Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

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Research Group

Professor Linda Evans

Professor of Leadership and Professional Learning

I am the academic lead in the field of educational leadership and management, and leader of the Learning, Leadership & Policy academic team.

Educated at Stand Grammar School for Girls (in Whitefield, Manchester) I became an academic in 1990 after a 15-year career as a primary school teacher. Before coming to Leeds I worked at the University of Warwick. I enjoy European travel and learning foreign languages, and as a French student many years ago spent a period of study at the University of Dijon in Burgundy (now l'Université de Bourgogne). More recently, I lived in France in 2011 as visiting professor at the Institut français de l'éducation in Lyon. I remain a fluent French speaker and I speak reasonably fluent German. In my leisure time I enjoy the theatre and visiting historical sites. I am a fan of the website, Onehundredthousand words, and I am a lifelong Manchester United supporter.


  • Teacher's certificate (with distinction), University of Manchester
  • Diploma in Mathematical Education
  • B.Ed (hons.) class I, Lancaster University
  • MA in Education, Lancaster University
  • PhD, University of Warwick
  • Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF) level C1

Research Interests

My substantive research interests lie in the broad field of professional working life, including professionalism, professional learning and development, and professional work cultures. I have carried out empirical studies of teachers' and academics' working lives, including factors influencing their morale, job satisfaction and motivation. I have researched what academics, university teachers and researchers think of the quality of academic leadership that they receive from professorial colleagues, and I then followed up that study with one of professorial academic leadership from the perspectives of professors themselves, and a third study that examines the preparation and development of university professors. Most recently I worked on a study of academic journal editors' professionalism. I am currently leading a study of strategic change in higher education, focused on promoting innovative teaching and learning approaches that draw heavily on digital resources. I enjoy developing theory and theoretical perspectives that are not context-specific, such as conceptual analyses and theoretical models. 

I have a strong interest in educational leadership and management (in particular, the much-neglected perspective of 'the led'). Much of my recent research has been located in the context of higher education, but I am equally interested in issues related to working life in the compulsory education sector. I am particularly interested in researcher development and the development of research cultures and research capacity.

My latest book, Academic Identities in Higher Education: the Changing European Landscape, edited with Jon Nixon, will be published in 2015.

My list of publications may be accessed by the link on the left of this page, or on my Google Scholar profile.

Recent and current funded research projects

Leading professors: examining the perspectives of the led in relation to professorial leadership - funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (with co-investigators Professor Steve Rayner from Oxford Brookes University and Dr Matt Homer, University of Leeds) 2011-12.

Professorial academic leadership in turbulent times: the professoriate's perspective - funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (with co-investigators Dr Justine Mercer from the University of Warwick and Dr Matt Homer, University of Leeds) March 2012- February 2013

'Leadership preparation and development for UK-based university professors' - funded by the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) September 2012-August 2013

Academic journal editors' professionalism: perceptions of power, proficiency and personal agendas - funded by the Society for Research into Higher Education, (with co-investigator, Dr Matt Homer) May 2013-April 2014

'The purpose of professors: professionalism, pressures and performance' - a stimulus paper commissioned by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, 2012-13

Improving student learning outcomes through strategic change - funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, 2014-15 (with co-investigator, Professor Neil Morris)

Editorial responsibilites

I am an associate editor of Educational Management, Adminstration and Leadership.

Recent and forthcoming speaking invitations


I currently teach on the MA in International Educational Management and am responsible for one of its modules: Developing Staff for Institutional Improvement. I am the programme leader for the MA Education (general).

PhD Supervision

I can offer postgraduate research supervision in the following areas, in which I have researched and published widely:

  • morale, job satisfaction and motivation
  • professional development
  • professionalisation and professionalism
  • educational leadership and management
  • teaching and learning in higher education
  • academic practice and working life in the higher education sector
  • qualitative research methodology
  • researcher development
  • research cultures in HE

Current research students

  • JIANG, Fang
  • LODHI, Ahmad

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