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Chiara Rinaldi

Pre-doctoral fellow

Places & communities programme, Health inequalities theme

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

chiara.rinaldi@lshtm.ac.uk

Research Projects

Housing and health This is a Public Health Practice Evaluation Scheme (PHPES) project with the London Borough of Hackney on the effectiveness of their selective licensing scheme for privately rented housing in improving living conditions and mental wellbeing.

Health inequalities Contributing to an Equal England project (Workpackage 2) on intersectionality and health, which focuses on the experiences of young adults with multiple disadvantages.

Commercial determinants of health Developed a project on the use of framing by different stakeholders in the alcohol policy process to further develop my research interest in the commercial determinants of health.

Research Interests

Commercial determinants of health and health inequalities, and other more upstream factors that contribute to health and wellbeing.

Practice Engagement

Chiara has been involved in the London Public Health & Housing Network, a network of public health practitioners at local authorities and academics interested in the intersection between housing and health. She has helped organise and facilitate a workshop on private rented sector licensing in March 2020. Chiara carried our a three month placement at Haringey Council and during this time was asked to perform an exploratory analysis into the online food delivery environment.

Next steps

Chiara has been awarded a NIHR Doctoral Fellowship and will continue to work on her research interests at LSHTM.

Chiara's fellowship experience

I have gained more confidence and knowledge on the research process. Expanded my network with both more senior researchers at various universities, as well as peers. Improved my communication/presentation skills.

I have also had two peer-reviewed publications as first author, two co-authored publications and another publication submitted. I have written a blog post for Institute of Alcohol Studies and been successful in my application for a NIHR Doctoral Fellowship.

Chiara's Q&A

  • What has been your career journey so far?

    I have quite an interdisciplinary background. I did a Liberal Arts and Sciences undergraduate degree, majoring in psychology and global health, and an MSc in Health and Society – both in the Netherlands. During my studies, I co-founded a student consultancy firm where I co-led the process- and impact evaluation of a local health education programme for school-aged children. This was a participatory research project in close collaboration with local government and implementers. The experience of working in a research team and being involved in the design of a study from start to finish made me realise that research is something I want to pursue. Before applying for the NIHR SPHR Pre-doctoral fellowship I briefly worked at Maastricht University (the Netherlands) as a research assistant, where I contributed to the evaluation of a national “whole-of-society” initiative by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

  • Why did you choose to do a pre-doctoral fellowship in public health research?

    It seemed like the ideal position for me as it would give me the time to better understand what research topics and methods interest me most. I wanted to gain some additional research experience before embarking in my own research project.

  • What is your research focus?

    I wouldn’t say I have a single research focus, but I am generally interested in the upstream determinants of health and health inequalities, including the social determinants of health (e.g. housing) and factors that affect how local and national governments make decisions about public health (e.g. commercial interests and resource limitations).

  • Why is it important?

    It is now widely understood that public health is more than just genetics and individual behaviour. Understanding how factors that are seemingly not health-related contribute to health or disease is therefore of key importance if we want to improve population health and reduce health inequalities.

  • What advice would you give to others considering a practice placement

    I think doing a placement is worth it. It's a great way to learn about public health practice and an opportunity to have a more direct impact on policy development! It's ideal to find something that interests both you and the organisation you are doing a placement for. I was connected to my placement host through my supervisor and their networks.

  • What skills have you gained from your fellowship?

    I improved my qualitative research skills. As part of my fellowship I conducted several interviews and focus groups (including with children/young people). I developed my documentary analysis skills. I led on a piece of work that used framing analysis to understand how language is used to prioritise some issues over others. I have also improved my literature reviewing skills.

  • What are you aspirations now you have completed your fellowship?

    I want to complete the PhD I have started at LSHTM and hopefully afterwards apply for post-doctoral funding to further develop my career in public health research.

Conferences

Rinaldi C, van Schalkwyk MCI, Egan M, Petticrew P. A frame analysis on alcohol policy in the context of the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use Alcohol. 2020 Jul 7-8. Early Career Alcohol Research Symposium. Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, The University of Sheffield (Online Event). UK-wide audience of 79 ECRs with an interest in alcohol research.

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