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Research Profile

Dr Sin Yi Cheung 

Career Profile

Sin Yi was a Swire scholar at St Antony's College, Oxford, where she obtained her D.Phil. in sociology. During her doctoral study, she also worked as a research officer at the Social Disadvantage Research Centre, Department of Social Policy at Oxford University. Before becoming a full-time academic, she spent two years working in the Chief Executive Department at Oxford City Council where she led a team promoting the use of evidence-based research in policy decisions in local government. Sin Yi’s research addresses different forms of social inequalities, primarily in Britain but also in comparative perspectives. She has published on changing inequalities in higher education, ethnic disadvantage in the labour market, lone parents on benefits, claimants’ dynamics, children in care, refugee integration and ethnic and racial inequalities. Over the years she has received numerous research funding from the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, as well as central government departments (Department for Work and Pensions) and local authorities (Oxford City Council).

Internationally, Sin Yi has been invited to many universities as a visiting faculty including Wisconsin-Madison, UCLA, and Stanford University. In addition to regular invitations within the UK, she has given invited seminars in many universities abroad such as Aarhus University, Brno University, University of Illinois Chicago, Stanford University, ECOMER (The European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations, Utrecht University) and Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Sin Yi sits on many international funding panels and is a regular assessor and rapporteur for grant applications for Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), European Science Foundation (European Collaborative Research Programme), and Hong Kong Research Grants Council.

Nationally, she also gets invited to give research evidence on ethnic inequalities in the labour market to government departments including the Social Exclusion Unit, the Cabinet Office and the Office for Deputy Prime Minister. She is currently a member of the ESRC’s Peer Review College. Before joining Cardiff, she taught sociology at Oxford Brookes University, and University of Birmingham where she was the Director of the MA in Social Research/doctoral training programme in the College of Social Sciences, prior to Birmingham gaining the Doctoral Training Centre status.

Twitter: Follow me @drsinyicheung

International Profile and External Activities

Member of the ESRC Peer Review College
Editorial Board Sociology of Education, American Sociological Association
Editorial Board, Sociology, British Sociological Association
External Faculty Fellow, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University, USA (2010-11)
Visiting Fellow, European University Institute (EUI), Fiesole, Italy (Summer 2008)
Honorary Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA 2005-06.
Visiting Scholar, California Center for Population Research (CCPR) and the Department of Sociology, University of California Los Angeles. USA. 2005-06.
Research Group: WELM

Memberships / External Activities

Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society
American Sociological Association
British Sociological Association
European Sociological Association, Research Network on Quantitative Methods (RN21)
International Sociology Association (ISA): Research Committee on Social Stratification and Social Mobility (RC28)

Teaching Profile

Sin Yi has supervised PhD and M.Phil. research students through to completion on research topics including social capital and cross-class families, youth unemployment, second-generation ethnic minorities in Britain, as well as masters students on ethnic inequalities in education and the labour market. Sin Yi has also externally examined PhD dissertations in prestigious universities including Oxford University and the Institute of Education, London. She will be serving as the external examiner for University of Manchester (BSc in Social Statistics) from autumn 2013.

Prospective PhD students who wish to study in any of the following areas are welcome to contact me at

  • Ethnic and racial inequalities
  • Immigrant and refugees integration
  • Social stratification, educational and labour market inequalities
  • Sociology of education, work and employment

UG and PG level courses offered include:

  • UG Level: Social Divisions, Global Societies, Sociology of Education and Work, Migration, Race and Ethnic Relations, Levels 1 and 2 Research Methods
  • PG Level: Quantitative Methods, Research Design, Factor Analysis, Modelling Categorical Data, Analysing Panel Data.