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Research Team

The Unit has an interdisciplinary team consisting of senior academics with expertise in reproductive health, experts in evidence synthesis and co-production, and administrative staff.

Co-Directors

Jennifer Hall
Jennifer Hall, co-director and co-lead for reproductive health data theme

Jennifer Hall is a Clinical Associate Professor and NIHR Advanced Fellow at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health, and an Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine at UCLH and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. She is a mixed-methods researcher with skills and expertise in quantitative, qualitative and psychometric methodologies and holds a PhD in Maternal Health and Epidemiology.

She has national and international experience of working with clinical, public health and academic colleagues, particularly around the measurement of pregnancy intention, preconception care and the detection and management of unplanned pregnancies, bringing a lifecourse approach to reproductive health services and research. She is an Expert Advisor to the Maternity Transformation Programme on Public Health and Prevention.

Her work on the measurement of pregnancy intention is internationally renowned, and she currently works with collaborators on every continent. Her work aims to improve health and social outcomes for women of reproductive age around the world.   

jennifer.hall@ucl.ac.uk


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Judith Stephenson, co-director and co-lead for menstrual health and menopause theme 

Judith Stephenson is the Margaret Pyke Professor of Sexual & Reproductive Health at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health and Emeritus NIHR Senior Investigator in Public Health. Judith’s research in sexual and reproductive health has changed policy and practice nationally and internationally, particularly in relation to chlamydia screening and preconception health. Her current research focus is on improving use of contraception, how women plan and prepare for pregnancy and how early intervention can improve mother and child health across the life course.

She led an influential Lancet series on preconception health, followed by establishment of the UK Preconception Partnership which she co-chairs. She received the UCL prize for Leadership in Public Engagement, NIHR Senior Investigator Awards in 2014, and 2019, and Women of Achievement in Healthcare from Women in the City, 2015. 

judith.stephenson@ucl.ac.uk


Co-Leads

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Dr Helen Munro, co-lead for menstrual health and menopause theme 

Helen Munro is a Consultant in Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare in South West Wales, she is Honorary Professor at Aberystwyth University and Senior Lecturer in the Division of Population Medicine, Cardiff University. Helen is Vice President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), a multi-disciplinary professional membership organisation that champions safe and effective sexual and reproductive healthcare across the life course. As Vice President Helen oversees the Clinical Effectiveness Unit which produces clinical guidance and standards which are recognised and used nationally and internationally.

Helen specialises in post-reproductive healthcare and is a trainer for the advanced qualifications in Menopause Care with both the FSRH and BMS. She was awarded the prestigious Health and Care Research Wales, Research Time Award (2023-2026), which will provide financial support over the next three years to developing her research career. 


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Dr Rebecca French, co-lead for contraception, abortion and (in)fertility theme 

Dr Rebecca French, Associate Professor in Sexual & Reproductive Health Research (SRHR), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). A Public Health researcher with over 30 years of experience in policy-related research, mixed methods, survey design, intervention design and evaluation of complex interventions. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship with the Faculty of SRH in 2021 for her contribution to research. Interests include how preferences affect choice in healthcare, specifically around fertility-related decision-making, and how new technologies and models of care can be used to promote better SRH.

Recent work includes the NIHR-funded SACHA study to examine how health services be best configured in Britain in response to new directions in abortion care, and the OHID-funded Women’s Reproductive Health Survey designed to monitor trends across the reproductive life-course. She is a co-investigator for both the Policy Innovation Policy Research Unit (LSHTM) and the Reproductive Health Policy Research Unit (UCL). 

> Read more about SACHA


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Dr Julia Bailey, co-lead for contraception, abortion and (in)fertility theme; ways of working - equality, diversity and inclusion 

Julia Bailey is an Associate Professor in Primary Care at the University College London e-Health Unit and Specialty Doctor in Community Sexual Health in Southeast London. She also leads the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Healthcare Equality Action Group. Julia has expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies including epidemiology, online randomised controlled trials and qualitative methods including discourse analysis. Julia led the development of the Contraception Choices website which is an evidence-based, tailored website for contraception decision-making.  


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Dr Katy Vincent, co-lead for gynaecology and other pelvic problems 

Katy is an Associate Professor and the Senior Fellow in Pain in Women in the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford and a Consultant Gynaecologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. Her research group take a multimodal approach to exploring mechanisms generating and maintaining pain in women, with a particular focus on endometriosis-associated pain.

Katy has a strong interest in adolescent gynaecology and early intervention for common conditions such as dysmenorrhoea. She is the chair of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) SIG on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain and a member of the medical advisory panel for Endometriosis UK. 


Abi McNiven
Abi McNiven, co-lead for gynaecology and other pelvic problems

Text coming soon. 

 


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Niccola Hutchinson-Pascal, co-lead co-production theme 

Niccola is Head of Co-production & Engagement at UCL. She leads the work of Co-Production Collective, a co-produced community working to support the authentic co-production of research, service and policy development.  

Niccola has worked for a wide variety of organisations across health, well-being and physical activity, from charities, to government related bodies, to large agencies. All of these roles have had a focus on culture change and involved her working closely with the public, patients and local community members. 

She is passionate about co-production, about all parties communicating on a level playing field, sharing power and decision making and about ensuring organisations are aware of the value gained from this way of working. 


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Dr Abimbola Ayorinde, co-lead for PPIE/co-production theme and health inequalities theme 

Abimbola Ayorinde is an Assistant Professor (Research-Focused) in health services and public health research at Warwick Medical School. She has expertise in evidence synthesis, primary quantitative studies, and stakeholder engagement and holds a PhD in Epidemiology. She has led or co-led several research projects, including those commissioned by organizations such as the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, and the NHS Race and Health Observatory.

