UCL Health of the Public


Spotlight on Dr Jessica Sheringham

Dr Jessica Sheringham

Senior Research Fellow (UCL Department of Applied Health Research)
and Honorary Consultant in Public Health (Office for Health Information and Disparities)

Jess Sheringham
What is your role and what does it involve?

I am a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Applied Health Research at UCL, working as part of the Research Partnership Team in NIHR ARC North Thames, and an honorary consultant in public health with the Office for Health Information and Disparities (OHID). This means I work closely with local authority and NHS partners to identify research priorities and carry out research and I also work with local authorities to help build public health research capacity. 

How are you improving the health of the public?

Since 2022, more of my research has been devoted to understanding the links between housing and health and how local policies can improve wellbeing for residents. Allied to this, I’ve been working closely with councils to develop collaborative research relationships, and mentor staff to undertake their own research. To support this capacity building, we have set up the Local Authority Public Health Research Network (London and North Thames) to connect researchers seeking to collaborate with local authorities interested in doing public health research.

How have cross-disciplinary collaborations shaped your work?

I find it very inspiring to work across boundaries, both academic/disciplinary and organisational. For example, in our housing and health work, I’ve been working with experts in the built environment and outside of UCL, I’ve been working with voluntary and community sector partners. It’s always exciting to learn about other viewpoints and often stimulates us to ask different questions that we wouldn’t think to do in our own field. The community partners have pushed us to think harder about how our research can be of tangible benefit to the residents taking part. As a result, we’ve started to identify individuals in decision making positions in councils who can “hear” our research findings, so consider how they can influence policy.

What advice would you offer to others interested in developing cross-disciplinary work?

Reach out to people in other disciplines. Look at research beyond your field, and ask questions. Be open to doing things differently! Attend events, like Health of the Public conferences and meetings – they are great opportunities to meet others open to working in a cross-disciplinary way.

What's next on the research horizon for you?

I’m really excited to be starting a new programme of work in 2024 called DASHH (DAta Sharing for Housing and Health) which will explore how sharing information between housing and health services can improve wellbeing for residents.

If you could make one change in the world today, what would it be?

Give everyone access to a safe and decent quality home.