Professor Jennie Popay

Distinguished Professor

Research Interests

Jennie Popay has been Professor of Sociology and Public Health in the Division of Health Research since January 2002. She is currently director of the Centre for Health Inequalities and co-director of the Liverpool and Lancaster Universities Collaboration for Public Health Research (LiLaC - http://www.lilac-healthequity.org.uk) one of eight academic members of the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR). She is also Director of Engagement and Public Health Lead for the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for the NW Coast – a collaboration between 36 partners including universities, local authorities and NHS organisations.

Jennie 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 the social determinants of health and health equity; the evaluation of complex public health policies/interventions; community empowerment; and the sociology of knowledge. She has a particular interest in qualitative evidence review and synthesis and established the Qualitative Research Methods Group within the Cochrane Collaboration. With funding from the ESRC she worked with colleagues on the production of guidance on the conduct of Narrative Synthesis - a method used to review and synthesise findings from multiple mixed methods studies. The Narrative Synthesis Guidance is available to download and has been tested by reviewers working on systematic reviews in the UK, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.

Her current research includes the Communities in Control Study – an evaluation of a Lottery funded community empowerment initiative (on which she is PI) and leadership of a programme of work developing and evaluating local authority place based community approaches to addressing health inequalities. The latter work has involved the production of an online resource to help researchers to design studies that are more equity sensitive (http://www.hiat.org.uk). She has completed studies of the health equity and social impact of the New Deal for Communities regeneration initiative and an MRC study focusing on methods to assess the impact of public involvement in research, which resulted in an online resource for researchers (http://piiaf.org.uk). She has undertaken a number of innovative systematic reviews of qualitative research evidence and of findings from studies involving a range of methods. Leading a group of senior academics from City 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 synthesise findings from multiple mixed methods studies. This guidance is available to download and it is tested by reviewers working on systematic reviews in the UK, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.

Previously she was co-ordinator of the Global Social Exclusion Knowledge Network supporting the WHO Sponsored Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (the Marmot Commission) which had hubs in Brazil, Colombia, Mozambique, South Africa, Bangladesh and Australia and Chair of the Disadvantage, Social Exclusion and Vulnerability Task Group, supporting the work of the WHO EURO review of social determinants of health (2010-12). She has held a number of public appointments including Vice Chair of the Commission on Patient and Public Involvement in Health, member, the Bevan Commission in Wales and Commissioner with the Commission on Health Improvement. She was the inaugural chair of the national charity The People’s health Trust (https://www.peopleshealthtrust.org.uk).

Show Me How And Where You Belong: People With Learning Disabilities, Belonging And Difference
01/09/2024 → 28/02/2026
Research

SPHR: Levelling Up health: investigating the effect of national area-based growth schemes on health and health inequalities NU-018207
01/06/2024 → 31/03/2027
Research

An analysis of how local public health systems interact with complex policy initiatives addressing social and health inequalities
01/01/2024 → 31/03/2027
Research

NIHR SPHR Children, young people & families programme - 'Poverty-Proofing' maternity care; a qualitative and survey study to improve access to care and pregnancy outcomes (SPHR CYP WP2.1 PVP)
01/09/2023 → 28/02/2025
Research

NIHR SPHR Children, young people & families programme - Exploring food insecurity in pregnancy in the UK to inform future Public Health intervention needs (SPHR CYP WP2.2 FIP)
01/09/2023 → 30/04/2025
Research

NIHR SPHR Heathy places planet programme - Evaluating community-led interventions to maximise the health and well-being of climate change adaptations for extreme events (SPHR HPHP WP2.1 CLI)
01/09/2023 → 31/08/2025
Research

NIHR SPHR Health inequalities programme - Co-creating knowledge partnerships with minoritized & marginalised communities/groups (SPHR HIP WS2 CKP)
01/01/2023 → 31/03/2024
Research

NIHR SPHR Health inequalities programme - Evaluating the impact of national and local action aimed at levelling up and pandemic recovery - Phase 1 (SPHR HIP WS1 LUP)
01/01/2023 → 31/12/2023
Research

NIHR School for Public Health Research - The Liverpool and Lancaster Universities Collaboration for Public Health Research (LiLaC) (SPHR3)
01/04/2022 → 31/03/2027
Research

PHIRST @ LiLaC (Liverpool & Lancaster Universities Collaboration for Public Health Research)
01/03/2022 → 28/02/2027
Research

CLAHRC Legacy Budget
01/10/2019 → 30/06/2021
Research

School for Public Health Research 2
01/04/2017 → 30/09/2022
Research

The NIHR CLAHRC NWC Health Inequalities Assessment Toolkit
01/10/2014 → …
Other

RCUK-SUP: Inspiring the Next Generation of Researchers
01/01/2013 → 31/12/2016
Research

Co-creating safe spaces and belonging with marginalised communities in contact with support services using an intersectional lens
01/01/1900 → …
Research

Diary study no loger going ahead - budgets removed 10/7/24 and closed
01/01/1900 → …
Research

FOR Equity Workshop for PHIRST team
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

An introduction to FOR Equity tools and resources
Public Lecture/ Debate/Seminar

FOR Equity Launch Webinar
Public Lecture/ Debate/Seminar

  • Centre for Health Inequalities Research
  • Health Equity Network