Dr Penelope Woolf is Director of Impact and Learning Design at Oxford University Press (OUP).

I lead a team supporting staff across the world to undertake impact research and build learning design into our products and services. I am interested in research and, in particular, finding out about how OUP can make a difference in the classroom. I was a SEND (Special educational needs and disabilities) governor and Chair of Impact Committee at a local Primary school in Oxfordshire, UK.

With over 30 years’ experience in academic, educational and professional publishing, most of my career has been spent in editorial roles from commissioning to Editorial Director. I have worked for Pearson Education and Discovery Education (Espresso) as well as OUP and have also carried out consultancy for universities, EdTech start-ups and publishers.

I taught publishing and library students at University College London on the MA in Publishing and MA in Library and Information Studies for a number of years and supervised Masters dissertations. I write and referee journal articles and write book reviews specialising in digital content and impact.

I enjoy working across the publishing industry and was a member of and then Chair of the Academic and Professional Board and a member of the Educational Publishers Council at the Publishers Association. I have delivered presentations on publishing skills and academic publishing to publishers, MA publishing course leaders, PhD students, researchers and academics.

I was based at Oxford University Department of Education a day a week over four months in 2017 collaborating with Professor Alis Oancea. I advised on the Departmental Review, Communications Strategy and presented to staff and graduate students on how to think strategically about academic publishing. As a Norham Fellow, I have continued to share expertise with staff on the evaluation of interventions and the impact of educational products and services. I was a member of the advisory board, chaired by Professor Judy Sebba, for the International Database of Education Systematic Reviews (IDESR).


Research interests:

Evaluating the impact of educational products and services.

Learning design and product development.



Woolf, P., Lindorff, A. and Digby, J. (2023), ‘Student wellbeing: Research shows that the benefits of wellbeing curriculum interventions are far-reaching, but implementation is key to success’, Impact, 18, pp.54-56. Available at: https://my.chartered.college/impact_article/student-wellbeing-research-shows-that-the-benefits-are-far-reaching-but-implementation-is-key-to-success/