Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Contact Details

Research Students

Professor Linda Evans

Professor of Leadership and Professional Learning (& academic leader of the field of educational leadership and management, professional learning & development)

As one of the School of Education's nine (full) professors, I am the academic leader in the field of educational leadership and management, professional learning and development. I am pleased to receive inquiries about our research, teaching, CPD provision, doctoral supervision, and consultancy in this broad field - as well as inquiries from schools, colleges and teachers who are keen to develop links with us.

Educated at Stand Grammar School for Girls (in Whitefield, Manchester) I became an academic in 1990 after a first 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.

I am the author of six books (and currently writing a seventh) and numerous papers. I have presented many invited keynotes and plenaries in the UK and overseas (including in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Mauritius, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland) and acted as consultant and expert advisor to a number of overseas organisations.


  • 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 research interests lie in the broad field of professional working life, including professionalism, professional learning and development, leadership and management, and professional work cultures. I have carried out empirical studies of schoolteachers' and academics' working lives, including factors influencing their morale, job satisfaction and motivation. I have researched academic leadership in the university sector, including several funded projects on (full) professors and professorship. I have recently researched the publishing 'game' in academic life, through a funded study of academic journal editors' professionalism and academics' experiences of getting published. With my colleague, Professor Neil Morris, I was recently funded to research the leadership of digital learning-focused strategic change in higher education. My current funded study (March 2016-February 2017) is focused on the origins and history of university professors and professorship in the UK, and involves library-based research.

I enjoy developing theory and theoretical perspectives that are not context-specific, such as conceptual analyses and theoretical models. I have developed conceptual models of: professionalism, professional development, and researcher development, and processual models of the attainment of high morale and job satisfaction, and of the individual's professional learning.

I have a strong interest in educational leadership and management (in particular, the much-neglected perspective of 'the led'), and I am developing a keen interest in critical leadership study. 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 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. This paper was published by the Leadership Foundation in 2016.

Improving student learning outcomes through strategic change - funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, 2014-15 (with co-investigator, Professor Neil Morris). Two reports of this study have been published by the Leadership Foundation: the full report, and the shorter summary report.

The origins and history of university professors and professorship in the UK - a library-based scoping study funded by the Society for Research into Higher Education 2016-17

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 .

PhD Supervision

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

  • educational leadership
  • academic leadership
  • professional learning and development
  • teacher development (in relation to any school subject)
  • professional identities
  • higher education
  • morale, job satisfaction and motivation
  • professionalisation and professionalism
  • teaching and learning in higher education
  • academic working life in the higher education sector
  • researcher development
  • research cultures in HE

I welcome inquiries and applications from highly motivated and talented individuals, who are familiar with my published work and wish to come to Leeds to work with me.

The qualities I look for in research proposals include:

  • evidence that the proposal is entirely your own work and has not been written by an agent, friend or colleague, or improved by a proof reader
  • a close match between my own interests and areas of expertise and the topic that you wish to research
  • evidence that you have read my work and have incorporated consideration of its arguments into your proposal
  • evidence that you have read key texts in the field and know who are currently the key 'names' researching it
  • evidence that you understand what the key issues in the field currently are - too often proposals reflect outdated ideas and methods
  • a well thought-out research design that is based on qualitative methods - I do not supervise research that is based on statistical analyses.

Current research students

  • LODHI, Ahmad
  • SILVESTRE, Raquel

Key Publications


  • Evans L, Nixon J, Academic identities in higher education: The changing European landscape (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), i-240

  • Evans L, Reflective Practice in Educational Research: developing advanced skills (London: Continuum, 2002), ix-243

  • Evans L, Teacher Morale, Job Satisfaction and Motivation (London: Paul Chapman/Sage, 1998), 1-196

Journal articles


  • Evans L, ‘Enhancing the Quality of Research in Europe: Theoretical Perspectives on and Guiding Principles for Researcher Development’, in The European Higher Education Area: Between critical reflections and future policies: Part II, ed. by Curaj A and others (Springer, 2015), 573-591
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-20877-0_37, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/84770/

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