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Dr Rochelle Burgess
30 Guilford Street
3rd Floor
  • Lecturer in Global Health
  • Institute for Global Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

For the past 10 years I have worked on global health issues with an emphasis on community participation and qualitative methodologies. I am interested in the development and promotion of community approaches to health around the world. My work takes interest in the interface between health concerns and broader development issues such as poverty, power, systems of governance, and community mobilisation (civil society). I have in-country experience in a number of low-income settings, including South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya and Colombia. My doctoral research, conducted in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, explored community mental health care systems and their capacity to respond to the needs of emotionally distressed HIV/AIDS affected women living in poverty. I secured numerous grants to support this work, including the prestigious Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Award, valued at more than 85,000 CAD over four years.  My research was anchored to social science perspectives, including community psychology,  social policy and anthropology. I continue to work on issues related to common mental disorders in low and middle income settings, drawing on social science frameworks.

I am Deputy Director of UCLs Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases, and a member of the UK Working Group on NCDs.  I am a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, and a member of the ESRC peer review college (ESRC global challenges peer review group), among other affiliations.

Research Themes
Research Summary

My current research programme explores the role of community engagement in global health, with an emphasis on mental health. In 2015 I was awarded an early career research award from the Richard Benjamin Trust  to complete a follow up study on my PhD on HIV affected women's mental health in a rural South African community. The project- From coping to transformation – Can brief-interventions provide platforms for tackling social determinants of mental health in resource poor settings, was a collaboration with the DFID-funded PRIME research consortium,  and used ethnographic and life history approaches to complete a one-year follow up of women who participated in eight-week depression support groups, modified to include poverty alleviation and collective mobilisation strategies to tackle depression. 

I am co-PI on a study developing community based and culturally informed mental health recovery programmes for conflict affected individuals in Colombia. Alongside colleagues at La Universidad de la Sabana, Bogota, I am exploring how understandings of local definitions of key recovery concepts can be used to drive the design of more relevant and holistic mental health recovery programming. The aim is to argue for interventions that target the mental health consequences of conflict and structural forms of violence among internally displaced communities in post-conflict settings. This study is funded by Universidad de la Sabana and supported by the National Centre for Historic Memory, Colombia. 

In 2018 I developed and launched UCLs Global Network on Mental Health and Child Marriage. Alongside colleagues from the WHO, African Union, ODI and other colleagues I am exploring the largely overlooked mental health consequences of child marriage in high prevalence settings. 

Teaching Summary

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2012 and 2017 I was awarded teaching awards in recognition for excellence in teaching at the LSE. 

Within the space of my teaching, I utilise participatory methods as part of an action-oriented/case study approach to teaching, which gives students opportunities to observe complex theoretical concepts at work in real-world settings. 

I am co-director of the MSc in Global Health and Development, and am responsible for teaching on the following courses at IGH: 
  • Power and Politics in Global Health (Co-lead with Prof. Sarah Hawkes)
  • Health, Poverty and Development 
  • Mental health in global and social contexts (Co-led with Dr. Nicola Morant

I would be interested in supervising students working on topics including, but not limited to:
  • Mental health in low and middle income countries 
  • Mental health of minority groups (including LGBTQI+)
  • Social justice and links to health 
  • Community based health services
  • Power dynamics in global health
  • Innovative qualitative methods for evaluation and work with minority groups 
  • Violence(s) and mental health (Symbolic, Structural, Intergenerational) 
  • Women's health

SEP-2017 – JAN-2018 Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine Global Health and Social Medicine Kings College London, United Kingdom
MAY-2016 – SEP-2018 Visiting Fellow Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa London School of Economics, United Kingdom
JAN-2016 – DEC-2017 Visiting Lecturer (Guest Teacher) Department of International Development London School of Economics, United Kingdom
SEP-2014 – FEB-2016 Lecturer in Health and Social Care School of Social Professions London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2014 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Social Psychology London School of Economics and Political Science
2008 MSc Master of Science – Health Psychology London School of Economics and Political Science
2005 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science – Psychology McMaster University
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