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About Rachel Spacey

Rachel Spacey is Research Fellow (part time) in LHERI where she leads the Access and Participation Plan Evaluation Project (APPEP).

Department Responsibilities

Within LHERI Rachel leads on the Access and Participation Plan Evaluation Project and is Reviewer: the Lincoln Higher Education Research Awards 2017 and Reviewer: IMPact: The University of Lincoln journal of Higher Education Research. Rachel has worked at the University of Lincoln since June 2014. Her first post was as Research Fellow in the School of Education where she was the Institutional Researcher on the Postgraduate Experience Project (PEP) funded by HEFCE and she also taught on the EdD programme. Rachel moved to the Vice Chancellor’s Office in January 2016 where she was researching the student experience with Prof. Mary Stuart and moved to LHERI in September 2017.

Subject Specialism

Higher Education; University Students; Widening Participation; Student Experience; Lifelong Learning; Adult Learning; Public Libraries; Libraries and Information


  • PhD Information Science — Loughborough University, 2004
  • MA Library and Information Studies — Loughborough University, 2000
  • MA Women’s Studies — Nottingham Trent University, 1998
  • BA (Hons) Politics and History — Newcastle University, 1995


  • Associate Fellowship — Higher Education Academy,
  • MCLIP - revalidated — Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals,

Research Interests

  • family learning

  • higher education

  • library and information studies

  • lifelong learning

  • public libraries

  • student experience

  • widening participation

Research Groups Memberships


Research Projects

  • Access and Participation Plan Evaluation Project — UoL in 2018
  • Recording and recognising the experiences of estranged students in higher education: a participatory research project using photo-elicitation — LHERAward in 2017
  • Access Agreement Evaluation Project — UoL in 2017
  • Understanding the Student Experience — UoL in 2016
  • Postgraduate Experience Project — HEFCE in 2014
  • Managing Access to the Internet in Public Libraries — AHRC in 2012
  • The impact of reading for pleasure on blind and partially sighted adults — RNIB in 2012
  • Engaging unemployed women in ESF-funded training — Skills Funding Agency in 2011
  • Learning journeys of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Somali women — European Social Fund in 2008
  • Renaissance North West: Evaluation of the North West Museum Hub Family Learning Initiatives — North West Museum Hub in 2008
  • The Family Learning Approach — UNESCO in 2008
  • Making the connection - mental health and family learning — NHS - Section 64 in 2007
  • An Exploratory Study on the Links Between Family Learning and Parenting Programmes in Local Authority Settings — DfES in 2007
  • The building blocks of quality in family learning — Learning and Skills Council in 2006
  • Biblio.for.mEDA — European Union - Leonardo in 2004
  • Trends in Scholarly Communications: Output, Access and Use Issues — JISC in 2002

Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations

  • CILIP — Member
  • BERA — Member
  • SRHE — Member


Reviewer - BERA Annual Conference 2018, 2018; Reviewer - ECER Emerging Researchers' Conference 2018; Invited Reviewer - Journal of Librarianship and Information Science; Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science; Referee - Journal of Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning