Our background

Dr Kath Murray is a Research Fellow in Criminology at the University of Edinburgh. She completed herPhD in 2014, looking at the disproportionate use of stop and search on young people in Scotland. Her research in this area led to major legal and policy reform in Scotland, for which she received an ESRC Outstanding Early Career Impact prize. Since then she has published extensively, and worked on a range of research projects and commissions. She has also undertaken influential research on the proposed integration of the British Transport Police into Police Scotland, for which was shortlisted for the Herald Higher Education Awards.

Lucy Hunter Blackburn is a former senior civil servant in the Scottish Government. Her roles included Head of Higher Education Division, Head of Reducing Reoffending Division and Director of Policy at Historic Scotland. She previously worked on local government finance and the legislation establishing the Scottish Parliament. She began her career working on education policy for the Association of County Councils. Lucy is coming to the end of an ESRC-funded PhD at the University of Edinburgh looking at student finance. She has published and been quoted extensively on student funding and higher education policy, including appearances on BBC Radio 4’s More or Less. She has contributed to projects for the Sutton Trust and the ESRC and her work has been cited in official inquiries. In 2017, she was awarded Wonkhe’s Wonk of the Year and she has been a judge for the Guardian University Awards for the past three years. She has a degree in Modern History, an MA in Political Philosophy and an MSc (with distinction) in Educational Research.

Lisa Mackenzie is a former civil servant in the UK Government where she worked as a government communications specialist in a number of Whitehall departments, including the Department for Social Security and Home Office, as well as the Commission for Racial Equality. She was seconded to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food during the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. After returning to Scotland, she worked as a freelance researcher for the Scottish Parliament’s Futures Forum. She was policy and public affairs adviser to penal reform campaign group Howard League Scotland for five years. More recently she worked for the Royal College of Nursing. She has a degree in Modern Chinese and an MSc in Policy Studies.