Helen Roberts is a medical sociologist and Professor of Child Health Research at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She was educated/trained in the universities of Reading, Aix-Marseille and Sussex and in the Social Statistics Research Unit. She spent a decade in the third sector heading up R&D with the children's charity Barnardo's and a similar period on the board of NICE. Her research interests include the translation of research evidence into policy and practice across health, education and social care; inequalities in health (and what can be done about them) and the voice and legitimacy of the patient, service user and citizen. Her current work includes what we can learn from the COVID-19 lockdown and its consequences in terms of air quality and other sustainability issues, membership of the REF2021 panel for sociology and working alongside colleagues developing a longitudial qualitative component for the Born in Bradford study. Much of her work in recent years has been with young people leaving the care system, in particular those who arrived as unaccompanied children and those who have a learning disability. Internationally she has served on the Health Advisory Council and the Science Advisory Council with the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research in Canada and has reviewed research units in the UK, Canada and Australia. Despite modest research funding in the social sciences, her career to date has brought in over £1m as PI and around £15m as CI.
The majority of her teaching and learning activities involve working with doctoral students and postdocs. As someone who benefitted from state education and a grant to go to university at a time when a couple of university teachers could buy a house within walking distance of UCL, she has a particular interest in strengthening the career opportunities and the need for work/life balance of early and mid-career colleagues.
She is on the Families Equalities and Diversity Committee at GOSH and as a long term feminist, keeps a close eye on equalities issues in UCL.