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Research Knowledge Exchange Strategy Group

Full Statement
To develop the next generation of researching graduate professionals to make positive contributions to the care and education of babies, young children and their families.

  • To develop a community of practice for early childhood students and academics
  • To develop confidence in students to provide a voice for their research findings
  • To promote early childhood research with the aim of informing and improving policy and practice

Vice Chair and Members

ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Jackie M

Dr Jackie Musgrave
Vice Chair
Student Development

Jackie is Programme Lead for Early Childhood and Education Studies (Primary) at The Open University. Her research brings together her experiences as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse and as a teacher of early childhood and explores the intersection of health, early education and inclusion. Jackie has published extensively, a sole authored book, several co-authored and co-edited books, as well as many chapters. Jackie has been Vice-chair of the ECSDN with responsibility for Research and Knowledge Exchange. Her work within the Network is focused on developing students’ voice as researching professionals. Jackie manages the ECSDN Student Publishing Opportunity

See Jackie's publications here:

Web Home - The Open University
ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Helen P

Dr Helen Perkins
Vice Chair
Professional Development

I have been teaching Early Childhood Education and Care in further and higher education since 2002, I began my academic career in FE as a tutor, then as Head of School for Early Childhood Studies. I am now an Associate lecturer at the Open University and an Honorary Research Fellow and the University of Wolverhampton. I received my Doctorate in 2017, from the University of Sheffield. I am an executive member of the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN) with responsibility for the Research and Knowledge Exchange portfolio, with my colleague Dr Jackie Musgrave. My research interests are the professionalisation of the Early Childhood Workforce and the Role of Men in Childcare.

Web Home - The Open University
ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Eva M

Dr Eva Mikuska

Dr Eva Mikuska is a senior lecturer in the Department of Education, Health and Social Science at the University of Chichester, UK. Her work seeks to broaden current views on early childhood education and care in England with the aims to produce a more generative, ethical, and political way to enact ECEC research. Her language skills (native Hungarian, and Serbo-Croat) and her research enables her work to have synergy with a national and international set of ECEC researchers.

Web Home - Uni of Chichester
ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Julie O

Dr Julie Ovington

Julie is a Childhood Studies Lecturer at the University of Sunderland, her doctoral study focused on school readiness and two-year-old children by drawing on New Materialist and Posthuman lenses. Julie’s interests are rooted in everyday happenings and gaining agency, as well as raising the profiles of emerging scholars.

Web Home - Uni of Sunderland
ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Nikki F

Dr Nikki Fairchild

Nikki is the Associate Head (Research and Innovation), School of Education and Sociology, University of Portsmouth. She works with post-humanist and feminist materialist ways to conceptualise practice and subjectivities in Early Childhood. Her research focuses on place-space in classrooms and gardens and how it impacts practitioners understanding of young children.

Web Home - Uni of Portsmouth
ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Jo J

Dr Jo Josephidou

Jo is Programme Lead of Early Childhood at The Open University. She was a primary school teacher (Early Years) for many years before entering Higher Education in 2009. Her PhD focused on appropriate pedagogies with young children and how practitioner gender may impact on these. Currently, Jo is working collaboratively on a piece of research which focuses on babies’ and toddlers’ opportunities to engage with the outdoor environment and nature funded by The Froebel Trust.

Web Home - The Open University
ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Jo T

Dr Jo Traunter

Jo Is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Hull where she leads on the Education and Early Years programmes in the Faculty of Arts, Culture and Education. Jo’s research interest focuses on the professional training and identity of the early years workforce both in the Uk and in Sth East Asia. Recently her research has explored how we support young children's learning through environments of inquiry, in particular creative and natural environments.

Web Home - Uni of Hull
ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Michelle C

Dr Michelle Cottle

Michelle is a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies within the School of Education at the University of Roehampton. She originally trained as a primary teacher and taught in international schools for ten years before completing a Master’s Degree and joining Roehampton, initially as a research officer working on ESRC-funded projects before taking up her current post..

Web Home - Uni of Roehampton
ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Zoe L

Zoe Lewis

Zoe is a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University where she leads the undergraduate Early Childhood Studies course. Zoe has worked as an early years teacher and leader and is currently studying for an EdD where her research seeks to understand the role of the material environment in children’s creativity.

Web Home - Birmingham City Uni
ECSDN Strategy Group - RKE Carla S

Dr Carla Solvason

Carla is senior lecturer at the University of Worcester and leads on the MA Education Early Childhood pathway and takes a lead on research in her department. Before this post she spent twelve years as a primary teacher and also worked as a researcher and consultant for I CAN, the communication charity for children. Carla’s research focus is ethics within practice and research; this has also filtered into an interest in relationships, particularly between practitioners and parents.

Web Home - Uni of Worcester