Dr Adriana Duta

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods


Dr. Adriana Duta is a Lecturer in Quantitative Methods. Her research uses large-scale survey and administrative data to investigate social inequalities in educational and labour market outcomes and the factors associated with early emergence of social inequalities in cognitive and non-cognitive skills as precursors of later disadvantage.

Adriana is affiliated with the ESRC-funded project Understanding Inequalities for which she previously worked as Research Fellow. She joined the University of Edinburgh in 2015 as AQMeN Education and Social Stratification postdoctoral researcher.

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 also studied the relationship between social origin (i.e. parental education and social class) and typologies of transition to adulthood in different welfare regimes. Other activities in which Adriana was involved include a three-month internship focusing on gender statistics within the Statistical Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva (2011) and a one year research assistantship within national research/statistical system projects in Romania, mainly funded by international organisations such as the EU, UNICEF and World Bank (2008-2009).

Postgraduate teaching

Quantitative Data Analysis  

Designing Educational Research: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Survey Designs

Dissertation Support Strand: Quantitative analysis using survey data

MSc. thesis supervision: 

1. Panxia Zhou ‘Inequalities by parental background in cognitive skills. Do non-cognitive skills matter?’ (quantitative analysis using Millennium Cohort Study), University of Edinburgh (2019)

2. Weijiao Cai ‘Parental education and children’s cognitive skills: the role of out-of-school education’ (quantitative analysis using Millennium Cohort Study), University of Edinburgh (2019)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


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:


Presentations and organising knowledge exchange events:

  • ‘In conversation with Professor Cristina Iannelli & Dr. Adriana Duta: Understanding the Attainment Gap’ research dissemination to (head)teachers, University of Edinburgh  (organiser & speaker),  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) UK 2017
  • Public seminar ‘Social inequalities in graduates' labour market outcomes in the UK: the role of regional job opportunities’ (speaker), Edinburgh, UK, 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 20 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 8 publications on Research Explorer