Dr Saffron I Karlsen

MSc(London), PhD(London)

  • BS8 1TU

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Personal profile

Research interests

My work aims to enable a better understanding of the different ways in which ethnicity has meaning and relevance in people’s lives, both for developing awareness of potential group affiliations and as a driver of health and other inequalities. My research was instrumental in establishing empirical evidence regarding the role of racism in the development of ethnic inequalities in health in the UK. My work has also explored the nature and drivers of ethnic and religious inequalities in the US, New Zealand, Kenya, India, Vietnam, Nigeria and elsewhere in the Global North and South.

My work is motivated by the need for the more effective engagement of marginalised groups in the co-production of research, policy and practice, locally, nationally and globally. I have long-standing collaborations with the Race Equality Foundation and Black South West Network. I currently co-lead, with Black South West Network, the Bristol Race Equality Network, which aims to connect research and data to community-led approaches, in ways that recognise, value and respond to communities’ lived experiences and diverse forms of knowledge and expertise, through partnership, collaboration and co-production between academics, community groups and policy-makers. I also work in partnership with community partners and others in the UK and elsewhere to draw attention to the problems of current FGM-safeguarding policy.

I have acted as an advisor to the Scottish Executive, Cabinet Office and New Zealand Health Department and has worked with the WHO and UN. Recent work on ethnic inequalities in experiences of covid-19 in collaboration with the British Academy has been referenced by SAGE. I am currently a member of the Inclusive Data Taskforce for the UK Statistics Authority.

Prior to taking up this post, I was a senior research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Health Science and Technology

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