Martin has held a number of roles throughout his career. He was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, Visiting Professor in CELE, University of Turku (Finland) and, Professor of Education at the University of Birmingham. He was the Founding Editor of the European Educational Research Journal and the first Secretary General of the European Educational Research Association. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science (UK). From 2002 to 2014, Martin was a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Educational Sociology at the University of Edinburgh.
For many years, Martin has researched and published on teacher professionalism and the labour process of teaching. Currently, he researches European education policy and the 20th Century history of the educational sciences and comparative education.
Recent books include Assessment Cultures – historical perspectives [Peter Lang 2018], The Rise of Data in Education Systems – collection, visualisation and use [Symposium Books. Comparative Histories of Education Series 2014]; and Europeanizing Education – Governing a new Policy Space (with Sotiria Grek) [Symposium Books, Oxford 2012].