Delivering award-winning research with impact

Research led by Dr Sarah Mills, Reader in Human Geography, has shaped a House of Lords Report on Citizenship and Civic Engagement.

Dr Sarah Mills

Dr Sarah Mills’ award-winning research on youth citizenship has led her to Parliament. In 2017 she was invited to submit written and oral evidence to a House of Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement. As an expert witness, Dr Mills provided evidence from an ESRC research project she led that explored National Citizen Service (NCS) – a UK Government funded youth programme launched in 2011.

Dr Mills spent three years exploring the Government’s motivations behind, the voluntary sector’s engagement with, and young people’s experiences of NCS with Research Associate, Dr Catherine Waite.

The final Lords report published in 2018 included several recommendations to UK Government based on Dr Mills’ research-based evidence.

“It’s fantastic to see this House of Lords report acknowledging the contribution that young citizens make to society. The recommendations to improve National Citizen Service – as part of that journey – should have a real impact on young people’s experiences of the programme", explains Dr Mills. "I'm delighted the Select Committee report drew on this research from Loughborough University to inform their recommendations to Government.”

Dr Mills was awarded the Royal Geographical Society’s (RGS) prestigious Gill Memorial Award in 2017 for her outstanding early career research in cultural geography. She has published widely on youth citizenship, informal education and volunteering, and is currently the Elected Chair of the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group of the RGS-IBG.