outreach programmes. He established a number of new, ground-breaking programmes including the development of the education ambassadors programme, which after 3 years now reaches some 1,000 A level students per year.

As Honorary Professor in the Centre for Education at the University of Green Fields, he continues to lecture to PGCE students and provides well attended CPD for early career teachers.

Julius has received several awards, including the TES Influencer of the Year 2016, and a lifetime achievement award from the Teaching and Learning Academy, in 2020.

Janine Theakston

Janine is a leading and influential figure in central government research whose work has made a substantial contribution to social science policy across many sectors.

Appointed Director of the Joint Commission on Social Policy in 2018, Janine is responsible for briefing government on key areas of social research as well as operational research and science. Key findings were published in the government White Paper on ‘Social inequalities: divides across England’ 2019.

Janine has a multi-disciplinary background, having completed a PhD in 1990 at Birmingham University, which focused on the links between employability and geographical location. Janine then worked in local government for many years, in a practitioner role but continued her research using focus groups to study the impact of using workplace schemes to enable social mobility, linking local business and schools.

In 2000, Janine’s work formed the basis of a television documentary, which followed the lives of six teenagers from leaving school to the workplace, focusing on job prospects and whether geographical location was associated with wage inequalities. This was viewed by an audience or some 3 million people on BBC2.

The wider impact of Janine’s work can also be seen through her contribution to social science policy in Whitehall and through her invited membership of a number of strategic and advisory groups, both within and outside government. These include the Cabinet Office advisory group on employability. She has also been a member of the ESRC Grants Advisory Panel.

Having moved from local to central government in 2001, Janine has served in several departments, including Department for Work and Pensions and The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government).

The impact and significance of her work is widely regarded, and she would make a valuable addition to the AcSS Fellowship as a practitioner from the public sector.

Dr Richard Albright

Dr Albright established his name in the field of International Studies in early 2000, after completing a joint research project with the UK Political Society on engaging with governments from emerging economies. This work led to the development of a financial evaluation tool, which is now widely used by countries in Southern Asia who were seeking to establish new systems for their central governments, the impact of his work can be clearly demonstrated.

Richard currently runs the Centre for International Policy where he teaches part-time International Studies to post-graduates and continues his research into the implementation of financial management systems in emerging economies. His latest research, which is funded by a 1.3€ million EU grant, ends this year and has seen Richard as the principal investigator, work alongside his team of two PhD students and three researchers developing a new approach to managing government departments. Prior to this, Richard worked collaboratively with Prof Suzanne Smith on a DfID funded project examining different approaches that the UK government could use to assist the Bangladesh government. This seminal piece of work subsequently led to several future pieces of research which are now taking place within the Centre for International Policy. Embedding this research into policy practice clearly shows the impact of Richard’s work in the wider social sciences.

In addition to this, Richard is currently an REF sub-panel 19 assessor focusing on impact and achievement. His specialist knowledge in demonstrating the instrumental impact research has and the importance of collaboration in reaching audiences beyond academia greatly contributes to the social science community.

Richard has co-authored one book ‘The future of South Asian economies and published a wide range of papers and reports (see CV for details), reaching an extensive and senior audience. He is cited in over 500 peer reviewed journals as both lead and co-author. Richard’s policy briefs are widely cited in a variety of contexts, both within academia and government. He was editor of the International public policy and governance journal between 2017-2020.

Richard would be a welcome addition to the Academy Fellowship.