Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Professor Ama de-Graft Aikins

Former British Academy Global Professor (2019-23)

Ama de-Graft Aikins joined the IAS in May 2019 as British Academy Global Professor. She received her PhD in social psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), completed postdoctoral training at the University of Cambridge and has held teaching and research positions at the LSE, University of Cambridge and University of Ghana.

Ama’s research focuses on chronic illness representations, experiences and care, and on the social, cultural and health systems aspects of Africa's chronic non-communicable disease (NCD) burden. She also has a strong interest in the history of psychology in Africa and its intersections with critical theory and African Studies.

Ama has developed a strong track record of interdisciplinary collaboration on NCD research, practice and policy. She has led, and participated on, NCD projects based in Africa and Europe, and contributed to global debates on the burden of NCDs in low and middle income countries. She has engaged practically with NCD policy development in Ghana, West Africa and globally. She has supervised and mentored graduate students based in Ghanaian, European, American and Australian universities on health and social science aspects of Africa’s NCD burden.

Ama’s British Academy Global Professorship award project was entitled Chronicity and Care in African Contexts. Two core activities included a longitudinal social psychological study of chronic illness experiences and care among London’s West African communities and the development of public engagement models for NCDs in African contexts. The project aimed to contribute a 'whole-of-society' approach to current initiatives addressing the disproportionate burden of chronic diseases in Global Africa.