Imperial College London

Dr Eliel Cohen

Central FacultyCentre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship

Research Associate



+44 (0)20 7594 2497eliel.cohen




Sherfield BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Within the Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship (CHERS), Eliel's research focuses on issues of diversity, inclusion, student agency and student wellbeing in both face-to-face and online educational settings. He is working closely with other CHERS colleagues to understand how these can be incorporated into reviews and transformations of curricula and pedagogy in diverse disciplinary contexts.

His doctoral research at the University of Sheffield (School of Education) studied the research-related interactions between UK academic STEMM departments and non-academic actors in their attempts to generate mutual value and wider impact. Drawing on Basil Bernstein and other sociological literature, Eliel developed an analytical framework for investigating these interactions in terms of their role as mechanisms through which academia enacts and reproduces its distinctive and 'bounded' institutional identity, and for examining shifts in academic 'boundaries'.


Eliel has degrees in Sociology and Education.

His scholarly interest in higher education dates back more than a decade to his undergraduate research, which explored differential access to, experiences of and rewards from higher education by class background, using an approach combining the sociological frameworks of Pierre Bourdieu and Charles Tilly. He has maintained an active interest in this area, for example by supporting the work of the University of Sheffield’s Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Unit (WPREU).

He has six years’ teaching experience, including postgraduate (Masters level) teaching in the field of Education studies and international experience of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).

Professional memberships
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
Member of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE).


Vassiliki Papatsiba & Eliel Cohen (2019): Institutional hierarchies and research impact: new academic currencies, capital and position-taking in UK higher education, British Journal of Sociology of Education.