Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Aaron Koay

Academic position: PhD Student

Department: Institute for Global Health

Email: aaron.koay.22@ucl.ac.uk

Website: Aaron Koay


Initially trained as a pharmacist, Aaron Koay (he/him) is currently a PhD researcher at the UCL Institute for Global Health under the supervision of Prof Sarah Hawkes. Funded by the UCL-Birkbeck MRC DTP (Health of the Public) and UCL International Scholar Award for Doctoral Training, Aaron's interdisciplinary PhD research explores the operationalisation of intersectionality in global health governance to achieve health equity. A believer in research as critical social justice praxis, Aaron also holds the position of Research Officer at Global Health 50/50, an NGO driving action and accountability for gender equality in global health.

Before relocating to London, Aaron – who hails from Penang – spent eight fond years in Dublin and acquired a BSc in Pharmacy (TCD), MPharm (TCD) and MSc in Comparative Social Change (TCD and UCD).

Aaron has received numerous prestigious awards, including the UCD Patrick Clancy Award (2022), Trinity Gold Medal (2019), Alexion Senior Sophister Pharmacy Prize (2019), Laidlaw Scholarship (2018) and Trinity Foundation Scholarship (2017).

You can find Aaron doing a headstand on his yoga mat when he is not at work! Follow Aaron on Twitter @aaroncckoay.

Research Projects:

Koay, A., Olarewaju, V. (2023) Opinion: global health organizations must extend SRHR policies to staff, Devex. Available from https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-global-health-organizations-must-extend-srhr-policies-to-staff-105994

Ceatha, N., Koay, A., Kelly, A., Killeen, T., McCabe, K., Murray, J., Pope, J., Scully, N., Buggy, C. and Crowley, D. (2023) LGBT+ youth perspectives on sexual orientation and gender identity questions in the Growing Up in Ireland survey: a qualitative study. Youth, 3(1), pp. 261-284. https://doi.org/10.3390/youth3010018

Kelly, D., Koay, A., Mineva, G., Volz, M., McCool, A., McLoughlin, E., Ó Conluain, R., Sharma, M., Kerr, A., Franklin, B. D., Grimes, T. (2023) A scoping review of non-professional medication practices and medication safety outcomes during public health emergencies, Public Health, 214, pp. 50–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2022.10.026

Olarewaju, V., Gideon, J., Koay, A. (2023) Mandatory pay gap reporting is key to achieving workforce gender equality in the global health sector, BMJ, 383, p2753. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.p2753

Global Health 50/50 (2023) The Space Between: Analysis of Gender and

Ethnicity Pay Gaps in UK Organisations Active in Global Health. https://


Koay, A. (2022) "People would have died." How the involvement of community pharmacy in COVID-19 vaccination was delayed: A multi-method policy implementation case study of Ireland (Dec 2020 to June 2021). MSc Dissertation. Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. https://doi.org/10.25546/101563

Koay, A., Galvin, M., Murphy, C., Cunningham, C., Buczkowska, T., Aquino, V., Doherty, L., Aremu, O., Arya, V., Costa Sa, M.E. and Michael, L. (2022) Stand Up, Speak Out! Racial Justice in Healthcare Education: Experiences of Minoritised Ethnic Students. https://doi.org/10.25546/101508

Ceatha, N., Koay, A., Buggy, C., James, O., Tully, L., Bustillo, M., Crowley, D. (2021) Protective factors for LGBTI+ youth wellbeing: a scoping review underpinned by recognition theory, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(21), 11682. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111682

Koay, A., Shannon, F., Sasse, A., Heinrich, M., Sheridan, H. (2020) Exploring the Irish national folklore ethnography database (Dúchas) for open data research on traditional medicine use in post-famine Ireland: an early example of citizen science, Frontiers in Pharmacology, 11, 584595. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.584595


GLBH0020: Power and Politics in Global Health (currently being offered)