Ian’s research is concerned with how policy (especially health policy) is made and implemented, exploring these topics through a range of methods all of which are based in social science. He is especially interested in how policymakers try and explain and justify what they want to do, and how this relates to evidence that academic and practitioner researchers have constructed, and how we can evaluate policy in better ways – especially using realistic frameworks.
Ian has held a number of leadership roles. He is Head of School for Social Work and Social Policy at Strathclyde, having also led the Graduate School in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He was Executive Director of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing at Durham University, leading on developing strategy for how the Institute could help deliver University strategy. He was a Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (at Faculty level) at Durham, taking on a number of portfolios including leading postgraduate programmes there. Ian was also the founding Director of the ESRC North-East Doctoral Training Centre.