Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Contact Details

Professor Linda Evans

Visiting professor at the University of Leeds, and professor of education at the University of Manchester.

I was employed at the University of Leeds from March 2007 until June 2017, when I moved to the University of Manchester, where I am professor of education. I may be contacted at the following email address: linda.evans@manchester.ac.uk

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 (with a seventh, on professors as academic leaders, in press, due to be published in 2018) 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. If you’re interested in the history and origins of professors and professorship in the UK, please take a look at this webpage: http://professors.leeds.ac.uk/

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 (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 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. Please take a look at this webpage which showcases the key findings of this project: http://professors.leeds.ac.uk/

Editorial responsibilites

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


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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