Sarah Nolan

Sarah Nolan

PhD Candidate in Public Policy

Duke University, Sanford School of Public Policy


I am a multi-method researcher interested in how individuals navigate complex processes, with an eye for social class inequality. I am currently in my final year of a PhD in Public Policy at Duke University.

My current research focuses how we can better measure and understand the experiences of individuals in times of social change. What is the world like for young people whose opportunities are very different from those their parents considered, or even their cousins or older siblings? In particular, I focus on the pathways individuals take through higher education and toward careers. Recent work explores these questions in India, Indonesia, and Estonia.

While my research has spanned institutions, subject areas, disciplines, methods and continents, my motivation remains constant: creating research which recognizes the complexity of individual circumstances to better inform policy and practice.

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  • Social mobility
  • Inequality
  • Education and Career Transitions
  • Multi-Method Research
  • Social Science Communication
  • PhD in Public Policy, expected Spring 2022

    Duke University

  • BA in Public Policy, 2013

    Duke University