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Yingnian Tao

Senior Research Associate - REC

Yingnian Tao

County South




I joined PPR in the middle of October 2022 as a senior research associate working on the University's race equality charter mark application. Two major tasks for this application are race equality surveys and follow-up focus group discussions. I designed the survey together with my wonderful team and conducted three focus group discussions. I am now analysing the survey questions using a mixed-method approach: quantitative analysis of the closed-ended questions using Stata and thematic analysis of the open-text comments using NVivo. 

During my spare time, I work on a greenwashing project with Mark Ryan who is PhD researcher with rich industry experience in calculating the carbon impact of fashion firms using life-cyle analysis. 

The project uses corpus linguistic techniques (keyword analysis, collocation, concordance analysis) to unearth the representation of sustainability by good-rating and bad-rating fashion companies (rated by Good On You). 

I completed my PhD in linguistics in Late November 2022. I am interested in conversational interaction in mundane settings (e.g. friends talk, family talk)  and institutional settings (e.g. television talk shows, medical interviews). I am using the CA and pragmatics methods to investigate the mechanism of the "disorderly" but interesting interactional exchange. The methodology I am using features qualitative and quantitative corpus-based models of analysis and statistical modelling in R. 

Current Research

Racial inequality in higher education in the UK

This project aims to 1) identify institutional barriers to racial equality that have been experienced by students and staff in higher institutions in the UK, and 2) seek measures to remove the barriers.


The Race Equality Charter surveys and focus group discussions are the two methods used to understand the Lancaster context. 


Race Equality Charter (REC)

The Advance HE provides a framework through which institutions in the UK work to identify and self-reflect on institutional barriers of ethnic minority staff and students. The University signed up to the REC in spring 2021 to help increase the awareness of racial equality of both students and staff and improve the representation, progression, and success of minority students and staff at Lancaster.  


The Race Equality Charter surveys


 Work in the REC Working Group on Data Analytics on designing, I lead the design and analysis of the REC surveys. The surveys are for both students and staff, regardless of their ethnic identity.


The students' survey focuses on students’ learning experiences (e.g., course format, course content, course progression and employment), the experience of race-related incidents, inclusion and sense of belonging.


The staff survey focuses on work-related aspects of both academic and professional services staff, for instance, recruitment, PDR (performance development review), pay, career development and progression.


There is a common section devoted to personal details such as nationality, ethnicity, gender, and religion. We would like to understand the intersection between race-related incidents and the above aspects.


For each completed survey, £2 will be donated to a charity of the respondent’s choice from a list: Diversity Matters North West, Global Link, Lancaster & Morecambe City of Sanctuary, Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, and St. John’s Hospice.


Follow-up discussions


We (the Working Group on Data Analytics) will be conducting interviews and focus groups in early 2023 to discuss issues arising from this survey.


Current Teaching

LING103 Linguistics

Web Links

Lancaster University Race Equality Charter


Advance HE Race Equality Charter 



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