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Photo of Dr Dana Wilson-Kovacs

Dr Dana Wilson-Kovacs

BA (Bucharest) MPhil (Exeter) PhD (Exeter)

Senior Lecturer


01392 722683

Amory 318B

I am a qualitative sociologist whose current work examines the development and application of digital forensics in crime investigation in England and Wales. In recent years I have been interested in discourses and practices of professionalisation in relation to scientific and technical innovation and organisational change. Previous projects analysed (1) how crime scene investigators reflect on the use of Rapid DNA technologies in volume crime, and (2) the ways in which clinician-scientists working in stem cell research for heart repair make sense of regulation. This focus on careers, trajectories and shifts (broadly defined), stems from my PhD thesis, which explored the material and symbolic resources mobilised by women in the staging of intimate encounters and became crystallised through early post-doctoral projects on gender, class and ethical consumption, and marginalised professional identities.



September 2018 - August 2021 ESRC Open Call Award. Principal Investigator (Co-Investigators Brian Rappert and Sabina Leonelli)

Title: Understanding the Use of Digital Forensics in Policing in England and Wales: An Ethnographic Analysis of Current Practices and Professional Dynamics 

Total value of award: £445,045

September 2017- August 2019 British Academy Small Grant Award

Title: Digital Forensics in UK Policing: An Ethnographic Investigation of a Rapidly-Developing Forensic Domain 

Total value of award: £9999

January 2017-July 2017 Innovation, Impact and Business Link Award, University of Exeter

Title: Triage in Digital Forensics

Total value of award: £1448


Project Website


Research group links

Research interests

  • Digital Forensics
  • Crime Investigation
  • Professions and work
  • Occupational cultures
  • Organisational change in policing
  • Standards and accreditation
  • Gender and sexuality

Research supervision

  • The governance and application of forensics
  • Digital forensics in policing
  • Professional groups and occupational cultures
  • Cyber-crime
  • Crime investigation
  • Forensics and the criminal justice system
  • Class, gender and sexuality
  • Work and employment
  • Professionalisation

Research students


Elena Teodora Manea. Title: The Other Voice of Medical Consultation. Analysis of Medical Interpreting in the NHS.


Elena Sharratt. ESRC-funded. Title: Exploring the emergence and disappearance of transableism on Digital ethnography of a transient mental illness. PhD awarded May 2021.

Rita Alberto. Topic: Portuguese Women Rockers - identity, networks and the care of self. PhD awarded April 2018.

David Wyatt. ESRC-funded. Topic: How DNA matters: An ethnographic investigation of police practices. PhD awarded July 2015.

Victoria Coven. Topic: In vitro fertilisation and multiple births: international context and policy consideration. MPhil awarded January 2015.

Louise Bezuidenhout. Wellcome Trust-funded. Topic: Dual-use issues in life sciences. PhD awarded July 2013.

Sigrun Einarsdottir. Title: Bach in Everyday Life and the Performance of ‘Art Music’- The case of the Croydon Bach choir in London performing Bach’s Mass in B Minor. PhD awarded October 2012.

Other information

Member of Editorial Boards:

Sociological Research Online (2011-2015)

Work, Employment and Society (2016-2018)

MAiA (Music and Arts in Action) (2012-present) 

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