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Rosie Jenkins

PhD student

Places & communities programme

Imperial College London

Research Interests

Rosie's research interests include a wide range of public health and epidemiology research topics; nutrition, health, economic policies including austerity and recessions, and inequalities. Rosie is also interested in environmental epidemiology , particularly impacts of mobile phones and social media, and health promotion, chronic diseases, and experiences of people living with chronic diseases. She also has an interest in impacts of arts and singing programmes on health.

Hear more about Rosie's research

An SPHR PhD was once described to my as the “Rolls Royce of PhD studentships”, and this has proved to be true in my experience! Through my PhD I have had the opportunity to undertake completely novel research in an important and under-researched area of national and international importance and with a real-world impact on people across the UK. I have published multiple papers and presented at conferences, supported financially and in other ways by the SPHR. Being part of a cohort of future leaders in public health helped me get more and more excited about public health and research, and I look forward to seeing where we end up and utilising the connections made long-term.

Rosie's Q&A

  • What has been your career journey so far?

    After my Masters in Public Health, I worked as a Research Assistant in the NIHR BRC Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC), where I undertook an evaluation of a cancer clinic and research into experiences of people living with HIV. While working for PERC I also developed an interest in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) and was involved with the European Institute of Technology Health Innovation Day at Imperial College London as an events officer. Following this, I worked as a Research Assistant at the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP), a study of over 6000 adolescents in and around London. I co-ordinated follow-up data collection for this study and had a key role in data collection and data processing. I was also communications officer and ran PPIE for SCAMP, which included doing careers talks at schools. I also co-ordinated PPIE for the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Health Impact of Environmental Hazards.

  • Why did you choose to do a PhD in public health research?

    I chose to do a PhD in public health research because I am passionate about improving the population’s health and narrowing health inequalities, and I am convinced of the role for evidence-based public health research and expertise in achieving this. Doing a PhD in public health research was a natural next step in growing my research skills while also undertaking meaningful research that may benefit others.

  • What is your research focused on?

    My research examines the impact of the 2008 recession and subsequent austerity policies on nutrition and health outcomes.

  • Why is it important?

    The 2008 recession impacted economies around the world, yet research on its impact on diets has yet to be synthesised. Furthermore, the UK government’s austerity policies led to considerable and heterogeneous changes in public sector spending and welfare reform. These changes may have impacted food environments and reduced monetary resources for many, potentially affecting large segments of the population. This has also coincided with increasing opening and use of foodbanks. Despite this, little research has been done to establish how these changes have impacted individuals and different populations, particularly their nutrition and health outcomes. My PhD aims to add to the evidence base on this.

  • What do you like about being a part of the NIHR School for Public Health Research?

    The NIHR SPHR involves a huge diversity in research on different topics and interventions, all with the goal of improving the population’s health. Doing a PhD in the NIHR SPHR makes you feel like you are part of a bigger effort to improve the public’s health and mitigate health inequalities. I particularly appreciate the focus of the school on applying public health research to make a difference in public health practice.

  • What skills have you learnt and/or are hoping to learn as part of your PhD?

    I have undertaken two systematic reviews as part of my PhD so I have learnt lots of skills relating to systematic reviews and meta-analyses. I have also undertaken training on panel regression methods such as fixed effects modelling, which I will put into practice as I undertake the quantitative elements of my PhD.

  • What do you hope to do after completing your PhD?

    My long-term aim is to undertake specialty training in public health. Before then, I hope to work in the intersection of public health research, policy, and practice.


Jenkins, R. H. Aliabadib, S. Vamos, E. Taylor-Robinson, D. Wickham, S. Millett, C. Laverty, A. (2021) The relationship between austerity and food insecurity in the UK: A systematic review EClinicalMedicine

Jenkins, R.H., Vamos, E.P., Taylor-Robinson, D. et al. Impacts of the 2008 Great Recession on dietary intake: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 18, 57 (2021).



Oral Presentation: 14th European Public Health Conference, November 2021. Impacts of local area public sector spending and food purchasing in England: a panel study.

Oral Presentation: Annual meeting of the British Society for Population Studies, September 2021. A systematic review of the impact of UK austerity policies on food insecurity and foodbank use.

Oral Presentation: British Sociological Association Food Study Group Conference: Food, Food Systems and Times of Insecurity, June 2021. A Systematic Review of the Relationship between Austerity and Food Insecurity.

Poster Presentation: 16th World Congress on Public Health October, 2020. A systematic review of the impact of the Great Recession on food intake. European Journal of Public Health, Volume 30, Issue Supplement 5 

Awards and Recognitions

Runner up of the Public Vote award for the SPHR Three minute thesis competition 2020.

Imperial College London representative on the NIHR SPHR Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement Strategy Implementation group (2020-2021).

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