University of Bath Professors Alma Harris and Nick Pearce have been named Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences, a prestigious list of leading social scientists in the UK.

Fellows are a mix of academics, practitioners and policymakers from across the social sciences. They have been recognised after an extensive peer review process for the excellence and impact of their work through the use of social science for public benefit.

Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy within our Department of Education, Alma Harris has held senior posts at the University of Nottingham, University of Warwick and University College London and the University of Malaya. From 2009 – 12, she was Senior Policy Adviser to the Welsh Government assisting with system transformation and reform.

She is currently an International Education Adviser to the First Minister of Scotland.

Commenting on her Fellowship recognition, she said: "It is a great honour to be conferred as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. I welcome the acknowledgement of my contribution to the field of social sciences for almost three decades. I am a PhD graduate from the University of Bath, so I am particularly pleased to receive this recognition at this time in my career."

Nick Pearce is Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Professor of Public Policy at the University. He has extensive experience in policy research & government policymaking. He was formerly Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and from 2008 – 2010 Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit.

Nick is also co-author of the recently-published book ‘Shadows of Empire: The Anglosphere in British Politics’.

He said: "I am honoured to have been made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. The social sciences contribute vitally important knowledge and understating to the public good, and I’m pleased to have been able both to use social scientific evidence as a policy adviser, and to contribute to better policymaking with the research of the IPR.”

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell FAcSS, said: “This recognition of Alma and Nick by the Academy of Social Sciences speaks volumes about the strength of their research and expertise, and also the ways in which they are applying their work to policy and practice. The social sciences offer the potential to help us all navigate our ever-changing world. By working together, across disciplines and with practitioners, academic research in this area can really make a difference.”

Professor Roger Goodman FAcSS, Chair of the Academy added: “Each new Fellow has made an outstanding contribution in their respective field and together they demonstrate the vital role played by social science in addressing some of our most pressing public issues. We are delighted to welcome them to the Academy.”