• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I welcome PhD applications on topics related to my research, including healthcare governance, public and patient experience and perspectives on health systems, and health policy.

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am a social scientist working at the intersection of medical sociology, health policy and public administration. My research explores how health systems accommodate and negotiate different forms of ‘lay’ and ‘expert’ knowledge, including demands for public engagement and for evidence-based policy. In July 2023 my latest book How Britain Loves the NHS: practices of care and contestation will be published by Policy Press. 

I am one of four grantholders on a Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award exploring charity and voluntarism in the UK NHS. I lead a work package focusing on the contemporary role of NHS Charities in fundraising and supplementing statutory spend on healthcare. 

I am currently a co-Investigator on the UKPRP Consortium SIPHER, which aims to coproduce useful modelling tools with policymakers in Sheffield City Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and the Scottish Government. I lead public engagement for the consortium, working in partnership with local third sector organisations to deliver three Community Panels. 

In past projects I've explored everyday practices of public involvement in the local NHS, new governance arrangements for Scottish Health Boards, how health policymakers use research evidence, and hospital closures as an example of contentious healthcare transformation. My research has been funded by the ESRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, Chief Scientist Office Scotland and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. 

I am an elected member of the Social Policy Association's Executive Committee (2018-2024) and serve on the Wellcome Trust's Early Career Advisory Group for Medical Humanities (2021-2024).

Teaching Interests

I lead two modules: L5419 Health Policy in an International Context (4th year undegraduate) and L8924 Health Policy from an International Perspective (postgraduate).

Currently PhD supervision:

  • Lindsay Bradley (University of Strathclyde/NHS Western Isles): Patients’ use of health evidence for self-management in remote and rural Scotland.
  • Carol Porteous (University of Edinburgh): The impact of patient and public involvement in health research.

Completed PhD students:

  • Dr Katie Hirono (University of Edinburgh): Comparing community engagement in Health Impact Assessments and Citizens' Juries in the UK and Australia.
  • Dr Gabrielle King (University of Edinburgh): Exploring how people with Motor Neurone Disease engage with biomedical research. 
  • Dr Taina Meriluoto (University of Jyväskylä): Expertise-by-experience in the Finnish social welfare sector. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

External positions

Executive Committee , Social Policy Association (SPA)

9 Jul 20189 Jul 2024


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