School of Sociology and Social Policy

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Philippa Tomczak

Senior Research Fellow (Nottingham Research Fellow), Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Philippa Tomczak is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham School of Sociology and Social Policy. She now holds a Nottingham Research Fellowship. Between 2015 and 2018 she was a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow (scheme success rate: 14%) and British Academy Rising Star at the University of Sheffield Centre for Criminological Research. She has a PhD in Criminology from the University of Manchester School of Law, and a BA, MA and MSc from the University of Oxford. She originally trained as a Geographer.

Philippa published the first monograph on 'The Penal Voluntary Sector', which won the 2017 British Society of Criminology Book Prize. For Prof M Bosworth (Oxford), it "develops a fresh approach to penal power that should reorient the field of study". Prof S Maruna (Manchester) noted: "Tomczak's sophisticated, empirical exploration of the voluntary sector's involvement in that most involuntary of sectors, the UK's penal system, simply could not be more timely or more badly needed. It fills an enormous gap in the criminological literature while opening up dozens of new avenues for new research. A real path-breaker". Philippa founded and co-ordinates CRIMVOL: the international criminal justice voluntary sector research network for academics, practitioners and policymakers. CRIMVOL members work across England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, North America, France, Denmark and Finland.

Philippa's second monograph 'Prison suicide: what happens afterwards?' provides the first detailed account of the investigations that follow prison suicides, using the case study of England and Wales. Professor Philip Leach (Middlesex) recognised that "this excellent study shows the wider impact of self-inflicted deaths in prison and deserves to be widely read''.

Philippa has published articles in leading journals including the British Journal of Criminology and Theoretical Criminology and her work has been cited by scholars based globally, including Australia, Canada, the USA, Finland and New Zealand. She has been invited to peer review articles for journals including: Theoretical Criminology, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Critical Criminology, Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology and International Review of Victimology. During 2017 and 2018, Philippa organised a series of international conferences with high profile speakers, on topics including 'Death in Punishment', the 'Voluntary Sector in Criminal Justice' and 'Emerging Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Scholarship'.

Philippa has extensive experience of mentoring early career scholars and was commended as a University of Sheffield dedicated outstanding thesis mentor in November 2017. She has taught across undergraduate Criminology modules at the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester, having a range of lecturing and seminar-taking experience. She has examined a PhD thesis at the University of Portsmouth Institute of Criminal Justice Studies and supervised Masters' level dissertations.

Philippa was shortlisted for the Political Studies Association's Total Exposure programme in 2017 and pitched a programme: 'Suicides in prison: Should we care?' to media experts. She was subsequently invited to write a post for the Political Studies Association's blog.

Research Summary

ORCID identifier: 0000-0002-2347-2479

2018-2021 Nottingham Research Fellowship. The Penal Voluntary Sector: Is it Doing 'Good'? Value £243,237

2017-2018 British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award. Total value £15,000

The Voluntary Sector in Criminal Justice: Setting the Research Agenda

2015-2018 Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship. Prison Suicide: Theorising its Regulation. Value £90,000

2010-2014 University of Manchester School of Law Scholarship. Punishment and Charity: Conceptualising the penal voluntary sector in England and Wales. Value £52,500

Recent Publications

Past Research

2017: British Society of Criminology Book Prize Winner (£500 prize).

2013: Howard League for Penal Reform/British Society of Criminology Postgraduate Conference bursary (£400 conference grant).

2012: Howard League for Penal Reform John Howard Postgraduate Essay Prize Winner (£100 prize).

School of Sociology and Social Policy

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