UK Data Service Data Impact Fellows 2019: Bozena Wielgoszewska

We are delighted to announce Bozena Wielgoszewska as one of our #DataImpactFellows for 2019.

Bozena Wielgoszewska is a Research Associate at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies. She primarily works on a project which aims at harmonisation of the income and earnings data across three cohort studies: National Child Development Study (NCDS), 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70), and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). In addition to that, she is involved in a project which investigates what the language used in essays written by the participants of the NCDS when they were age 11 can tell us about their future social mobility.

Bozena was awarded a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, which was supported by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) collaborative funding programme. Her PhD thesis is entitled “Understanding University Graduates’ Social Mobility Trajectories: How Does the Route affect the Outcome?”. In this project, she analysed economic activity histories of a sample of graduates from the 1970 British Cohort Study, mapping the patterns of change in their employment and social class over time. She engaged with SDS regularly, throughout the studentships, where she also completed an internship during which she worked on a project evaluating the long-term outcomes of Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland.

Prior to undertaking PhD research, she completed an MSc in Statistics at KU Leuven in Belgium. The course covered the theoretical background of statistics, the wide range of methods used to analyse and visualise data and a substantial amount of practical work with datasets, using a range of software packages. While in Belgium, Bozena also worked in a multisensory market research consultancy.

Previously, having obtained a degree in BSc (Hons) Business Economics with Accounting from Plymouth University, Bozena worked as a Research Assistant at this institution where she developed an interest in and passion for data and data analysis, which she has been consistently and persistently developing since.

Bozena’s research

My primary research interests include social and economic inequalities, people’s mobility across these strata, the causes and consequences of this mobility, as well as the mechanism that either facilitate or impede it.  My PhD research focused on UK graduates’ mobility across social classes within their working lives. For this project, I reconstructed economic activity histories of a sample of graduates from the 1970 British Cohort Study. This research highlighted that social mobility is more complex than simply moving up or down, as the outcome may be different depending on when and how social mobility is measured. This finding is particularly important in the contemporary labour market, where arguably frequent changes in the employment situation are becoming increasingly common.

I enjoy working with data, and I have a strong interest in innovative and evolving methods of data analysis. This includes longitudinal methodologies, which consider whole trajectories of life courses and preserve the inherent order of the events. As opposed to ‘snapshot’ approaches, these methodologies can better utilise information extracted from longitudinal studies and allow insight into associations between the past and the present, which can enable more informed forecasts into the future. In addition, I am interested in the analysis of open text, and machine-learning techniques used to extract and quantify linguistic features. I am currently involved in the international and interdisciplinary collaboration, which investigates the relationships between the language used in essays written in 1969 by more than 10,000 children taking part in the National Child Development Study, and the outcomes observed when these cohort members were age 50.

Currently, I primarily work on the harmonisation of income and earnings data across studies hosted at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies. This project is a part of the CLOSER harmonisation work stream and involves recoding or modifying variables to ensure they are comparable across the research studies and sweep. The datasets, which will arise from this harmonisation, are expected to facilitate cross-study and longitudinal comparisons. This will provide a valuable resource for other researchers, including but not limited to those who investigate the changes in economic inequalities over time.

Bozena’s plans

The overarching aim of my research is to contribute to decreasing social and economic inequalities in contemporary society, through providing evidence, creating better understanding, and raising awareness of these issues. The UK Data Impact Fellowship will allow me to further disseminate both my research findings, and the lessons I have learned from the research process. It will also allow me to maintain existing and develop new networks with likeminded people outside of my immediate research community. This includes both policy-makers and practitioners who have hands-on knowledge in the areas of my research, as well members of the public. These collaborations will be helpful at all stages of my research, from asking highly-relevant research questions, to ensuring the applicability of my research findings to the evolving policy and practice environment.


Follow Bozena on Twitter: @MeBozena

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