Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) - Expert Panel

The content of the database has been submitted by third parties and reviewed by the 'European Platform for Investing in Children' expert panel. The panel consists of independent experts in family policy from across the EU. Although the information contained has been carefully checked, the European Commission accepts no liability with regard to the specific cases and classification. Please contact EMPL-EPIC@ec.europa.eu for any comment, question or contribution.

Prof. Alena Křížková

Alena Křížková is Head of the Gender & Sociology Department of the Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences. In 2007 she received her Ph.D. in sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague. In 2014 – 2015 she conducted Fulbright Fellowship at Arizona State University conducting comparative CZ – US research on entrepreneurship environment for disadvantaged populations. She uses quantitative and qualitative methodology and develops the intersectional approach to social inequalities. Her research focus is on women´s economic independence, work/life balance, gender in organisations and in entrepreneurship and on violence against women. She is the Czech country expert in the “Scientific analysis and advice on gender equality in the EU” (SAAGE) for the European Commission and a member of the Committee for Equal Representation of Women and Men in Decision-making Positions and in Politics of the Czech Government Commission for Equal Opportunities of Women and Men. 

Prof. Gosta Esping-Andersen

Professor Esping-Andersen is professor of Sociology at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra where he directs the DEMOSOC research unit. In 2009 he was nominated ICREA-Academia professor. Born in Denmark, he studied demography, economics and sociology at Copenhagen University and at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he received his PhD. His scientific work centres on life course dynamics, social stratification and comparative social policy. Before coming to Pompeu Fabra, he taught at Harvard University, the University of Trento and the European University in Italy. His publications include The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism (for which he was awarded the APSA’s Aaron Wildavsky Enduring Contribution Award in 2005); The Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies (translated into Italian and Japanese); and, most recently, Trois Lecons sur L’Etat Providence (Paris, Le Seuil). His latest book is The incomplete revolution (Polity Press 2009).

Dr. Chantal Remery

Chantal Remery (Ph.D) is a sociologist and works as an assistant professor at Utrecht University School of Economics (the Netherlands). Her major research interests include (international comparative) studies in the field of gender and employment, covering issues such as reconciliation of work and private life, flexibility, equal opportunities, and the position of women in (family) businesses. For many years she has been a member of European Networks of Experts in Gender Equality and Employment and co-authored a variety of European comparative studies on this topic for the European Commission.


Prof. Anita Nyberg

Professor Nyberg is currently a professor emerita of Gender Perspectives in Work and Economics, Gender Studies, Stockholm University. Previously she worked as a professor at the National Institute for Working Life, pursuing her research interests in gender perspective on work and the economy, male norms in statistics, and publicly financed childcare and parental leave. In the second half of the 1990s she was general secretary of the Swedish Committee on the Distribution of Economic Power and Economic Resources between Women and Men, a committee which produced thirteen reports covering women’s and men’s situation in the family, the labour market and in relation to the welfare state. She again participated in two governmental committees (2005 and 2015) investigating economic gender equality. She has also worked as a lecturer of economics in the Economics Department and as a researcher at Theme Technology and Social Change at the University of Linköping and is the current Swedish expert in the European Network of Scientific analysis and advice on gender equality (SAAGE).

Naomi Eisenstadt

Ms Eisenstadt CB has been active in policy and practice in the field of early years for over thirty years, and is a current honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Department of Education. She has a first degree in sociology, an MSc in Social Policy, and a California Credential in Early Childhood Education. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University in 2002, and the CB in 2005. In 1999, she began work at the civil service, becoming the first director of the Sure Start Unit. Her portfolio grew over her seven years of service, and came to include early education, childcare, parenting policy, and extended schools. For the past two years she has served as Independent Advisor on Poverty to the First Minister of Scotland, and is currently vice chair of Scotland's Poverty and Inequality Commission. Naomi’s key interests are in children’s services, poverty and its impact on children, and family policy.

