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Dr Tim Colbourn
  • Lecturer in Global Health (Theme: Epidemiology and Evaluation
  • Institute for Global Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

After graduating with a BSc in Microbiology at UCL in 2003, I went straight on to complete a Masters in Control of Infectious Diseases at LSHTM in 2004. My first research job was at the Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the UCL Institute of Child Health from 2005-2007, on a high-profile Health Technology Assessment for the NHS on prevention and treatment strategies for Group B Streptococcus in early infancy. I then joined the Centre for International Health and Development at ICH (a precursor to the new UCL Institute for Global Health), living and working in Malawi for 4 years on a large randomised controlled trial of community women's groups and health facility quality improvement aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. During this time I also completed a PhD in Health Economics part-time, where I investigated benefits and costs of the women's group intervention related to quality of life as well as novel methods of measuring them. I passed my Viva with no corrections on 1st October 2012. I am now based back in London, but still travel to Malawi regularly, as well as to other focal countries of the projects I work on, including recently Nepal, Mozambique and Burkina Faso.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

I am currently working on four projects. A Gates-funded study of the impact of the new PCV-13 pneumonia vaccine on all levels of the health system in two districts of Malawi. An EU FP7-funded project on Missed Opportunities in Maternal and Infant Health in Africa, specifically those related to post-partum care for mother and baby. A DfID-funded project called Evidence for Action on Maternal Mortality which is focusing on building community and district-based evidence in six African countries including Malawi for advocacy to improve maternal mortality by also encouraging local and national governments to be more accountable to their people. A Wellcome Trust Strategic Award looking at comparisons between women's group and other interventions aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality, and looking at various methods including meta-analysis, costing and economic evaluation, verbal autopsy and community birth and deaths surveillance systems in six sites in Malawi, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. I have recently finished working on a large randomised controlled trial of community and facility interventions to improve maternal and neonatal mortality in Malawi, where I was based from 2007-2011. 

Teaching Summary

I teach on the masters and undergraduate courses of the UCL Institute for Global Health. My contributions include: lectures and seminars and essay marking on the core Global Health Policy, Concepts and Controversies in Global Health and Research Methods: Evidence for Global Health modules, the Economic Evaluation in Healthcare internet-based module, the Essentials in International Child Health module and the Perinatal Epidemiology and Newborn Care module, the last of which I organise; teaching Stata on the quantitative methods module; and supervising the dissertation projects of Masters students and intercalated medical undergraduate students. I have also taught Malawian colleagues about data, data management and basic statistics in a course of 5 all-day sessions in Lilongwe. I have also taught statistics, including SPSS and Stata software to colleagues in a two-day course in Kathmandu as part of an international meeting. I also co-supervise a part-time PhD student at UCL and may be involved in supervising PhD students in Malawi in the near future. I'm currently looking for a full-time PhD student who is interested in analysing and refining low-cost methods of evaluation used in the vast number of health-related NGO projects and programmes in Africa and Asia.

02-SEP-2013 Lecturer in Global Health Epidemiology and Evaluation   UCL Institute for Global Health, United Kingdom
28-JUN-2012 – 01-SEP-2013 Research Associate   UCL Institute for Global Health, United Kingdom
06-FEB-2007 – 27-JUN-2012 Research Assistant Centre for International Health and Development UCL Institute of Child Health, United Kingdom
01-JUN-2005 – 31-JAN-2007 Research Fellow Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics UCL Institute of Child Health, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2012 PhD Doctor of Philosophy University College London
2004 MSc Master of Science – Control of Infectious Diseases London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
2003 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Microbiology University College London
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