Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Heather Brown

Lecturer (Health Economics)



I joined  IHS in July 2011 after completing a MRC early career fellowship in the economics of health at the University of Aberdeen.    My research interests are in applied econometrics with a focus on understanding the relationship between health behaviours and outcomes and inequalities.  I am also interested in cross-disciplinary work across the social sciences. 

Roles and Responsibilities 

  • IHS postgraduate deputy tutor
  • Deputy for Fuse Health Inequalities Theme
  • Scottish Economic Society Council


 BA Economics, Political Science, and International Development, 2003, McGill University, Canada

 MSc Economic and Development Economics, 2005, University of Nottingham

PhD Health Economics, 2009, University of Sheffield  

Previous Positions

Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen, 2009-2011 

Honours and Awards

 MRC early career fellowship in the economics of health 2009-2011

Cairncross Prize for best paper by a young member of the Scottish Economic Society, 2010 


Research Interests

My research interests lie within the field of applied econometrics related to health and inequalities including:

 -the relationship between health behaviour and social and health inequalities
-the relationship between health outcomes and inequalities
-the role of health related behaviour on marriage stability and divorce
-the economic determinants of health related behaviour

Research Roles

 I am a co-investigator on several research projects.

Postgraduate Supervision

Current Students:

 Matthew Little (2013-): Financial Expectations and Health

Tomos Robinson (2013-): Exploring Inequalities in Child Cognitive Ability, Well-being, and Risky Health Behaviour

Susanna Mills (2014-): Cooking Skills

Natassia Robinson (2015-): DNA methylation as a mediating mechanism linking early life events and subsequent obesity

Augustina Pemu (2016-): Demand and costs of birth outcomes for refugee and asylum seeker women in the UK

 I would be interested in supervising any postgraduate student in a project related to:

-applied microeconometrics in any of the areas listed above

Esteem Indicators

  • Awarded a MRC early career fellowship in the economics of health 


Principal Investigator:

2016: Evaluation of the Stockton on Tees-Eco Scheme. Stockton on Tees Borough Council. £40,915.16 REF split: 100%.


2015-2020. Alternatives To prophylactic Antibiotics for the treatment of Recurrent urinary tract infections in women (ALTAR study). National Institute of Health Research HTA Commissioned Call. £874,398.82. Co-applicant. RS Pickard (PI).  REF Split: 15%.


2015. NHS 111 Service Evaluation.  Co-applicant.  £289,434.43.  REF split: 55%. 


2014-2017. Social Science Perspective on the Working Lives of Those With Cancer: Psychosocial, Organisational and Economic Perspectives. ESRC Research Seminars. £5,637.90. Co-applicant with, S Maclennan, P Dewe, L Vale, S Heys, J N'Dow, J Hassard & T Cox (PI). REF Split: 100%.


2014-2016.  A feasibility study of using an immersive virtual reality environment to

reduce anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder. £191,581. Co-applicant, J Parr (PI).


2013-2017. Reducing Alcohol Related Harms in an English Context.  NIHR School of Public Health Research. £179,321.81. Co-applicant. REF Split: 25%. 


2013-15. Phase 2 research to support the evaluation and implementation of adult cooking skills interventions in the UK: pilot RCT with process and economic evaluation components. Department of Health, Public Health Research Consortium. £258,460.00. Co-applicant with, AJ Adamson, J Adams, J Halligan, N Hobbs, M Stead, D Stocken, L Vale & M White (PI). REF Split: 20%. 


2011-2015. Development and stage 2 RCT with internal pilot of a weight loss maintenance intervention for obese adults after clinically significant weight loss. Medical Research Council. £615,011.00. Co-applicant with, M White, AJ Adamson , V Araujo-Soares , E McColl, L Vale, P Olivier, P Wright, A Batterham & F Sniehotta (PI). REF Split: 9%. 




Postgraduate Teaching 

  • MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research
     -    Health Economics
  •       Health Policy
  • MSc in Oncology and Palliative Care

         -    Module leader- Health Economics (e-learning)


  •  Dissertation Examiner
  • MBBS Personal Tutor