Dr Adriana Duta

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods


Dr. Adriana Duta is a Lecturer in Quantitative Methods. Adriana has a strong research interest in social stratification and social inequalities in education and the labour market and in understanding how individual, family and contextual factors shape people’s life chances across their life course. She tackles these topics using large-scale data and quantitative methods.

Adriana joined the University of Edinburgh in 2015 as Research Fellow, working within two large ESRC-funded projects: AQMeN (Education and Social Stratification) and Understanding Inequalities.

Adriana has a background in Sociology, (BA, MA, University of Bucharest, 2009; MSc, University of Groningen/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology, 2011) and a PhD in Social Statistics and Demography (University of Southampton, 2016). Her PhD thesis investigated the link between parental education, intergenerational educational mobility and fertility and was funded by the ESRC (+3 Advanced Quantitative Methods scholarship). During her PhD, she was also awarded an ESRC Overseas Institutional Visit grant to visit The Center for Research on Inequalities and The Life Course within the Sociology department at Yale University. While at the University of Southampton, Adriana was involved in teaching introductory quantitative methods and co-authored a Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) report entitled ‘Investigating an age threshold for independence at postgraduate level’.

Before starting her PhD, Adriana had worked for two years as a Research Assistant in the Sociology department at the University of Groningen where she studied for a Research Master’s degree, investigating the relationship between social origin (i.e. parental education and social class) and typologies of transition to adulthood in different welfare regimes in Europe. In  2010 Adriana was an intern at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Statistical Division in Geneva, working on topics concerning gender statistics. Between 2008-2009, she was a Research Assistant at the Romanian Centre for Economic Modelling (CERME) working on national research projects in Romania, mainly funded by international organisations such as EU, UNICEF and World Bank.

Responsibilities & affiliations

Co-Leader Advanced Quantitative Research in Education (AQRiE) Hub 

AQRiE Hub PGR Representative 

Coordinator & Academic Cohort Lead  MSc. Education Research Pathway 

Member of the Research Committee 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility (RC28) of the International Sociological Association (ISA)

Member of the The Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies (SLLS)

ESRC Centre for Population Change (CPC) Associate 

Postgraduate teaching

Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS  (course organiser and lecturer)   

Designing Educational Research: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Survey Designs (guest lecturer) 

Social Inequalities in Education Worldwide (tutor) 

Dissertation Support Strand: Quantitative analysis using survey data

MSc. Dissertation supervision

PhD supervision   

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

  • Jiayang Wang, Thesis title: Intergenerational social mobility and its implication to education policy: the case of China
  • Peter Barlow, Thesis title: Disentangling the importance of individual, family and neighbourhood factors on educational outcomes using sibling data

Past PhD students supervised

  • Yifang Xu, Thesis title: An investigation of Chinese academics’ language attitudes towards English language norms in UK universities 

Research summary

Adriana has a strong research interest in social stratification in education, labour market and family behaviour and how individual and contextual factors interact in shaping people’ life chances across their life course. She tackles these topics using large-scale survey and administrative data and quantitative methods.

  • Social Stratification and Social Mobility
  • Social Inequalities in Education, Labour Force and Family Behaviour
  • Life Course (from early childhood to adulthood)  
  • Cross-National Comparative Analysis
  • Quantitative Data Analysis

Knowledge exchange

Research briefs, blog posts and publications for non-academic audiences:


Participation in knowledge exchange events:

  • Member of the ‘Equalities and Social Justice Collaborative Community Group’, Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessments, 2022
  • Expert roundtable for project commissioned by the Social Mobility Commission in partnership with the Institute for Employment Studies on the effects of internal migration on social mobility, Leeds, 2020
  • 'Against all odds: Enabling factors in early childhood for cognitive outcomes', Understanding Inequalities Webinar (organiser & speaker), 2020
  • ‘In conversation with Professor Cristina Iannelli & Dr. Adriana Duta: Understanding the Attainment Gap’ research dissemination to (head)teachers, University of Edinburgh  (organiser & speaker), Edinburgh,  2019
  • ESRC Festival of Social Science policy/public engagement event ‘Understanding Inequalities. 20 years of devolution: how have inequalities in Glasgow changed’ (organiser and contributing to preparation of posters, presentation and moderating round-table discussion) Glasgow, 2018
  • Edinburgh University Students’ Association Women in STEM: ‘Gender inequality in STEM fields of study’, Edinburgh, (speaker) 2017
  • Public seminar ‘Social inequalities in graduates' labour market outcomes in the UK: the role of regional job opportunities’ (speaker), Edinburgh, 2017
  • ‘Pupil Equity Funding’ Launch Event, dissemination research to teachers and head teachers, Edinburgh, 2016
  • ESRC Festival of Social Science policy/public engagement event ‘Social Inequalities in Education: why and how national institutional factors matter’ round table facilitator and co-author report, Edinburgh, 2015
  • Centre for Population Change (CPC) demographic exhibition ‘How to get to 100 and enjoy it’ (disseminating the latest demographic trends to the general public via interactive tools), Belfast, 2015    

Research activities

View all 22 activities on Research Explorer

Project activity

2017-2020 ESRC-funded project Understanding Inequalities (Research Fellow and affiliated researcher)

2015-2017 ESRC-funded research centre AQMeN Education and Social Stratification (Research Fellow)

2011-2015 ESRC +3 PhD Scholarship and enhanced stipend for Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) 'Parental education, intergenerational educational mobility and fertility'

View all 9 publications on Research Explorer