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Professor Jennie Popay


Jennie Popay

Furness Building



Tel: +44 1524 592493

Research Interests

Jennie Popay has been Professor of Sociology and Public Health at the Institute for Health Research since January 2002. She was previously at the Nuffield Institute, University of Leeds, the University of Salford and the Institute of Education, London University.

Jennie is also the Director of Health R&D North West.

Jennie Popay was born in Salford in the North West of England. She spent 5 years teaching in East Africa and studied social sciences in New Zealand before returning to the UK in 1974 to undertake postgraduate work. She began her research career at the Unit for the Study of Health Policy at Guy's Hospital in London and has worked as a sociologist in the public health field ever since. Her research interests include social and gender inequalities in health, the sociology of knowledge, public/community engagement in health decision making and the evaluation of complex social interventions. She has used a range of methods in her work but has a particular interest in developing the role of qualitative research in public health including developing methods for the review and synthesis of qualitative research and mixed method studies. She was founding convenor of the Campbell Collaboration Process Implementation Methods Group and the Cochrane Collaboration Qualitative Methods Group. Her current research activities include:

1. Co-ordinator of the Global Social Exclusion Knowledge Network (SEKN) established by the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH). The SEKN has regional hubs in Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, and Colombia and is appriasing the impact on exclusionary processes of policies and actions by multi-national and donor agencies, national governments and civil society. The final report of the SEKN will be available from the website of the WHO CSDH and background papers will shortly be available for Lancaster University.The SEKN will continue to disseminate the work produced so far and plans to continue with its policy appraisals.

2. NICE NationalPublic Health Collaborating Centreon Community Engagement: this is a collaborative initaitive with the Department of Health at the University of Liverpool. The centre has undertaken an extensive review of the evidence on the impact of community engagement in initiatives aiming to address the social determinants of health to inform the work of the NICE community engagement programme group. This review is available from the NICE website and the NICE guidance will be published in spring 2008.

3. Methods for synthesising diverse evidence sources:She has undertaken a number of innovative systematic reviews of qualitative research evidence and of findings from studies involving a rnage of methods. Leading a group of senior academics fromCity University London and the Universities of York and Glasgow she has developed guidance on the conduct of Narrative Synthesis - a method used to review and synthesis findings from muliple mixed methods studies. This guidanace is available from l.osborn@lancaster.ac.uk and it is tested by reviewers working on systematic reviews in the UK, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.

Selected Honorary & Public Appointments and Related Activities

Current: Member, NW Commission on Mental Health Services 2007-08;Commissioner BUPA Foundation Medical Charity; Member, Medical Research Panel of Experts;

Past: Deputy Chair, Commission for Patient and Public Invovlement in Health, 2003-2006; Commission for Health Improvement. 2002 - 04;National Health Technology Assessment Commissioning Panels 2000 - 03;RAE Public Health Sub-Panel 2001; Non-executive,Mancunian NHS Trust 1997 - 2000.

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