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PhD candidate @ University of Cambridge

October 2018-present

MicroMaster @ Massachusetts Institute of Technology

May 2018 - present

MPhil @ University of Cambridge

October 2017-July 2018

  • MPhil in Educational Research. This project was supervised by Dr Sonia Ilie and Dr Ben Alcott, titled "A quantitative reassessment of the role of education in promoting social mobility in China: links to inequality and structural factors ". I graduated with Distinction and Best Dissertation Award. 

  • Presented at the 2018 BAICE Conference. Title: The role of education in equality of opportunity and individual experience of social mobility in the Chinese context. Abstract.

  • Presented at the 2017 Society for Research into Higher Education Newer & Early Career Researchers Conference. Title: Higher education students’ self-regulated learning: the role of critical processing and epistemological beliefs. Abstract.

BA (Hons) and MA @ University of Cambridge

October 2014- July 2017

  • BA (Hons) in Education with Physics. Graduated with First Class. Awarded the Horobin Prize for the best result and best dissertation in Education Tripos. Top 7 dissertation among The School of the Humanities and Social Sciences 

  • First Class in Part II Research &Investigation Dissertation, supervised by Dr Sonia Ilie and titled "Self-regulation and Epistemological Beliefs in Higher Education: A Secondary Data Analysis Study of Students from Top British Universities"

  • First Class in Part II Psychology of Education

  • First Class in Part II Creativity and thinking

  • First Class in Part II Statistics in Social Science (Ranked 1st across Education and HSPS Tripos) 

  • First Class in Part II Education, Inclusion and Diversity

  • First Class in Physics IB research project on the dispersion effect of water waves

  • First Class in Physics IB paper on quantum mechanics 

The High School Affiliated to Renmin University, Beijing, China

September 2011- July 2014


My learning and teaching journey

I was born and brought up in Beijing, China. I graduated from the High School Affiliated to Renmin University (the most selective state school in China) in 2014 as a Mizuho Bank International Scholar. In the same year, I came to the University of Cambridge to pursue my undergraduate degree in Education with Physical Sciences. I graduated with First Class and was ranked 2nd in my cohort (Horobin Prize) in 2017. I continued my MPhil in Educational Research and graduated with Distinction (Best Dissertation Award) in 2018. I started my PhD project titled "play more and play better: how play can improve learning and mental health" at PEDAL research centre in 2018 and have been kindly supported by the LEGO Foundation Cambridge Trust scholarship.

I am a passionate lifelong learner. Owing to my interest in Economics, I completed Econometrics Methods and Applications led by Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2018. I started pursuing a part-time MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy taught by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2018. To date, I have completed three out of five courses. I am also very interested in neuroscience and linguistics, thus currently pursuing Neurolinguistics led by Saint Petersburg State University. Due to my background in Physics and my interest in Mathematics and Statistics, I have been continuously sharpening and upgrading my data analytical skills by learning and applying new softwares and advanced techniques. 

I am also very passionate about STEM teaching. Throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. I have been heavily involved in STIMULUS, a community service programme that connected students from Cambridge and local primary and secondary schools to facilitate STEM learning, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in statistics in social sciences. I also completed training at the Teach First Insight Programme, during which I interned as a secondary Physics teacher at an academy school in London. I hope to pursue a part-time PGCE in Secondary School Mathematics in the very near future alongside with doing my research work. 

My ultimate goal is to become an interdisciplinary researcher and teacher who can offer valuable and practical insights on child development and education by integrating evidence from education, psychology, economics, international development, sociology, linguistics, public health, neuroscience and data science. 

Overview of my research

Kids Playing with Lego

Play improves children's mathematical competence

Math Exercises

Learning algebra through guided play and story telling 


Play improves autistic children's language skills

Kids Playing Tug of War

Play improves children's mental health

Graduation Day

Learning gain in English universities varied across subjects

College Friends

Programme that improves university access in England

Group Bonding

Outreach activities that inspire students to apply for higher education

Car Factory

Equality within vocational education in England 

African Lions

Post-secondary education brings social benefits in Ethiopia

Image by Nam Anh

Early childhood education centres reduce gaps in learning in India


Social capitals improve social mobility in China

Research experience

The India Early Childhood Education Impact (IECEI) study

Research Assistant
January- March 2020

  • A longitudinal study carried out across three major Indian states (i.e. Rajasthan, Assam and Telangana) between 2011 and 2016 by the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development at Ambedkar University Delhi, ASER Centre and UNICEF India. It was listed as the top 10 finalists for Best of UNICEF Research 2019.

