Global Challenges Academy

Staff Profile

Dr Heather Brown

Senior Lecturer



 My research interests are in applied econometrics with a focus on understanding the relationship between health behaviours,  outcomes, the family, work, and inequalities.  I am also interested in cross-disciplinary work across the social sciences. 

Roles and Responsibilities 

  • Lead for Fuse Health Inequalities Theme

Area of expertise

  •  Applied econometrics related to health behaviours, work, and health inequalities


  • 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 

Google scholar
: Click here.


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

-intergenerational persistence of health and or income inequalities

-the relationship between health outcomes and inequalities

-the role of health related behaviour on marriage stability and divorce

-cross country comparisons of health and income inequalities

Research Roles

 I am a co-investigator on several research projects.

Postgraduate Supervision

I would be interested in supervising any postgraduate student in a project related to applied microeconometrics in any of the topic areas above.

Current Students:

 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

Julija Stoinuite (2019-:) The impact of welfare reform on health

Eftychia Kotornia (2018- ) Determinants of poor oral health in older adults

Sarah Darbyshire-Evans (2019-:) Global health inequalities

Completed Students:

2017: Susanna Mills: A mixed method programme of study on the determinants and outcomes of home food preparation

2018: Tomos Robinson: Exploring Inequalities in Child Cognitive Ability, Well-being, and Risky Health Behaviour

2018: Matthew Little: Financial Expectations and Health

Esteem Indicators

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


Principal Investigator:

2019-2020: Improved use of routine data to assess and evaluate food environments. School of Public Health Research. £81,690.00.  

2018: The Intergenerational Persistence of Inequalities in Health and Income: Where can we target policy to best reduce inequalities?. Understanding Society Policy Fellowship. £57,202. REF split: 100%

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


2020-2022: McGovern R, Christie A, Arnott B, Brown H, Hardy C, Harrison H, Kaner E, Mawson C, McGovern W, Phillips P, Rankin J, Spencer L. (2020) Public Health Practice Evaluation: Best Start in Life Alliance. NIHR SPHR. £214,299.75 

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


  •  Dissertation Examiner
  • Undergraduate Dissertation Supervisor