Doctoral Research Seminar


Doctoral research seminars

These informal seminars are designed to give doctoral students an opportunity to share their research in a supportive environment, with their student peers and interested academic colleagues. In particular, we hope that some programme directors and supervisors will also be able to attend.

Each seminar will last approximately an hour and a half, and will be chaired by a member of OUDCE staff. It is envisaged that two or three students will speak for 20 minutes each, to be followed by questions, and then a group discussion. A wine reception will follow, to provide an opportunity for extended conversation in a more sociable atmosphere.  Students who are interested in speaking should discuss this in the first instance with their supervisors, and then notify who will co-ordinate the events. 

The next seminar will be held on Wednesday 6th February, as part of the Hilary term Graduate School training week, at 4:30pm in room 310.




Peter Hinton: Delivering SDG 4 on Education - Catalysing Private Finance in Seven African Cities to Build Scale and Deliver Measurable Education Quality to Low Income Communities. 

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (“SDG4”), “to ensure inclusive and quality education for all” (UN2015), is unlikely to be achieved if the 193 country governments alone are expected to deliver quality of education to their populations. This is particularly the case in less developed countries due to fiscal constraints combined with increasing demand from growing populations. In the 7 African cities studied in this research, low cost, non-state early years and primary schools, charging between $70 and $400 per annum, are serving low-income communities and educating an average of 50.4% of children in those cities. This finding highlights the bottom up development nature of such schools. Moreover, 42% of the low- cost school owners are women and see themselves as social entrepreneurs, meeting the educational and day-care needs of the children of their low-income communities. These schools are funded mainly by low fees charged to parents with no state subsidy. This paper argues that collaboration with these private sector providers of affordable education will be needed to make progress with SDG4. However, such schools face serious obstacles in accessing finance from conventional sources in order to expand and, in some cities, to achieve officially recognition from domestic education regulators. The unmet demand for finance of low-cost schools in the 7 cities, based on this research, is US$1.7billion and the total for Africa will be much larger. This paper finds that if appropriate private finance, enabling government policy and basic education outcome measurement can be channelled to low-cost schools, these schools can play an important role in the education ecosystem and contribute significantly to the achievement of SDG4.


Katrin Micklitz: Workplace mindfulness-based programs for mental health: a realist review and evaluation

Workplace related stress and burnout represent a major health issue in many high-income countries. Mindfulness-based programs (MBPs) are increasingly being used to address this problem. A series of reviews and studies suggests that workplace MBPs have the potential to reduce employee stress and burnout while enhancing performance and wellbeing. However, the current evidence is based on a great heterogeneity of intervention types, target groups, and outcome measures, making generalizations difficult. Occupational MBPs are complex, involving a series of actors for implementation; they are embedded in organizational structures and cultures, run different periods of time, consist of multiple components, and involve human agency. So while current available evidence indicates it can work, more research is needed in order to successfully implement MBPs on a larger scale in different settings for different people. A better understanding of the causal mechanisms in MBPs and the particular contexts in which they are effective will allow us to design and target workplace MBPs for maximum efficacy and sustainability. A realist review, followed by a realist evaluation, will be used to examine why, under what circumstances, for whom, and in what respects MBPs achieve beneficial effects in workplace settings.



Peter Hinton is a part-time doctoral student at the University of Oxford. His DPhil topic is the financing of low-cost, non-state schools in Africa. His research has identified a $1.7bn demand for finance from low-cost early-year and primary schools in seven African cities where such schools are educating between 20% and 84% of children. His research looks to understand the barriers to providing this finance and what role can philanthropy, conventional finance and impact investing play in addressing this need and increasing the supply and quality of accessible and affordable education? The research considers whether aspects of trust that low-cost schools appear to have built with their communities can be considered by providers of finance and providers of school licenses.

Peter is an associate fellow at Said Business School, University of Oxford and has a degree in Economics from Bristol University and a Masters in Development Economics from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He is CEO of SDG which works with impact investors, financial institutions and international financial institutions to increase the supply of finance to small and medium sized enterprises in emerging markets.

He has over 25 years of commercial experience in the United Kingdom and Africa and has invested in and transformed financial institutions, banks and fair trade organisations in emerging markets. He was formerly CEO of Enterprise Banking Group (Botswana) with operations in Kenya and Rwanda. Prior to that, he was Head of Development for BancABC and with CDC was active in private equity investing in African financial institutions. Previously he worked in strategy and planning for BhS plc and in corporate finance for Mazars.


Social Finance (OUP 2015) chapter on ‘Investing for social impact: direct foreign investment in Africa and South Asia.’ With Sweta Penemetsa.

Someone to Watch Over Me- an essential guide to godparenting (Arima 2006). With Iona Joy.


Katrin Micklitz is a Berlin-based coach and consultant with over 15 years of experience in global leadership development. She holds a MSt in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University and is currently doing research on mindfulness in organizations as part of her DPhil in Evidence-Based Health Care at Oxford University. Katrin Micklitz is part of the executive board of the Institute for Mindfulness, a not-for-profit organization that develops and facilitates innovative approaches in leadership around the question of how to cultivate the balance between profit, well-being, and caring.



Doctoral research seminar: MT18

Sally Taylor, Cathy Jewison and Steve Langton discuss their work so far.