Staff profile

Dr Sung-Hee Lee

Deputy Chair of the College Research Committee for BLSS & Programme Lead for MRes Social Sciences and Humanities

Sung-Hee Lee


Social Sciences


College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Research centre

Better Society, Social, Cultural and Legal Research Centre




One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus



I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Derby. I am also a Principal Investigator of the ESRC-funded UK-South Korea Family Policy Research Networking Project.

Teaching responsibilities

Teaching modules

Research interests

My research focuses on social policy in East Asia, specifically, gender analysis regarding childcare policy development and its effect on working women’s care conditions in South Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan. I'm keen to influence and subsequently change working women’s life experiences, particularly where there are enduring and pervasive cultural gender ideologies, discriminatory assumptions and social injustices, not only in the practice of informal care but also in the workplace. 

I have been drawn to understanding how the element of gender intersects with social class and working cultures. I have applied my academic rigour to these problems since many countries and societies are currently faced with further complexities brought about by race and ethnicity, owing to the growing numbers of migrant workers entering the care labour market. My research aims to show how the intersectionality of gender ideologies can be challenged by bringing gender forward for consideration in the political arena to impact women’s experiences in care work, for the better.

My international research profile is reflected in my excellent publishing record to date. I have brought my international recognition, with invitations from governmental research institutes (e.g., KWDI, KIHSA) and universities in South Korea, and Japan as well as from within the UK. I was subsequently invited to work on a governmental research project submitted to ‘The Presidential Committee on Ageing Society’ under President Moon Jae-in, in May 2019. Additionally, I produced two more collaborative governmental research projects working with the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs and the City of Seoul.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences


Experience in industry

International experience

Research Grants

I am currently holding two Research Grants as a Principal Investigator;

  • ESRC UKRI Research Grant (Ref: ES/W010712/1) aims to establish and develop a sustainable collaboration of researchers focusing on social policy toward families in the UK and South Korea
  • Academy of Korean Studies Grant (Ref: AKS-2021-R018) aims to investigate the recent childcare policy reform in South Korea (universal free childcare, called ‘Moo-sang Boyuck’ in Korean) and to assess the impact on socialising childcare among working mothers in South Korea

Additional interests and activities

Referee for Journals 

Committee and/or Editorial Board Membership

External Examiner

In the media

Recent publications

Peer-reviewed publications

Book sections

Policy Briefing and/or Issue Analysis