Simon joined Durham University, where he is currently Professor of Victorian Literature, in 1999. His academic work to date has largely focussed on late Victorian fiction following the 1870 Education Act: He has published on George Gissing, Victorian bestsellers and on H. G. Wells as an educational prophet. Simon is currently writing a book on Charles Dickens and childhood memory. He was Head of the Department of English Studies from 2015 to 2017, and led on DU’s strategy for Wider Student Experience. From 2017-19 he was the Principal Investigator for the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education, in partnership with Arts Council England. In his  spare time, he likes to read, walk, and watch films (although he does stress, not at the same time).