New Head of the Education and Social Research Institute joins the University

New Head of ESRI (Education and Social Research Institute) joins the University

Professor Kate Pahl joined the University on 1 January 2018 as Professor of Arts and Literacy and Head of ESRI (the Education and Social Research Institute) in the Faculty of Education.

She said: “I am delighted to be leading an interdisciplinary research institute that is genuinely world-leading, and, as someone who is passionate about engaged research, I am excited about working with the communities of Greater Manchester.

“I will be taking over from Harry Torrance as Head of ESRI, although Harry continues to support me on a day-to-day basis. I see my job as being about getting to know the wonderful work of my colleagues and developing a vision for ESRI that is both local, national and global in its reach and significance.

“I look forward to meeting as many as possible of you over the coming weeks and working with ESRI and the Faculty of Education to create a truly supportive space for innovative and world leading research that is transformative.”

Professor Harry Torrance, who is now Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Faculty of Education, said “We are absolutely delighted that Kate has joined us. She is a very significant scholar in the field of Literacy Education with extensive experience of leading large research programmes. She will provide superb leadership for ESRI.”

Professor Pahl has come from the University of Sheffield where she led an ESRC funded large grant, the ‘Imagine’ project, which explored the nature of civic engagement and led a number of research projects through the AHRC Connected Communities programme. Her work has centred on literacy in communities, co-production in research, and arts and social cohesion.

To find out more about Kate Pahl’s research, see the Imagine website: and the Taking Yourself Seriously website:

Twitter: @katepahl