Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Researcher insight

Ricardo Velazquez Leyer

Ricardo Velazquez LeyerRicardo Velazquez Leyer joined our Department in October 2010 to research for a PhD. He has been conducting research on ‘neoliberal’ social policy reforms and their impact on the welfare of Mexican families. He is being supervised by Dr Theo Papadopoulos and Dr Emma Carmel both experts in Social Policy.

Ricardo studied for an undergraduate degree at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, and then obtained a Masters degree from the University of Manchester.

His interest in the research area stemmed from his belief that social policy represents a crucial sector in any country “for being the main tool of any government to improve the people’s welfare”. His entire professional career has developed in the social policy area, either working in the public sector or studying the discipline in the academic sphere.

Ricardo is enjoying his work; he feels that he is getting a full understanding of social policy, its theory, history, development and possible outcomes.

I hope my work will contribute to a better understanding of how social policy reforms of a certain orientation may affect the people’s well-being, not only in Mexico, but in any country where similar changes are implemented or proposed.

He has found that the relationship with his supervisor has been fundamental for the progress that he has obtained so far, having received “important guidance for the direction that my project has taken and the way I have approached the topic and the relevant questions to ask”.

Ricardo believes the postgraduate skills training courses have been very useful, he has taken several courses on project management, IT and presentation skills and training for teaching, and he has also benefited from a two day course at the University of Bristol. In his opinion, to be a successful researcher it is vital to be “disciplined, perseverant, tenacious and have good analytical skills”.

Keen to participate in the University community, Ricardo works as a teacher, leading seminars and workshops for undergraduate social sciences courses. He considers the University has excellent facilities and a world-class library on social sciences subjects.

Looking ahead, he hopes to finish his PhD in the next two years, and intends to present at least two papers in conferences, with the aim of having them published in peer-reviewed journals.