UCL Institute of Health Informatics

Ms Rachel Burns

Ms Rachel Burns

Research Fellow

Institute of Health Informatics

Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Joined UCL
30th Apr 2018

Research summary

Rachel's current research focuses understanding healthcare barriers for excluded populations such as migrants and refugees and has experience in migration health programme evaluation for International Organisations and NGOs. She is currently the lead of the Million Migrant study and Right to Care programme evaluation of the NGO Doctors of the World (DOTW) UK. 


The Million Migrants study aims to link seven administrative datasets to investigate the healthcare, hospital admissions, mortality and COVID-19 specific outcomes (vaccination and testing) in 1.5 million migrants and refugees in England. For more details on this study, read our study protocol here.


The Right to Care project aims to improve national access to primary care through GP registration for inclusion health groups. In partnership with DOTW UK, the programme will co-produce, develop and test two new DOTW interventions: first, to develop a tool to help inform service users on their rights to primary care and empower them with knowledge to help them register with a GP practice; second, to develop a training programme to train GP practice staff on the entitlements, specific health needs and how to register inclusion health patients for GP practices around the UK.

Teaching summary

Rachel is the co-lead of the Ethnicity, Migration and Health module and a tutor on Homeless and Inclusion Health module. She teaches epidemiology, qualitative methods and migration health on a number of post-graduate modules at the Institute of Health Informatics (Public Health Data Science, Research Methods in Healthcare, and Principles of Health Data Science) and the Institute for Global Health. 


Rachel Burns (she/her) is a Research Associate in the Centre of Public Health Data Science at the UCL Institute of Health Informatics. She is the chair of the DOTW UK Expert Consortium of Refugee and Migrant Health, advocacy officer for Lancet Migration and a Commissioner and part of the steering committee of the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health. She gained a BA in Anthropology in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases in 2017. With a mixed background in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, Rachel is especially interested in integrating storytelling and narrative with public health data science and arts-based methodologies of knowledge production and dissemination.