Prof. Edward Melhuish

Edward Melhuish is Professor of Human Development at the University of Oxford, and Birkbeck, University of London. He has undertaken research in 12 countries, and is currently undertaking large-scale longitudinal studies in Norway, the UK, and Australia involving family, community and pre-school influences on child development, and policy implications. He is also taking part in an EU-project (ISOTIS) on inequality in childhood involving 11 countries. His studies contributed to social policy in the UK in the area of families, young children, early education and social disadvantage, including the 1989 Children Act, the 2005 Children Act, 2006 Childcare Bill and policy on childcare, early education, child poverty and parental support in the UK and other countries. He has served as an expert witness to several House of Commons Select Committees, and is a member of a Child Well-being working group of WHO, and the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group Early Childhood Interventions Group, 2012. With 300 publications, he has contributed to discussions of social policy for children in Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, Korea, Chile, European Commission, OECD and WHO. He has been a scientific advisor to overseas research funding bodies: NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research); Academy of Finland; Nordic Research Councils for Humanities and Social Sciences; Portuguese Research Council (FCT); European Commission; Australian Research Council; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and in 2016 was awarded an OBE for Services to Social Sciences.  He undertakes substantial pro bono work for charities involved with child well-being.


Prof. Maria Filomena Gaspar

Maria Filomena Gaspar is an Associate Professor at the Faculty Psychology and Educational Sciences at the University of Coimbra, Portugal (Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação, Universidade de Coimbra). Her research interests and scientific activity is focused on educational psychology and family and parenting education. She has been involved in projects on child development and education, family/parenting education and intervention, divorce education, parental participation in the education of preschool age children, and early years education as a way of promotion and prevention. Currently she is the coordinator at the University of Coimbra of the ISOTIS Project, a collaborative project funded by the European Union within the Horizon 2020 programme, which includes 17 partners and 11 countries that aims to contribute to effective policy and practice development at different system levels in order to effectively combat early arising and persisting educational inequalities. She has participated in a broad range of national and international collaborations. Apart from her academic activities, she is a scientific advisor of research and intervention projects, at national and international levels, and gives training, runs and supervises parenting education groups in community and clinical settings using evidence based programs.



Prof.  Sven Bremberg

Sven Bremberg, MD, PhD is Senior consultant in Child and Adolescent Public Health at the Swedish National Institute of Public Health and Associate professor, Department of Public Health, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. His major fields of scientific interest is evaluation and development of child and adolescent public health interventions, studies of inequity in child health and analysis of the dissemination process at municipal level of child health policies. At the National Institute of Public Health, he is responsible for development of child and adolescent public health indicators, based on the national public health targets, for systematic reviews of interventions that at relevant for child and adolescent public health and for a Governmental commission to propose new measures for mental health promotion.

Prof. Ann Buchanan

Ann Buchanan is a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, and Emeritus Professor of Social Work. She was formerly Director of the Centre for Research into Parenting and Children.  

For nearly twenty years she undertook research on families, parenting and child well-being (including, fathering, divorce and grandparenting). Her latest edited book with Anna Rotkirch: Grandfathers: Global Perspectives was published by Palgrave |Macmillan in 2016. As an invited speaker, she has spoken of her research in China, Australia, Russia, USA, South American, USA and Europe.  In June of this year she spoke at the University of Athens on Safeguarding unaccompanied refugees. For eight years she initiated and supervised the updating of an interactive website for professional child care workers ‘What works for Troubled children?’ Recently she has written for the European Social Network on Evidence Based Practice.

She was on the ESRC Council for six years 2007-2013 and chaired the Evaluation committee which took lead responsibility for ‘Impact’ and for setting up What Works Centres.  She was on the Council of the Academy of Social Sciences  2012-17 and is currently a trustee of Grandparent Plus. She was awarded a MBE in 2012 for Services to Social Sciences and an honorary LL.D at the University of Bath in 2013.

