Zarek is a part-time DPhil candidate at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford. He is conducting an English longitudinal study exploring how the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme prepares prisoners in preparation for life beyond prison and desistance. This project is supervised by Professor Mary Bosworth.
He currently works full-time as a Social Researcher at the Office for National Statistics and was highly commended for the 2017 John Sunley Prize. In 2015, he was one of few selected to participate in the Cambridge 'Learning Together' educational initiative at HMP Grendon - an environment bringing people in criminal justice and higher education to study together in transformative learning communities.
Prior to doctoral study, Zarek completed the MPhil Criminological Research programme at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, and read BSc Criminology and Sociology at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he graduated with a first class degree. His research interests include penal policy, sociology of punishment, and social theory.