Meet Our Team


Liz Austen

Head of Evaluation and Research

My current work focuses on student experiences within higher education and the policy context which shapes them. This includes leading projects which review the complexity of ‘teaching excellence’ and evaluate pedagogic interventions for improving student engagement and differential outcomes.



Jill LeBihan

Head of Student Engagement

My current work focuses on student engagement, including representation, co-creation and extra-curricular reward and recognition. I am an experienced lecturer, mentor, and academic leader, with skills in curriculum and programme design. I have an interest in teaching innovation and the use of digital technology to support academic delivery in creative ways.



Jill Dickinson profile picture

Jill Dickinson

Senior Lecturer, Evaluation and Teaching and Learning (Secondment)

Dr Jill Dickinson is a Senior Lecturer in Evaluation, and Teaching and Learning (on secondment). A former Solicitor, Jill is an experienced Course and Module Leader and has collaborated with internal and external partners to develop research and professional development initiatives. Jill is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE; Recognised Practitioner in Advising; Associate of the Centre for Regional, Economic and Social Research; Fellow of the Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies; and External Examiner.



Caroline Heaton

Senior Lecturer, Research, Evaluation and Student Engagement

Caroline carries out research into the student learning experience, and supports the co-ordination of institution-wide student engagement in quality enhancement. Caroline has held a variety of posts at Sheffield Hallam University, working within taught programmes administration, widening participation policy and research, academic and learner development, and student experience research and evaluation.



Helen Parkin

Senior Lecturer, Research, Evaluation and Student Engagement

Helen is a Senior Lecturer in Research, Evaluation and Student Engagement. She is responsible for conducting research into and evaluation of student experience and engagement across the institution. Helen co-leads the Guardian University Award (2020) winning Listening Rooms project across and beyond the institution with colleague Emma Heron.



Nathaniel Pickering

Senior Lecturer, Student Evaluation, Engagement and Research

I am an experienced quantitative and qualitative researcher and evaluator and have undertaken projects within a variety of educational, political, business and social housing contexts. I have a diverse research and academic background in the social sciences, with a particular interest in political theory, critical theory, critical discourse, sociology of education, social policy, austerity economics, and social justice. I am currently undertaking a PhD at Lancaster University examining the impact of austerity on underrepresented groups accessing higher education.



Alan Donnelly

Lecturer, Research, Evaluation and Student Engagement

Alan is a Lecturer in Student Evaluation, Engagement and Research at Sheffield Hallam University. His wider academic interests include evaluation in learning and teaching and Widening Participation. Alan has previous taught research methods and critical thinking development at SHU and he is a Fellow of the HEA.



Our Team Structure


STEER is part of a larger team central titled Student Experience, Teaching and Learning (SETL). We work closely alongside our colleagues in Academic Advising, Planning and Operations, and Digital Learning and Practice.