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  1. Sarah Butt

Contact Information


Visit Sarah Butt

DG12, Rhind Building


Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Dr Sarah Butt joined City's Centre for Comparative Social Surveys (CCSS) in June 2012 as part of the Core Scientific Team for the European Social Survey. Her role has a particular focus on the dissemination of survey findings and other outreach activities.

Prior to joining CCSS she worked as a social researcher at the Department for Education where she oversaw several large-scale policy evaluations including an evaluation of the National Citizen Service programme. Between 2006 and 2010 she worked at NatCen Social Research where, among other roles, she was a co-director of the British Social Attitudes survey.

She has an MSc in Politics Research and a DPhil in Politics from Nuffield College, Oxford.


DPhil Politics and International Relations, Nuffield College Oxford, 2008

MSc Politics Research Methods, Nuffield College Oxford, 2002

BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics, Economics, St Anne's College Oxford, 2001


Research Fellow, City University London, 2012 -

Senior Research Officer, UK Department for Education, 2010 - 2012

Senior Researcher, NatCen Social Research, 2008 - 2010

Researcher, NatCen Social Research, 2006 - 2008

Professional Activities

Member Social Research Association

Member of user group advising on development of Cabinet Office’s Community Life Survey, 2012


Current Research

Dr Butt is particularly interested in understanding the drivers of social and political engagement and the attitudes and behaviour of young poeple across Europe.

She is working on a variety of substantive secondary analysis projects using the European Social Survey. These include examining the effect of political institutions on citizens' feelings of subjective political competence across Europe and exploring patterns of intergenerational contact in the UK.

She is also involved in methodological projects using the European Social Survey. She is collaborating with colleagues from the London School of Economics on an ESRC NCRM-funded project to explore item nonresponse and measurement error in cross-national surveys.

As part of the Core Scientific Team for the European Social Survey she is involved in the running of the survey including contributing to questionnaire development.

Current Research Grants

2013-2014 Jouni Kuha (LSE, PI), Chris Skinner (LSE, Co-Investigator), Irini Moustaki (LSE, Co-Investigator), Jonathan Jackson (LSE, Co-Investigator) and Sarah Butt (Co-Investigator), Item nonresponse and measurement error in cross-national surveys: Methods of data collection and analysis, ESRC NCRM, £192, 247



  1. Park, A., Curtice, J., Thomson, K., Phillips, M., Clery, E. and Butt, S. (Eds.), (2010). British Social Attitudes: the 26th Report. London: SAGE Publications Limited. ISBN 978-1-84920-387-6.

Chapters (5)

  1. Butt, S., Widdop, S. and Winstone, E. (2016). The Role of High Quality Surveys in Political Science Research. In Keman, H. (Ed.), Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Political Science Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78471-081-1.
  2. Butt, S. and Fitzgerald, R. (2014). Critical consensus? Britain’s expectations and evaluations of democracy. In Park, A., Bryson, C. and Curtice, J. (Eds.), British Social Attitudes 2014 ed. 31st report (pp. 1–24). London: NatCen Social Research ISBN 978-1-907236-33-4.
  3. Butt, S. and Curtice, J. (2010). Duty in decline? Trends in attitudes to voting. In Park, A., Clery, E., Curtice, J., Phillips, M., Thomson, K. and Butt, S. (Eds.), British social attitudes: the 26th report London: SAGE Publications Limited. ISBN 978-1-84920-387-6.
  4. Butt, S. and Shaw, A. (2009). Pay more, fly less? Changing attitudes to air travel. In Park, A., Curtice, J., Thomson, K., Phillips, M. and Clery, E. (Eds.), British Social Attitudes London: SAGE Publications. ISBN 978-1-84860-639-5.
  5. Evans, G. and Butt, S. (2005). Leaders or followers? Parties and public opinion on the European Union. In Park, A., Curtice, J., Thomson, K., Bromley, C., Phillips, M. and Johnson, M. (Eds.), British social attitudes: two terms of New Labour, the public's reaction; the 22nd Report London: SAGE Publications Limited. ISBN 978-0-7619-4279-5.

Conference Papers and Proceedings (3)

  1. Lahtinen, K., Brunsdon, C. and Butt, S. (2016). Using geographically weighted regression to explore spatial variation in survey data. GIS Research UK 2016 30 Mar 2016 – 1 Apr 2016, University of Greenwich, London.
  2. Turkay, C., Slingsby, A., Lahtinen, K., Butt, S. and Dykes, J. (2016). Enhancing a social science model-building workow with interactive visualisation. .
  3. Lahtinen, K. and Butt, S. (2015). Using auxiliary data to model nonresponse bias
    The challenge of knowing too much about nonrespondents rather than too little?
    International Workshop on Household Nonresponse 2015 2-4 September, Leuven, Belgium.


  1. Butt, S. and fitzgerald, R. (2016). ADDResponse: European Social Survey Round 6 (UK) Plus Auxiliary Data, 2010-2014: Secure Access.

    [publisher’s website]

Journal Articles (7)

  1. Turkay, C., Slingsby, A., Lahtinen, K., Butt, S. and Dykes, J. (2016). Supporting theoretically-grounded model building in the social sciences through interactive visualisation. Neurocomputing . doi:10.1016/j.neucom.2016.11.087.
  2. Barnes, M., Butt, S. and Tomaszewski, W. (2011). The duration of bad housing and children’s wellbeing in Britain. Housing Studies, 26, pp. 155–176. doi:10.1080/02673037.2010.512749.
  3. Cebulla, A., Butt, S. and Lyon, N. (2007). Working beyond the state pension age in the United Kingdom: the role of working time flexibility and the effects on the home. Ageing and Society, 27, pp. 849–867.
  4. Evans, G. and Butt, S. (2007). Explaining change in British public opinion on the European Union: top down or bottom up? Acta Politica, 42, pp. 173–190. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500181.
  5. Butt, S. (2006). How Voters Evaluate Economic Competence: A Comparison between Parties In and Out of Power. Political Studies, 54, pp. 743–766.
  6. Butt, S. (2004). Political knowledge and routes to party choice in the British general election of 2001. British Elections and Parties Review, 14(1), pp. 3–17. doi:10.1080/1368988042000258754.
  7. Kuha, J., Butt, S., Katsikatsou, M. and Skinner, C. The Effect of Probing "Don't Know" Responses on Measurement Quality and Nonresponse in Surveys. Journal of the American Statistical Association .


  1. Lahtinen, K., Slingsby, A., Dykes, J.A., Butt, S. and Fitzgerald, R. Informing Non-Response Bias Model Creation in Social Surveys with
    , 2015.

Reports (6)

  1. Schneider, S., Heath, A.F. and Butt, S. (2016). Developing a measure of socio-cultural origins for the European Social Survey. GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften.
  2. Bryson, C., Brewer, M., Sibieta, L. and Butt, S. (2012). The role of informal childcare: a synthesis and critical review of the evidence. London: Nuffield Foundation.
  3. Butt, S., Clery, E., Abeywardana, V. and Phillips, M. (2009). Wellcome Monitor 1: Tracking public views on medical research. London: Wellcome Trust.
  4. Barnes, M., Butt, S. and Tomaszewski, W. (2008). The Dynamics of Bad Housing and Impacts for Children. London.
  5. Butt, S., Goddard, K., Le Valle, I. and Hill, M. (2007). Childcare Nation? Progress on the childcare strategy and priorities for the future. London: Daycare Trust.
  6. Low, N., Butt, S., Ellis, P. and Davis Smith, J. (2007). Helping Out: a national survey of volunteering and charitable giving. London: Cabinet Office.

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