Nik is Chief Executive of the Bridge Group, with overall responsibility for strategy, fundraising and compliance. He has also led many of the Charity’s research programmes and is involved directly with commissioned projects, mainly with employers.
Nik has particular expertise in quantitative research methods, and in translating research findings into practical policy recommendations. Nik’s recent clients include the BBC, the Cabinet Office and Linklaters; he has also advised the government on equality, diversity and inclusion and often plays a leading role in presenting Bridge Group findings to audiences across sectors. He has also published on these topics (most recently, in The Class Ceiling and in Access to Success and Social Mobility Through Higher Education).
Nik is also a Partner at More Partnership, a trustee of the UNITE Foundation and is a Research Associate and Fellow at the University of York.
Dr Penelope Griffin
Penelope is Director of Higher Education and Impact, leading work relating to the role of higher education in socio-economic equality and diversity. As well as, for example, advising on, or evaluating, outreach programmes, and researching and reporting on admissions practices, Penelope works with universities at a strategic level to review their whole-institution approach to access and participation.
At the Bridge Group, Penelope has worked with The Sutton Trust and Dublin City University (among many others) and also leads on developing methodologies for tracking the impact of the Bridge Group’s work. Prior to her appointment, Penelope led the University of Nottingham’s access and participation agenda. While at Nottingham, she was a Trustee of the Bridge Group, a role she held for eight years.
Dr Marianne Blattès
Marianne is a Senior Researcher at the Bridge Group, responsible for designing and managing programmes of research. She specialises in the analysis of qualitative data with a particular focus on employment, undertaking most of the qualitative research in this area, including designing, running and analysing interview and focus group data.
While at the Bridge Group, she has worked with clients including the BBC, the Sutton Trust and a number of leading law firms. Marianne is particularly interested in how language relates to issues surrounding social inequality and access to education. Marianne has presented papers at several international conferences and has spoken on the topic of linguistic justice and socio-economic mobility.
Dr Laura da Costa
Laura is a Senior Researcher at the Bridge Group, specialising in the analysis of quantitative data, such as workforce analysis and survey analysis. She has particular expertise in the use of national databases such as those on attainment and progression from the Department for Education and the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
At the Bridge Group, Laura has worked with a broad range of clients, including KPMG, Grant Thornton, Viacom and Police Now, among many others. Laura is interested in issues surrounding social inequality, fairness, intersectionality, and how talent is defined, both in education and employment.
Dr Sarah Dauncey
Sarah is Head of Policy. Her focus is cross-sector policy development and advocacy, working with the team to ensure that the Bridge Group’s research and expertise has the greatest possible impact. As well as building networks and engaging policymakers, stakeholders and others in response to key policy issues, Sarah uses policy seminars to bring together viewpoints and evidence, alongside research, to produce reports.
At the Bridge Group Sarah has published the report The Influence of Place, on geographic inequality, which has helped to inform the Office for Students’ guidance for universities and has worked with UPP to report on university careers services and social mobility, among much else.
She says: “I’m passionate about issues relating to social equality, particularly relating to geography and the uneven distribution of resources and opportunities across the UK and the stratification of higher education”.
Dr Helen Wareham
Helen is a Researcher at the Bridge Group. She is a data specialist, both conducting data analysis and advising on what data should be collected.
At the Bridge Group Helen has worked with Access Accountancy, the Civil Service, KPMG, PwC and Grant Thornton, among others, working to ensure that, while recognising no piece of data can be perfect, it is nonetheless used in a robust, evidence-based – and pragmatic – way and that it is collected in ways that are accessible, efficient and useful.
She says: “The Bridge Group has a really mixed-methods approach to research and policy which I really enjoy and also gives our work a greater depth and impact. I love data and a graph but it is not the whole story, especially when it comes to societal justice/inequality.”
Roksana is Operations and Events Officer at the Bridge Group, responsible for the day-to-day administration and behind-the-scenes preparation for the annual conference, seminars and events. Roksana also provides research assistance on some projects.
Alongside her role at the Bridge Group, Roksana completed her PhD in Cardiovascular Research in 2019. Her passion for promoting STEM careers for young people prompted her to join the social enterprise Scientists & Co which run skills-based workshops and shadowing opportunities for sixth formers from low socio-economic or disadvantaged backgrounds.
Dr Kenton Lewis
Kenton is a Research Adviser and Fellow who engages on individual projects with the Bridge Group. Click here to read about his work with the Bridge Group Fellows.