Nils Downes is a Volunteer at the Progress Educational Trust (PET). He was previously Director's Assistant at PET, employed through the charity's participation in a scheme run by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Santander. Previously, he studied Politics at QMUL, where he received the Professor Lord Smith Of Clifton Prize for best undergraduate dissertation in the field of Public Policy. His dissertation focused on contrasts between the experiences of Scandinavian citizens and citizens of other countries, due to differences in national policies relating to family, gender and childcare. He has interned at the Institute of Ideas and volunteered at the annual Battle of Ideas festival, and has been invited to judge debates at the Debating Matters international sixth-form debating competition. In the future, he hopes to pursue a postgraduate degree in the Netherlands in the field of Social Problems and Social Policy. His other interests include food and drink, Danish design, running and reading.