Dr Joanna Reynolds


Honorary Research Fellow
in Social Science

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

I am an Honorary Research Fellow with LSHTM, and based now at Sheffield Hallam University.

I was an Assistant Professor with the NIHR School for Public Health Research at LSHTM (SPHR@L) until December 2018.  I lead the CELAD study, exploring mechanisms for community engagement in alcohol decision making at the local government level in England.  I have also worked on other SPHR studies including PHAL, exploring the processes and practices of public health practitioners' engagement with alcohol licensing in local authorities, and an ongoing study exploring local policy drivers for influencing the food environment.

I completed my PhD thesis in 2016, following research conducted with SPHR@L, and supervised by Mark Petticrew and Matt Egan (SEHR).  I adopted an ethnographic approach to explore how 'community' was enacted through a community-based empowerment initiative, to contribute to approaches for evaluating such (complex) interventions and interpreting their impacts on health inequalities. 

Previously, I worked at the School as a Research Fellow in Social Science for three years as part of the ACT Consortium.  In this role, I gave qualitative, social science support to a range of studies in health service settings across Africa and Asia, seeking to improve diagnosis and appropriate treatment of malaria. 

I have an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University (2005) and an MSc in Public Health from LSHTM (2010).  My research background is primarily qualitative, applying social science to various areas of public health research, in both lower and higher income country settings.  Previous research has included intervention evaluation, public health in medical education, medical research ethics and most recently, malaria diagnosis and treatment interventions.  I have previously worked for an NGO in Ghana helping design and deliver behaviour change activities for health promotion campaigns.


Department of Health Services Research and Policy
Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Global Health and Development


Centre for Evaluation


I used to be a module co-organiser for the Qualitative Methodologies module, and have previously taught on the Medical Anthropology and Principles and Practice of Public Health modules.  I was a tutor for the MSc Public Health and sit on the programme committee for the MSc.  I also delivered teaching on qualitative methods for the Bloomsbury Transferable Skills Programme for PhD students, and coordinated a qualitative research group for PhD students and early career researchers at LSHTM.


My academic interests include the social determinants of health, health inequalities, evaluation methods for 'complex interventions', qualitative methodologies including ethnography, and research ethics.  I have a strong interest in health in its broadest sense, and particularly where 'health' policy and practice meets other domains of practice.

My current research activities reflect my continuing interests in mechanisms of community engagement and empowerment, and alcohol (and other health) policy making.  I also have an interest in how the 'local' is conceptualised and enacted through alcohol policy, evidence and discourse.

I am also a keen methodologist, recently looking at the application of ethnography to evaluation research, and am co-editor of a forthcoming book exploring different uses of ethnography for health research.  I have conducted ethnographic research exploring enactments of 'community' through a community empowerment initiative, to contribute to theorisation of community engagement practices, and to methodological approaches to evaluating 'complex' interventions. 

I have previously worked on a programme of research around interventions for improving malaria diagnosis and treatment, as part of the ACT Consortium.  This research engaged with methodological approaches to evaluating complex interventions in low-resource, health system settings; with meanings of participation in clinical research; and with conceptualisations and experiences of diagnostic technologies for improving healthcare delivery in a range of settings.

Research Area
Complex interventions
Health inequalities
Health policy
Health promotion
Public health
Social and structural determinants of health
Evidence use
Global Health
Qualitative methods
Operational research
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
United Kingdom
Europe & Central Asia (all income levels)
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)