She is an active member of several other National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) infrastructure, including the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands, Warwick Evidence and the NIHR School for Public Health Research.

Abi is passionate about research focused on mitigating health inequalities, particularly in women's health, maternal and child health. 

> Read more about Dr Ayorinde


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Dr Jenny Shand, co-lead for health inequalities theme and co-lead for reproductive health data theme 

Jenny is an Associate Professor in Health Services and Population Research at UCL. She is a mixed-methods researcher and holds a PhD in Health Economics. Extensive health system experience and expertise in forging collaborations across patient and community organizations, health and council partners, and the research and innovation system to identify opportunities for collaboration and joint work to transform outcomes in priority areas, alongside reducing inequalities. Data work has included building linked datasets across health and councils for research and planning, most recently supporting the set-up of the pan-London Secure Data Environment for Research and Development.  

Jenny is Non-Executive Director at Care City, an innovation centre for healthy ageing and regeneration in East London; Director of the Care City Cohort, a unique ten-year individual-level linked dataset for residents of Barking and Dagenham in East London; and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 


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Dr Beck Taylor, models of care co-lead 

Beck Taylor is a Clinical Associate Professor in Public Health at Warwick Medical School and Honorary Consultant in Public Heatlh at NHS England. She leads and contributes to a wide portfolio of multidisciplinary, cross-institutional research, and is a mixed methods researcher with expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods. She brings a public health perspective to investigating complex clinical, service and policy questions, particularly in maternity and women's health.

She works across NIHR programmes including the Reproductive Health Policy Research Unit, West Midlands Applied Research Collaboration, Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Team and Health Determinants Research Collaboration. She led the NIHR BRACE rapid evaluation of Women’s Health Hubs undertaken to inform national scale up of these models announced in the Women’s Health Strategy. 


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Dr Louise Jackson, models of care co-lead 

Dr Louise Jackson is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham. She particularly specialises in the evaluation of new technologies to transform healthcare services and public health interventions. Louise’s research focuses on economic evaluations in relation to reproductive health, sexual health, and public health. Louise has broad range of methodological experience and expertise. She is currently co-leading a NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research programme to investigate the impact of remote consultations in sexual and reproductive health on health inequalities (The CONNECT study - University of Birmingham) and has also recently been awarded a NIHR Programme Development Grant to co-develop approaches for health outcome measurement for interventions tackling sexual violence. Louise also is a co-investigator on a number of active/recently completed funded projects (mainly funded by NIHR and MRC), across a range of health areas. 


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Dr Geraldine Barrett, methodological expert

Geraldine Barrett is a Principal Research Associate at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health. She is a social scientist (MSc in Medical Sociology, PhD in Public Health) who has worked in public health/health services research for over 30 years. She has long-standing research interests in women’s sexual and reproductive health (including unplanned pregnancy, contraception, abortion, and pre-pregnancy health and care) and research methodology (in particular, psychometric measure development and evaluation, and cognitive interviewing, survey research, and qualitative interviewing on sensitive topics).

She is an international leader in the measurement of pregnancy intention, having developed the London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancy (LMUP). The LMUP has now been validated in over 20 languages and used in every continent. She is responsible for the LMUP webpage and ongoing methodological research with the LMUP. She advises and collaborates on evaluations of the LMUP in new languages and populations around the world. 


Cross-cutting experts

Professor Fiona de Londras, human rights

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Fiona de Londras is the Barber Professor of Jurisprudence at Birmingham Law School and Director of Research of the College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham. She is an academic lawyer concentrating on human rights law. She has national and international experience of working on abortion law and policy, working with civil society and politicians, and supporting rights-based approaches to reproductive healthcare.

She is an experienced cross- and interdisciplinary researcher, bringing methods, questions, and insights from law to large-scale research projects and supporting work on how law and policy frameworks can be (re)designed to maximise health and non-health outcomes. 

> Read more about Professor Londras


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Dr Kelly Dickson, evidence synthesis 

Dr Kelly Dickson is an Associate Professor in Evidence-Based Mental Health and an Integrative Psychotherapist in clinical practice. She is based at the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordination Centre (EPPI-Centre), Social Research Institute, UCL. She has been leading systematic reviews, using qualitative, quantitative and participatory research methods since 2004.

She continues to work closely with stakeholders to support evidence-informed policy and practice decision making in local and global settings. Her methodological research also focuses on the institutional mechanisms and social processes entailed in working at the research-policy interface. 

 


Additional co-production expertise

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George Halfin, supporting on co-production theme 

George Halfin is Communications and Co-Production Manager at Co-Production Collective where as well as being the Collective’s Marketing Lead, she manages projects that aims to help embed co-production in research and organisations. Prior to working at the Collective she was Innovations Project Manager at Terrence Higgins Trust. Reporting to Directors she convened multidisciplinary teams to manage and deliver campaigns and services that met the charity’s strategic aims to end HIV transmission, challenge stigma, support people living with HIV and provide sexual health services.

Outside of work she is a wellbeing coach and author of the book ‘A Life Less Serious’ who loves to create spaces for women to take time out of their busy lives to reconnect with who they are so that their light shines brighter in the world. 

g.halfin@ucl.ac.uk


Management Team

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Lois Harvey-Pescott, unit administrator

Lois has a keen interest in women’s health, having recently completed the Women’s Health MSc at UCL. She is particularly interested in sexual and reproductive health; her master’s dissertation was a secondary data analysis that investigated the association between women’s reproductive autonomy and their choice and use of contraception. In addition to her academic work, Lois brings several years of administrative experience in the health sector to the role.  


Get Involved


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Find out more

The NIHR Policy Research Unit in Reproductive Health is part of the NIHR and hosted by UCL.