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Research Interests

My research interests are in early childhood interventions including a specific focus on literacy and numeracy, quantitative methods and the effectiveness of educational interventions. My PhD involved the design and evaluation of a numeracy intervention programme using an RCT and since then I have worked on a number of RCTs evaluating literacy interventions in both Primary and Secondary Schools. 

I am also part of the SWAN team at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work.



The NIHR Global Health Research Group on Early Childhood Development for Peacebuilding (2018-2020). 

This £2m global research programme is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and represents a strategic partnership with UNICEF, Yale, Harvard and New York Universities. LINKS is directly supporting and coordinating research teams in six low- and middle-income countries to develop and evaluate early childhood programmes that seek to contribute to sustainable development and peacebuilding (Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste and Vietnam). 


Community-Based Early Childhood Interventions for Improving Developmental Outcomes for Children Aged 0-7: A Systematic Review (2015-2016) Funder: The Atlantic Philanthropies/Bernard van Leer Foundation

Team: Dunne, L., Craig, N., Connolly, P. & Winter, K. 

The systematic review is in the process of being registered with the Campbell Collaboration and will focus on which types of early childhood programmes are most effective at improving developmental outcomes for young children.


A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial of Read Write Inc. Phonics & Fresh Start (2016-2018) Funder: EEF

Team: Thurston, A., Cockerill, M. & Craig, N. 

This is a large scale cluster RCT of a literacy intervention for primary school children in England. There will be two cohorts of children who, if in the intervention group, will receive either Read Write Inc Phonics or the catch up intervention "Fresh Start." 


Peer Tutoring in Secondary Schools (2013-2015) Funder: EEF

Team: Cockerill, M., Thurston, A. & Craig, N.

Peer Tutoring in Secondary schoools is a large scale randomised controlled trial of the "Paired Reading" literacy intervention across the Northeast of England. It involves 120 classes in 10 schools who were tested on their reading ability before and after the intervention. 




Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education


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