Prof. Ides Nicaise

Prof. Nicaise has a background in economics. He works since 1989 as a research manager, head of unit ‘education and lifelong learning’ at HIVA (Research Institute for Work and Society), a multidisciplinary research institute of the University of Leuven (Flemish Louvain). He further specialised in social policy, more precisely the relationships between education, labour market policy and social inclusion (in rich as well as developing countries). He also has part-time teaching assignments at the Universities of Leuven (mainly Department of Education Sciences). Previous and current subjects include general economics, social profit management, labour economics, economics and sociology of education, lifelong learning and equal opportunities, and social security economics. Besides his professional activities, he is chairing the Belgian Resource Centre for the Fight against Poverty, a centre created by law as an interface between the government, the civil society and grassroots organisations defending the interests of the poor. This centre is linked with the Centre for Equal Opportunities and for the Fight against Racism.He was involved in many projects at national, European and international levels dealing with education, ranging from educational funding to lifelong learning and initial education for socially excluded groups. At the Flemish level, he has the lead of the Policy Research Centre ‘Education and school careers’ (Steunpunt Studie- en Schoolloopbanen), an inter-university research consortium accredited by the Flemish Governement for medium-term strategic policy research in the field of education and lifelong learning.

Dr. Aigul Alieva

PhD in Social Sciences, is a researcher at Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER). Her principal academic interests and expertise include issues of social and educational stratification and mobility, migration and integration, and policy evaluation. The focus of her current research project is the academic performance of children with migratory background in Europe and traditional immigration countries. The project is making use of a large number of education surveys conducted during past two decades and is supported by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg. Prior that she carried out a number of national studies, jointly with the colleagues, for the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Family and Integration. Trained in political science, social policy, social research and methodology, she has accumulated significant knowledge and skills in both qualitative and quantitative research. Her educational background include MSc in Politics from Edinburgh University, MSc in Social Policy Analysis from Leuven University, and PhD in Social Sciences from Bremen University.

Prof. Susann Fegter

Dr. Susann Fegter is Professor for Historical and General Educational Sciences at the Technische Universität Berlin. Her empirical research is located in the broad area of childhood studies, gender studies and discourse analysis with a specific focus on technologies and work. Susann Fegter has long years of experiences in doing qualitative research with children and in leading research projects. She has done a 3-year´s ethnography on urban childhoods and was part of the research team of the World Vision Children’s Studies “Children in Germany” 2010 and 2013. Currently she is one of the project leaders of the multinational qualitative study on “Children´s Understandings of Well-being” (CUWB) with research teams from 25 countries worldwide and is also running a DFG-research project on changing concepts of gendered professionalism in pedagogical contexts. Susann Fegter is Vice-Director for internationalization and research at the School of Education (SETUB) at the TU Berlin and speaker of the graduate school on digitalization (DiGiTal) that is run as a cooperative project of all universities in Berlin to support gender equalities in academic careers. 

Prof. Bernhard Kalicki

Bernhard Kalicki is professor for Early Childhood Education at the Protestant University of Applied Sciences Dresden (EHS) and head of the Children and Childcare department at the German Youth Institute (DJI) in Munich. He studied psychology at the universities of Saarbruecken and Trier. His thesis focused on the social construction of life-span development. In 1994/95 he was fellow of the German and American Young Scholars’ Institutes ‘Family development, Lifecycle and Lifestyles’ organized by the German-American Academic Council at Humboldt University in Berlin (1994) and at Harvard University in Cambridge/Mass. He currently chairs the Advisory Board of the OECD TALIS Starting Strong Survey. His research interests comprise socialization processes both within and outside the family, early childhood education, educational reporting and governance as well as life-span development. 

Dr. David Whitebread

David Whitebread recently retired as Acting Director (External Relations) of the Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL) research centre at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK. He is a developmental psychologist who is widely recognized as a leading international expert in early childhood education. Before coming to Cambridge he taught in early years and primary schools for 12 years, and during his first 17 years at Cambridge he worked in early years initial teacher training. His research has focused on self-regulation in young children, and the roles of play and oral language in its development. He has published widely in academic journals and book chapters, and has edited or written a number of influential reports and books, including Quality in Early Childhood Education – an International Review and Guide for Policy Makers (WISE, 2015), Teaching and Learning in the Early Years (Routledge, 4th Ed., 2015), Developmental Psychology & Early Childhood Education (Sage, 2012) and The importance of play: a report on the value of children’s play with a series of policy recommendations (Toys Industries for Europe, 2012).

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