Professor Katherine Smith

Social Work and Social Policy

Personal statement

I am a Professor of Public Health Policy at the Strathclyde School of Social Work and Social Policy (having recently moved, via Strathclyde's Global Talent scheme, from the University of Edinburgh's School of Social & Political Science, where I was Director of Research and Co-Director of SKAPE - the Centre for Science, Knowledge & Policy at Edinburgh). 

My principle research interests are the dynamics of policy change and the relationships between evidence, expertise, policy and practice, particularly for issues relating to public health and inequalities. I am currently involved in the following five areas of research: (i) research exploring public, policy and academic understandings of health inequalities in the UK (supported by grants from the ESRC and by my 2014 Philip Leverhulme Prize award), which uses a combination of surveys, deliberative mini-publics, interviews and documentary analysis; (ii) research examining innovative health taxes, which is exploring the potential for different types of taxes in a range of different income settings (this includes work focusing on Scotland, which is funded by an ESRC impact accelerator award); (iii) research exploring the impacts of the UK's research impact agenda; (iv) I am leading a policy-focused workstream of SIPHER, a UKPRP funded consortium that is working to support policymakers to achieve an upstream shift in policy responses to public health and health inequalities via a complex systems modelling support tool; and (v) I am also involved in a separate UKPRP funded consortium called SPECTRUM, for which I will be helping to develop deliberative approaches to examining public preferences for tackling the costs of unhealthy commodity products (alcohol, cigarettes, ultra-processed food, etc). My earlier research (undertaken at the universities of Edinburgh, Bath and Durham) involved analysing corporate (particularly tobacco industry) efforts to influence EU and European Member State policies, comparatively assessing UK policies to tackle health inequalities, and evaluating national and local strategies to improve public health in the devolved UK. These various projects have been written up in various journal articles, a monograph entitled ‘Beyond Evidence-Based Public Health Policy: The Interplay of Ideas (Palgrave Macmillan, October 2013), a co-authored book on The Impact Agenda (forthcoming in Spring 2020 with Policy Press) and a British Medical Association award-winning edited collection, ‘Health Inequalities: Critical Perspectives’ (Oxford University Press 2016). I am currently Co-Editor-in-Chief of Evidence & Policy and Co-Editor of the book series Palgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge & Policy.

I welcome PhD applications concerned with public policy analysis, public health or inequalities and have a strong track record of supporting graduate students in their research and policy careers.

Publications

Public understandings of potential policy responses to health inequalities : evidence from a UK national survey and citizens' juries in three UK cities
Smith KE, Macintyre AK, Weakley S, Hill SE, Escobar O, Fergie G
Social Science and Medicine Vol 291 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114458
Governing by narratives : REF impact case studies and restrictive storytelling in performance measurement
Bandola-Gill Justyna, Smith Katherine E
Studies in Higher Education (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2021.1978965
Under the spotlight : understanding the role of the Chief Medical Officer in a pandemic
MacAulay Margaret, Macintyre Anna K, Yashadhana Aryati, Cassola Adèle, Harris Patrick, Woodward Caroline, Smith Katherine, de Leeuw Evelyne, Palkovits Michèle, Hoffman Steven J, Fafard Patrick
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2021-216850
Conflicted and confused? Health harming industries and research funding in leading UK universities
Collin Jeffrey, Wright Alex, Hill Sarah, Smith Kat
BMJ Vol 374 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1657
The Unequal Pandemic : COVID-19 and Health Inequalities
Bambra Clare, Lynch Julia, Smith Katherine E
(2021)
Understanding commercial actors' engagement in policy debates on proposed e-cigarette regulation in Scotland
Ikegwuonu Theresa, Hilton Shona, Smith Katherine E, Buckton Christina H, Wong Mark, Weishaar Heide B
Tobacco Control (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2020-056084

More publications

Research interests

My principle research interests are the dynamics of policy change and the relationships between evidence, expertise, policy and practice, particularly for issues relating to public health and inequalities. I am currently involved in the following five areas of research: (i) research exploring public, policy and academic understandings of health inequalities in the UK (supported by grants from the ESRC and by my 2014 Philip Leverhulme Prize award), which uses a combination of surveys, deliberative mini-publics, interviews and documentary analysis; (ii) research examining innovative health taxes, which is exploring the potential for different types of taxes in a range of different income settings (this includes work focusing on Scotland, which is funded by an ESRC impact accelerator award); (iii) research exploring the impacts of the UK's research impact agenda; (iv) I am leading a policy-focused workstream of SIPHER, a UKPRP funded consortium that is working to support policymakers to achieve an upstream shift in policy responses to public health and health inequalities via a complex systems modelling support tool; and (v) I am also involved in a separate UKPRP funded consortium called SPECTRUM, for which I will be helping to develop deliberative approaches to examining public preferences for tackling the costs of unhealthy commodity products (alcohol, cigarettes, ultra-processed food, etc). My earlier research (undertaken at the universities of Edinburgh, Bath and Durham) involved analysing corporate (particularly tobacco industry) efforts to influence EU and European Member State policies, comparatively assessing UK policies to tackle health inequalities, and evaluating national and local strategies to improve public health in the devolved UK. These various projects have been written up in various journal articles, a monograph entitled ‘Beyond Evidence-Based Public Health Policy: The Interplay of Ideas (Palgrave Macmillan, October 2013), a co-authored book on The Impact Agenda (forthcoming in Spring 2020 with Policy Press) and a British Medical Association award-winning edited collection, ‘Health Inequalities: Critical Perspectives’ (Oxford University Press 2016). I am currently Co-Editor-in-Chief of Evidence & Policy and Co-Editor of the book series Palgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge & Policy.

 

Projects

Senior public health leadership during the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak: Comparative approaches to mitigating the spread of infectious disease and its social consequences in Canada and abroad
Smith, Kat (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2022
Developing a participatory approach for exploring young people's perspectives on health inequalities
Smith, Kat (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2021
SPECTRUM: Shaping Public hEalth poliCies To Reduce IneqUalities and harM
Smith, Kat (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2024
System-science Informed Public Health and Economic Research for Non-communicable Disease Prevention (the SIPHER Consortium)
Smith, Kat (Principal Investigator)
16-Jan-2019 - 15-Jan-2024

More projects

Address

Social Work and Social Policy
Lord Hope Building

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