Visit Tracey’s ResearchGate profile here:

Academic Role

Tracey is the Head of Research (College of Business), University of Derby.

Tracey has held lectureships (Leadership/HRM/OB subjects) at Teesside University, University of Wales: Lampeter/Trinity Saint David and the University of Derby. Tracey’s academic role has gradually progressed into research management. In 2013 Tracey developed and submitted the REF2014 UOA19 for Derby Business School. Tracey manages professional doctorates and PhD research within the College of Business, as Chair of the College Research Committee she also has responsibility for monitoring the College’s progress against its research strategy and preparing the College for the next REF exercise. Tracey sits on the Academic Development and Quality Committee, Academic Board, and is Deputy Chair of the College (Business) Ethics Committee.

Further Background

Tracey graduated with a 1st class honours in Human Resource Management, winning CIPD student of the year for her studies. During that time she worked for North Yorkshire Police as a HR Officer and Project Officer, on a process efficiency review project, part of a wider transformation project across the organisation. Tracey returned to study at Teesside University after securing a PhD studentship, working with a local authority to evaluate a multi-million pound project.


Tracey submitted her PhD for examination in 2011, in 2012 this was conferred and she was awarded the title of Doctor.

Tracey’s PhD was an ethnographic account of a three year long programme evaluation in a Local Enterprise Growth Initiative. The study contributed to evaluation theory by identifying several key findings that occur throughout evaluation practice, in the areas of: stakeholder relations; the role of an evaluator; evaluation purposes; and evaluation methodology. The use of ethnography was central to the originality of the contribution, allowing a comprehensive, first-hand, and longitudinal reflection to be made; such a reflection did not exist in evaluation literature. The study found a great deal of evidence to support disruptions to evaluation practice, the sensitive nature of stakeholder influence, the complexity of the evaluator role, and the significance of political context. The contribution to knowledge through the study was not so much that these confirmatory findings existed, but rather the auto-ethnographic nature of the data, revealing the evaluators own experience of conducting the programme evaluation and being an evaluation practitioner.

The study found a host of phenomena occurring in evaluation in the public realm, and ultimately found that areas of evaluation practice could fail, whether by the fault of the evaluator or other stakeholders. Politics, role ambiguity and government decision processes were also found to affect evaluation. The study recommended that evaluation practitioners, commissioners and other stakeholders use the longitudinal findings to better understand the entirety of evaluation practice. In so doing, this research filled crucial gaps in literature and acted to enhance evaluation practice.

Tracey’s research has been internationally recognised through publications including ‘Public Management Review’(article link here, requires login), ‘Policy and Society’ (article link here), and the ‘International Journal of Public Administration’. Tracey was submitted as an ECR to the REF2014 exercise. Tracey maintains a strong research interest in public management. Tracey also reviews for a number of public administration journals.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (Distinction)
  • PhD (Business) – Public Evaluation
  • BA (hons) Human Resource Management (First Class)
  • British Cycling Coach – level 3.
  • PRINCE 2 Project Management (Foun.)


Tracey lives in South Derbyshire with her partner and two children.

Derby Staff Profile: