Professor of Health and Anthropology
Rachael is Professor of Health and Anthropology in the Musculoskeletal Research Unit at the University of Bristol. She is a social anthropologist by background who applies techniques from anthropology and qualitative approaches in applied health research. Interests include long-term conditions, long-term post-surgical pain, osteoarthritis and joint pain, care and disability in later life, help-seeking, technology for health, clinical decision-making and public involvement in research.
Among the grants on which Rachael has been a principal or co-applicant include those from the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Arthritis Research UK, the MRC Health Services Research Collaboration (MRC HSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Rachael’s PhD (1999, Edinburgh) and MA (1991, St Andrews) were both in Social Anthropology. She was previously Networks Officer of the Association of the Social Anthropologists and a member of Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute. She is currently Treasurer and a Trustee of the European Association of Social Anthropologists. Rachael is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has recently completed her term of office as external examiner for Durham University's MSc in Medical Anthropology. She co-leads a Unit of the University's intercalated BSc in Health Sciences, provides supervision to research students and delivers training in research methods and writing.
In 2014 Rachael's group received a University Engagement Award for their work in patient involvement in research, in 2016 her team won a special prize for their animated film about patient engagement in the NIHR's New Media competition. Also in 2016 she led a team within the SPHERE Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration into a finalist position in Health and Wellbeing category of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Involvement's Engage Competition. In 2016 Rachael was honoured to be presented with the British Pain Society Medal.
Rachael leads the STAR Programme of Research to improve treatment for long-term pain after knee replacement as well as numerous other projects and streams of research. Within the University of Bristol she currently works on the Engaged University Steering Group, the Ethics of Research Committee, the Digital Health Steering Group, and the School of Clinical Sciences Equalities Committee.