Professor Matthew Bennett


Matt is a Professorial Research Fellow and joined the University of Sheffield in 2021. He is based in both CIRCLE (the Centre for International Research on Care Labour and Equalities) and the Department of Sociological Studies.

From 2013–2021 Matt worked in the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology at the University of Birmingham as an Assistant Professor before being promoted to Associate Professor. During his time there, he was the department’s Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes, the Midlands Graduate School DTP lead for Social Policy and Social Care, the Director of Postgraduate Research Methods Training for the College of Social Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences lead for the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

Matt holds an associate position in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, where he also teaches Data Analysis for Social Impact. He is also the Co-Director of the month-long Social Impact Fellowship (Matt was himself awarded a Social Impact Fellowship in 2013).

Matt is an active member of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). He is the Volunteering Track Chair and has also served on the Annual Conference Best Paper panel. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Care and Caring.

Matt holds a BA(Hons) degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Washington where he was supervised by Professor Stewart Tolnay. He completed both his MSc and DPhil in Sociology at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. His postgraduate training was supervised by Professor Nan Dirk De Graaf.

Matt’s research interests are in inequalities and wellbeing outcomes of care, prosocial behaviour and social diversity. He is Co-Investigator in the ESRC ‘Sustainable Care’ and NIHR ‘Achieving Closure?’ programmes that look at the cost and contributions of care and the impact of care home closures. He is also Principal Investigator on an ESRC award that looks at the impact of social diversity on stress (allostatic load) and wellbeing. His expertise is in linking and analysing large-scale surveys and administrative datasets using advanced statistical methods.

Matt works closely with Carers UK and the Office for National Statistics to better understand inequality and wellbeing outcomes for unpaid carers. Matt’s social care research (both academic and co-produced with Carers UK) has consistently featured in the national media and has been debated in the House of Lords.

Research interests

  • Inequality

  • Social care

  • Unpaid carers

  • Social diversity

  • Intergroup relations

  • Social cohesion

  • Prosocial behaviour

  • Quantitative methods

  • Data infrastructure

Work packages

Data for a sustainable care and wellbeing strategy.

Research and publications

Li. D., Ramos, M., Bennett, M R., Massey, D., and Hewstone, M. (in press). ‘How does Increasing Immigration Affect Ethnic Minority Groups?’ The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Bennett, M.R., Parameshwaran M., Schmid, K., Ramos, M. and Hewstone, M. (2021). ‘Exploring the Relationship Between Religious Neighborhood Diversity, Religious and National Identity, and Trust in England’. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

Li, D., Ramos, M., Bennett, M R., Massey, D. and Hewstone, M. (2021). ‘Does ethnic diversity affect well-being and allostatic load among people across neighbourhoods in England?’ Health & Place.

Bennett, M. R., Davidge, K., Pruszynski, K., Williamson, D., Yeandle, S. (2021). ‘Carers Count: The importance of Census data – expert reflections.’

Bennett, M. R., Davidge, K., Pruszynski, K., Williamson, D., Yeandle, S. (2021). ‘Carers Count: The importance of Census data.’

Bennett, M. R., Glasby, J., and Yeandle, S. (2021). ‘Long Term Funding of Adult Social Care’. Submitted to UK Parliament Housing, Communities and Local Government committee call for evidence on Long Term Funding of Adult Social Care.

Bennett, M. R., Davidge, K., Pruszynski, K., Williamson, D., Yeandle, S. (2021). ‘Carers Count: making your voice heard in the 2021 Census’.

Bennett, M. R., Davidge, K., Pruszynski, K., Williamson, D., Yeandle, S. (2021). ‘Carers Count: making your voice heard in the 2021 Census – Carers’ reflections.

Yeandle, S., Glasby, J., Needham, C., Bennett, M. R., Burns, D., Hamblin, K. and Kilkey, M. (2020). House of Lords calls for better pay and conditions for care workers. CIRCLE, University of Sheffield.

Yeandle, S., Bennett, M. R., Zhang, Y., Davidge, K., Glasby, J., Needham, C., Manthorpe, J., Hussein, S., and Hall, P. (2020). ‘Adult Social Care funding, workforce and reform’. Submitted to UK Parliament Health and Social Care committee call for evidence on ‘Social care: Funding and Workforce’.

‘Caring and COVID-19’, Sustainable Care CARE MATTERS series of reports in partnership with Carers UK (2020):

GLASBY, J., ZHANG, Y., BENNETT, M., & HALL, P. (2020). A lost decade? A renewed case for adult social care reform in England. Journal of Social Policy, 1–32. doi:10.1017/S0047279420000288

Zhang, Y., Bennett, M.R., and Yeandle, S. (2019) ‘Will I Care: The likelihood of being a carer in adult life’. London: Carers UK.

Clasby, B., Bennett, M.R., Hughes, N., Hodges, E., Meadham, H., Hinder, D., Williams, W. H., Mewse, A. (2019). ‘The Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury from the Classroom to the Courtroom: understanding pathways through structural equation modelling’. Disability and Rehabilitation. 42(23): 1–10.

Ramos, M., Bennett, M R., Massey, D., and Hewstone, M. (2019). Social diversity is initially threatening but people do adapt over time. The Conversation.

Ramos, M., Bennett, M R., Massey, D., and Hewstone, M. (2019). ‘Humans Adapt to Social Diversity Over Time’. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116 (25) 12244–12249.

Mohan, J., and Bennett, M.R. (2019) ‘Community-level Impacts of the Third Sector: Does the local distribution of voluntary organisations influence the likelihood of volunteering?’ Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 51(4): 950–979.

Bennett, M. R., and Einolf. C. (2017). ‘Religion, Altruism, and Helping Strangers: A multilevel analysis of 123 countries’. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 56(2), 323–341.

Kamerāde, D., and Bennett M. R. (2017). ‘Rewarding Work: Volunteering during unemployment, benefits, well-being and mental health’. Work, Employment and Society, 32(1), 38-56.

Wiertz, D., Bennett, M. R. and Parameshwaran, M. (2015). ‘Ethnic Heterogeneity, Ethnic and National Identity, and Social Cohesion in England’ pp. 123-42 in Social Cohesion and Immigration in Europe and North America: Mechanisms, conditions and causality, eds R. Koopmans, B. Lancee, and M. Schaeffer. London: Routledge.

Bennett, M. R. (2015). ‘Religiosity and Formal Volunteering in Global Perspective’ pp. 77-96 in Religion and Volunteering: Complex, contested and ambiguous relationships, eds L. Hustinx, J. and von Essen, J. London: Springer.

Bennett, M. R., Bulloch, S. L, and Mohan, J. (2013). Age Trends in Civic Engagement in the UK. Evidence submitted to House of Lords Select Committee on Public Services and Demographic Change.