Dr Ellen Stewart

Chancellor'S Fellow And Senior Lecturer

Social Work and Social Policy

Personal statement

I am a social scientist working at the intersection of medical sociology, health policy and public administration. My research explores how health systems accommodate and negotiate different forms of ‘lay’ and ‘expert’ knowledge, including demands for public engagement and for evidence-based policy. In July 2023 my latest book How Britain Loves the NHS: practices of care and contestation will be published by Policy Press. 

I am one of four grantholders on a Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award exploring charity and voluntarism in the UK NHS. I lead a work package focusing on the contemporary role of NHS Charities in fundraising and supplementing statutory spend on healthcare. 

I am currently a co-Investigator on the UKPRP Consortium SIPHER, which aims to coproduce useful modelling tools with policymakers in Sheffield City Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and the Scottish Government. I lead public engagement for the consortium, working in partnership with local third sector organisations to deliver three Community Panels. 

In past projects I've explored everyday practices of public involvement in the local NHS, new governance arrangements for Scottish Health Boards, how health policymakers use research evidence, and hospital closures as an example of contentious healthcare transformation. My research has been funded by the ESRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, Chief Scientist Office Scotland and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. 

I am an elected member of the Social Policy Association's Executive Committee (2018-2024) and serve on the Wellcome Trust's Early Career Advisory Group for Medical Humanities (2021-2024).

From 2023 I am Co-Director of Strathclyde's Centre for Health Policy


Fugitive coproduction : conceptualising informal community practices in Scotland's hospitals
Stewart Ellen
Social Policy and Administration Vol 55, pp. 1310-1324 (2021)
Publics and their health systems : rethinking participation
Stewart Ellen
Palgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge and Policy Palgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge and Policy (2016)
Our NHS? The changing involvement of patients and the public in England's health and care system
Stewart Ellen, Desai Amit, Zoccatelli Giulia
The NHS at 75 The State of UK Health Policy (2023) (2023)
How Britain Loves the NHS : Practices of Care and Contestation
Stewart Ellen A
Integrating evidence and public engagement in policy work : an empirical examination of three UK policy organisations
Hill O’Connor Clementine, Smith Katherine, Stewart Ellen
Policy and Politics, pp. 1-24 (2023)
"Attending to collaboration" in major system change in healthcare in England : a response; comment on "Attending to history" in major system change in healthcare in England: specialist cancer surgery service reconfiguration
Fraser Alec, Jones Lorelei, Lorne Colin, Stewart Ellen
International Journal of Health Policy and Management (2022)

More publications


I lead two modules: L5419 Health Policy in an International Context (4th year undergraduate) and L8924 Health Policy from an International Perspective (postgraduate). I also lead a Placement-based Dissertation for our new MSc Health and Social Policy. 

Current PhD supervision:

  • Lindsay Bradley (University of Strathclyde/NHS Western Isles): Patients’ use of health evidence for self-management in remote and rural Scotland.
  • Carol Porteous (University of Edinburgh): The impact of patient and public involvement in health research.

Completed PhD students:

  • Dr Katie Hirono (University of Edinburgh): Comparing community engagement in Health Impact Assessments and Citizens' Juries in the UK and Australia.
  • Dr Gabrielle King (University of Edinburgh): Exploring how people with Motor Neurone Disease engage with biomedical research. 
  • Dr Taina Meriluoto (University of Jyväskylä): Expertise-by-experience in the Finnish social welfare sector. 


Trends in Socio-Economic Determinants of Health Inequalities in Scotland
Eiser, David (Principal Investigator) Congreve, Emma (Co-investigator) Smith, Kat (Co-investigator) Spowage, Mairi (Co-investigator) Stewart, Ellen (Co-investigator)
10-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2023
Border Crossings: Charity and voluntarism in Britain's mixed economy of health care since 1948
Harris, Bernard (Principal Investigator) Harris, Bernard (Principal Investigator) Stewart, Ellen (Principal Investigator) Stewart, Ellen (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2024
Border Crossings: Charity and voluntarism in Britain's mixed economy of health care since 1948
Harris, Bernard (Principal Investigator) Harris, Bernard (Principal Investigator) Stewart, Ellen (Principal Investigator) Stewart, Ellen (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2024
System-science Informed Public Health and Economic Research for Non-communicable Disease Prevention (the SIPHER Consortium)
Smith, Kat (Principal Investigator) Stewart, Ellen (Co-investigator)
16-Jan-2019 - 15-Jan-2024
"All the help we can get": contemporary public donations of money to Scotland's NHS
Stewart, Ellen (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 29-Jan-2019
Critical approaches to Public and Patient Involvement in Health Research
Stewart, Ellen (Principal Investigator) Smith-Merry, Jennifer (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 01-Jan-2019

More projects