School of Sociology and Social Policy

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Ian Shaw

Professor of Health Policy, Faculty of Social Sciences



Ian has been a member of the University of Nottingham since 1992 and is Professor of Health Policy. He was Head of School from 2017 until 2021 - a period which saw the growth of the School by 33% (in terms of student numbers, staffing and research income).

Ian passionately believes that research and teaching `should make a difference' and have social impact. Ian's research and consultancy interests lie in health, health policy and services (particularly primary care), medical sociology, mental health, inter-agency collaboration and evaluation. He has recently undertaken research exploring diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa funded by UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund. He is involved in developing new work on the interaction between different knowledge systems in health and in collaborative work with colleagues in Public Health evaluating governmental responses to Influenza Pandemics for The World Health Organization and the European Scientists Working with Influenza (ESWI).

He has published, and is publishing, widely in academic journals as well as through a number of books. He is on the editorial board (and is a past editor) of The Mental Health Review and also the Medical Bulletin. Ian is also a founding and past Executive member of the European Evaluation Society ( ) and he was also the founder and three times elected chair of the European Sociological Association's Medical Sociology of Health and Illness Research Network (2000-2006) ( He has also twice served on the executive of the Social Policy Association ( and is a member of the International Sociological Association and its medical sociology and mental health research networks ( ).

Ian has also served continuously on NHS Trusts for 20 years (2002-2022) in the role of Non-Executive Director. This includes service on the Boards of NHS Nottingham Primary Care Trust (PCT), NHS Nottinghamshire PCT, Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Erewash CCG, and currently with Derby and Derbyshire CCG and the Derbyshire ICS. In these roles he has brought Rawlsian concepts of social justice to bear in health service allocation and wider NHS decision-making. Ian has also served for several years as a Lay Governor to Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust; Lay Quality Assurance Assessor for NHS Education England East Midlands (The Deanery) and as a GP patient representative in a number of settings.

Ian has presented workshops and seminars on health research and on evaluation to The World Health Organization, to branches of the European Union, and various departments of the Norwegian and Her Majesty's government in the UK. He has a developing interest in Africa - especially Ghana and Uganda, where he has ongoing research and publications on the interface between traditional and Western health systems.

Ian is also a very experienced PhD supervisor with an excellent success rate, having successfully supervised 31 PhD students to completion and award of their PhDs. Ian currently supervises 6 Ph.D students including 2 students from overseas. Ian would be particularly interested in supervising research students with a focus in any aspect of health, mental health and in evaluation.

Ian's ORCID ID is

Teaching Summary

Interested in different forms of assessment and their contribution to pedagogical development

Research Summary

Area's of Interest:

Medical Sociology, Health Policy, Primary Care, Mental Health, Evaluation Research.

Recent Grants received :

Co- Investigator on GCRF project to investigate the benefits of pre-screening in Gestational Diabetes on maternal and child health in Ghana (together with Gary Adams P.I) 2018-19

Exploring the role of Traditional Healers in Burkina Faso, Africa - £28,000 from Wellcome Trust January 2012-Sept 2012

PhD funding secured from Glaxo Smith Kline Pharmaceuticals together with Jonathan Van-Tam (February 2012) `An international study of the interface between public health policy responses to the 2009-10 influenza A/H1N1 pandemic and epidemiological disease pattern' £60,000 plus student travel expenses

South Asian Food choice and lifestyle £45,000 Awarded from NIHR Flexibility and Sustainability funding April 2012 until Oct 2012

Exploring variations in Statin prescribing £30,000 awarded from Nottingham City PCT April 2012-December 2012

Selected Publications

Past Research

Collaboration between organisations and between professionals

Evaluations of health systems and services

Lay understandings and lay beliefs

Mental health and Learning Disability services

Future Research

Communication between different bodies of expert knowledge in health and the public;

Collaborative work on public mental health care with colleagues in East Africa

Diabetes management and Care.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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