Ilze Plavgo is Junior Professor of Sociology of the Welfare State at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim since August 2023. She was previously a Research Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, and a social and economic policy analyst at the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti. Her research interests centre on poverty and inequality in educational and employment opportunities, and on how educational systems and welfare state policies interact in shaping these, in Europe and Africa. In her work she combines approaches from sociology, economics and public policy and uses statistical methods such as multilevel modelling. She teaches in the module “European Societies” for the BA Sociology and seminars in the English taught MA studies of Sociology on topics concerning social and labour market inequalities, poverty, and welfare state change. She also contributes to an ongoing ERC-funded project “Wellbeing Returns to Social Investment Recalibration” at the European University Institute in which she studies the potential of social investment policies to smoothen life-course transitions and reduce poverty and social inequalities in Europe.