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Karen Heard-Laureote



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Personal profile

Research interests

The overarching theme of my research is access and participation. These themes are explored within three core research areas:


1. Access to and participation of civil society stakeholders in European decision-making. My previous research has explored the degree to which organised civil society participation is contingent on civil society organisations' legitimacy and representativeness and the democratic credentials of structures created to facilitate civil society access and participation in EU-level decision-making.

2. Access and participation of students to post-graduate study within HE contexts. My research has explored the extent to which access to and participation in post-graduate study is contingent on opening up flexible routes for study which facilitates access by non-traditional cohorts. I have explored the way in which academic departments - the main structural container in which this study is undertaken by students and offered by HE staff - are structured impacts upon student access and participation. I have been co-investigator on a OfS funded Catalyst Project which investigated methods of improving post-graduate research student wellbeing by increasing mental health literacy and social support.

3. Access and participation of secondary school pupils from non-traditional backgrounds to HE through active learning pedagogies. My research advocates for academic researchers making space for and translating research in their substantive research area into their day-to-day HE learning and teaching practices to provide research informed teaching. Learning and teaching practices which enthuse and motivate students once they transition to HE is not sufficient however. My research argues that enhancing the access to and participation of under-represented groups in HE - particularly in the social sciences - can be achieved through taking active learning pedagogies - linke simulations - out into secondary schools to raise aspirations about entering HE, demystifying the University campus and boosting interest in the social sciences. This research also incorporates teaching under-graduate political science students using active learning pedagogies and simulated learning environments.


My main teaching interests are the development and integration of active learning pedagogies in political science education; especially the development and delivery of political simulations. I also teach on research preparation modules, research training and takes an active role in continuing professional development for staff, research supervisors and research students.

Personal profile

Karen Heard-Laureote is Professor of Learning and Teaching and Head of Learning and Teaching at Solent University. Karen's main expertise lies in active learning pedagogies, civic education and local/regional/national/transnational educational networks. Karen is a National Teaching Fellow (NTF), Advance HE Principal Fellow (PFHEA) and a Fellow of the Leadership Foundation (FLF). Karen is involved in the defence and promotion of the European Studies field in higher education in cooperation with UACES, with a primary focus on the UK. Karen is editor of the Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER) Learning and Teaching section.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Portsmouth

Award Date: 31 May 2005

External positions

National Teaching Fellow (NTF), AdvanceHE

31 Aug 2018 → …

HEA Accreditor, AdvanceHE

31 Jul 2018 → …

Principal Fellow (PFHEA), AdvanceHE

Apr 2016 → …

Fellow of the Leadership Foundation, AdvanceHE

Mar 2016 → …

Aurora Role Model, Aurora

Feb 2016 → …

Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration, European Commission

15 Jun 201315 Sep 2019

Editor JCER Learning and Teaching section, Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER)

Feb 2013 → …


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