Emmilie Aveling

Research Fellow

Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research (SAPPHIRE) Group

Department of Health Sciences
University of Leicester
22-28 Princess Road West
Leicester LE1 6TP

Tel: 00 44 116 252 3287

Email: eea5@le.ac.uk


Emmilie (Emma-Louise) Aveling is a Research Fellow in the Social Science Applied to Healthcare Research group (University of Leicester), and is currently based at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she is a Visiting Scientist (2015-2017). Emmilie also has an appointment as Visiting Foreign Researcher at Fiocruz, Brazil (2015-2016) and was a visiting fellow at the Australian National University until January 2015.

Emmilie has trained in social and cultural psychology earning a BSc in Psychology (University of Nottingham), an MPhil in Social & Developmental Psychology (University of Cambridge) and a PhD in Social Psychology (University of Cambridge). After working in a number of non-governmental and social welfare organisations in the UK, Africa, Cambodia and Australia, Emmilie decided to enter academia. This move was prompted by her fascination and concern about why health and development interventions to improve people’s well-being often fail, despite best efforts and intentions. Her work is now largely concerned with understanding what makes interventions ‘work’ – and why they don’t.

Emmilie has specialised in applied qualitative research in the fields of global health and healthcare quality and safety. Her research focuses on the processes shaping the implementation and outcomes of health interventions in low- and high-income countries, including the UK, USA, Australia, Cambodia, Rwanda and Ethiopia. She is particularly interested in community-based and partnership approaches to delivering interventions, and understanding the role of context in influencing intervention practices and impacts.

She currently leads on the Wellcome Trust funded study ‘Improving patient safety through international partnerships: An ethnographic study’, with co-investigators from the University of Leicester (Prof Mary Dixon-Woods, Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator), the University of Oxford (Prof Michael Parker and Dr Peter McCulloch), Ansha Nega at Gondar University (Ethiopia) and Yvette Kayonga at the Catholic University of Rwanda. This study examines how cultural and organisational contexts shape professionals’ behaviours and responses to quality and safety interventions in UK and African hospitals, and also looks at the nature of international partnerships and their role in healthcare improvement.

Emmilie is also a co-investigator in the International study ‘Speaking Out and Speaking Up’. This study aims to help hospital personnel understand what problems they and their staff might encounter when they raise concerns about patient safety and so help them to devise safe and effective ways of giving voice to those concerns.


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