  • I assisted with analysing IECEI data to examine children’s learning trajectories and attainment gaps with respect to gender, socioeconomic status and government/private early childhood centre attended in India. This project was led by Dr Ben Alcott from University College London, Dr Suman Bhattacharjea and Ms Purnima Ramanujan from ASER centre. 

  • Manuscript under review 

The Scholar's Programme by the Brilliant Club

Research Assistant
October 2018- December 2019

  • The Scholar's Programme is a widening participation programme initiated by the Brilliant Club, a charity based in the UK that has successfully increased the number of under-represented students to progress into highly-selective universities.

  • I assisted the design and evaluation of a randomised control trial led by Dr Sonia Ilie and Dr Ashton Brown at University of Cambridge to evaluate the Scholars Programme Observed and evaluated the lessons and activities.

The Road Not Taken: the Drivers of Course Selection- Review of literature and survey evidence

Research Assistant
August-September 2019

  • This report led by Social Mobility Commission and Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge examined current socioeconomic inequalities in vocational education and training (VET).

  • I assisted the review of existing evidence in England on whether VET has boosted social mobility. We also examined factors that could affect the motivations behind choosing particular VET in England. This project was led by Dr Sonia Ilie and Prof Anna Vignoles from University of Cambridge.

  • The review has been published here

External social benefits of education in Ethiopia

Research Assistant
May- July 2019

  • This study was undertaken amid insufficient evidence of the non-monetary social returns to education, particularly in the context of developing countries.

  • I assisted the review of literatures  and data analysis of the Young Lives data. We examined the effects of education levels on external social benefits such as engaging with community actions and voluntary work in Ethiopia. Prof Ricardo Sabates Aysa and Dr Sonia Ilie from University of Cambridge, and Dr Rafael Mitchell from University of Bristol led this project.

  • This study has been accepted and is currently in press. A copy can be requested from Apollo here.

Take Your Place by Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach

Research Assistant
September- December 2018

  • Take Your Place is an outreach programme targeting students from under-represented backgrounds in East Anglia. It involves a series of activities and sessions to improve students' knowledge and aspirations to apply for higher education. The evaluation project was led by Dr Sonia Ilie and Dr Ashton Brown from University of Cambridge.

  • I assisted compile 87 school reports on evaluating students' experiences evaluating after participating in the Take Your Place programme.

The Learning and Employability Gain Assessment Community

Undergraduate dissertation
October 2016- March 2017

  • The Learning and Employability Gain Assessment Community (LEGACY) Project was a 3-year study led by University of Warwick. Within LEGACY, Prof Jan Vermunt (Eindhoven University of Technology), Prof Anna Vignoles and Dr Sonia Ilie (University of Cambridge) led a survey on student learning. This survey aimed to measure and evaluate learning gain in higher education in England.

  • I was very fortunate to be involved in the design, piloting and first round of data collection. I also wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the first round of data.

Grants and Awards

 LEGO Foundation Cambridge Trust Scholarship

October 2019- present 

Awarded by Universty of Cambridge

Best Dissertation Award for MPhil thesis

October 2018

Awarded by Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge University

Top 7 Undergraduate Part II Dissertation

July 2017

Awarded by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, including Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Education, Faculty of History, Faculty of Human, Social and Political Science, Faculty of Law, Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Department of Land Economy at University of Cambridge University

Horobin Prize

July 2017

Awarded for the Best First in Education Triposby Homerton College at University of Cambridge

Cambridge Undergraduate Quantitative Methods/Sage Prize

July 2017

Awarded for the Highest Score in Statistics in Social Science across Faculty of Human and Faculty of Social, and Political Science at University of Cambridge

Mizuho Bank International Scholarship

July 2013

Awarded for being well-rounded student in both academic achievement and leadership in the school year (class of 2014) at the High School Affiliated with Renmin University.

International Networks and invited talks


Lifelong Learning Lab at Tsinghua University, China

I interned at the Lifelong Learning Lab at Tsinghua University (TULLL), which has been funded by LEGO Foundation in between July and September 2017. I assisted the design of textbooks and teaching manuals for the newly renovated science curriculum in China. I also assisted the facilitation of the two-week project-based lessons by using Scratch Jr, LEGO WeDo 2.0 and EV3 robots. After my internship, I was invited back to TULLL multiple times to present my work on play and STEM education, as well as to support international conferences led by the lab, including the 2019 International Conference on Lifelong Learning and Future Talents. I also helped liaise TULLL's visit to PEDAL centre, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge in December 2018.


Institute of Education, Xiamen University, China

I was invited by Prof Qiuheng Shi as a visiting scholar at the Institute of Education, Xiamen University in September 2017. I presented my work in several national annd international conferences invited by Prof Qiuheng Shi, including the most recent one on "Education Evaluation Division, China Association of Higher Education" held between 9th and 12th of July 2021. I also participated in the design of National College Student Survey (NCSS) led by Prof Qiuheng Shi. I also helped liase Prof Qiuheng Shi's visit to the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge between January and February 2018.

11th Feburary, 2021

Centre for Research in Professional Learning, University of Exeter, UK

I was invited by Dr ZhiMin Xiao and presented on “peer play and children’s mental health”.

27th December, 2019

Graduate School of Education, Peking University, China

I was invited by Prof Congbin Guo and presented my undergraduate and MPhil research to postgraduate students at the Graduate School of Education, Peking University.

Teaching experience

2018- present

Demonstrator, Social Science Research Method Programme, University of Cambridge, UK

Assisted practical sessions on ANOVA, linear regression analyses, logistic regression analyses, regression discontinuity, propensity score matching, difference-in-difference, instrumental variable using Stata

May-June 2019

Undergraduate supervisor in Statistics in Social Science, Jesus College, University of Cambridge, UK

I offered revision supervisons for students doing Statistics in Social Science paper in Jesus College. My student received the highest score on this paper in 2019.

June 2016

Teach First, Insight Programme participant, UK

I received teacher's training and taught secondary Physics in Carshalton Boys Sports College, where I received positive feedback from teachers and students

October 2015- March 2016

STIMULUS Programme, University of Cambridge, UK

I was a teaching assistant volunteering at the Coleridge Community College. I facilitated the teaching of their after-school STEM club.


September 2021- present

Co-Chair of the Quantitative Research Group at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK

Quantitative research group is organised by postgraduate students at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. We aim to promote quantitative methods in educational research. We hold regular working group sessions where members and staffs in the faculty share insights on statistical analyses. We also invite researchers inside and outside Cambridge to offer expert sessions on teaching various analytical techniques.

October 2018- March 2019

Kaleidoscope Conference organising committee, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK

I assisted the organisation of the 2018/19 Kaleidoscope Conference, a student-led conference that invites postgraduate students both inside and outside the UK to present their research on education. I was also a panellist and a moderator for the event.

October 2015- June 2016

Food and Drink Officer, Homerton College Summer Ball

I was in charge of the planning and organisation of the food and drink stalls at the 2016 Homerton College Summer Ball.

October 2015- June 2016

Subject representative, Homerton College, University of Cambridge

I was the Education Tripos subject representative at Homerton College. I facilitated the communication between undergraduate students and the Faculty of Education to meet students’ needs for resources and research opportunities. I also recruited current education students to write reflections on each subject module to provide more information and suggestions for freshers and potential applicants.

April 2015-March 2016

iCUSU Access Officer, Cambridge University International Student Campaign

I participated in the campaign for free storage over vacation, financial transparency on college fee and general welfare in the interest of international students. I also helped organise the International Fresher’s Week, International Food Festival and iCUSU Talent Show.


Statistical softwares

Fluent in R, MATLAB, Mplus, Stata, SPSS and Excel

Interdisciplinary research methods

ANOVA, linear and logistic regression analyses, regression discontinuity, propensity score matching, difference-in-difference, instrumental variable, randomised controlled trials, structural equation models, latent growth curve models, meta-analysis etc.


  • Mandarin Chinese (Native)

  • English (Bilingual proficiency) 

  • French (Intermediate 1 CEFR B1)

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