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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Professor Clare Bambra, PhD, FAcSS, FRGS

Professor of Public Health Geography in the Department of Geography
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43496
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Room number: 326

(email at


Clare Bambra is Professor of Public Health Geography. Her research examines health inequalities; the political, social, economic and environmental determinants of health; and how public policies and interventions can reduce health inequalities. She has published extensively in these areas including three books: Work, Worklessness and the Political Economy of Health; How Politics Makes Us Sick: Neoliberal Epidemics and Health Divides: where you live can kill you.

She is the Director of Durham's Centre for Health and Inequalities Research and also the Health Inequalities lead for FUSE: The MRC-funded Centre for Research Excellence in Translational Research in Public Health and a Senior Investigator in the NIHR School for Public Health Research where she is a Senior Investigator on the Communities in Control Project. She is holds a Leverhulme Research Leadership Award which examines Local Health Inequalities in an Age of Austerity and she is the Principal Investigator on the Norface funded grant 'HiNEWS' which examines health inequalities in Europe with partners in Norway and Germany. She is also a collaborator on the ESRC Rethinking Incapacity project.

She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She was also a panel member for the Due North Inquiry into Health Equity North (2014) and contributed to the Marmot Reviews of Health Inequalities in England (2010) and Health Inequalities in Europe (2013) as well as the USA Institute of Medicine study of the US mortality disadvantage (2013).

Clare studied political science (BSocSc, Birmingham) and comparative public policy (MA, PhD, Manchester) before moving into public health and human geography. Her research is highly interdisciplinary, applying theories and methods between the social sciences, public health and epidemiology.

At undergraduate level she contributes to the Environment and Society and Introduction to Geographical Research modules in the BA Geography programme. At postgraduate level she teaches on the MA in Risk  and she is available for PhD supervision on topics relating to health inequalities.

Work, Worklessness and the Political Economy of Health

Research Groups

Research Projects

Research Interests

  • Health and welfare
  • Health Geography
  • Health Inequalities
  • Political economy of health
  • Public health

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2014: Panel member on the Independent Inquiry into Health Equity North (commisioned by Public Health England):
  • 2014: Public Health England Work and Health Network member:
  • 2013: Associate Director of Fuse: The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health:
  • 2013: Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts:
  • 2013: Health inequality panel member, Belgium Research Council:
  • 2013: Panel member on the Parliamentary Labour Party Inquiry into International Health Systems:
  • 2013: Public health review panel member Norwegian Research Council:
  • 2013: Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group for Ethics and Society, since 2013:
  • 2013: Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities and Ethics and Society Investigator Awards panel member:
  • 2012: Elected as Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS):
  • 2012: Senior Investigator with the North East School for Public Health Research (NIHR):
  • 2011: Institute of Public Policy Research - 'Northern Light':
  • 2011: Management Board member of Groundwork NE:
  • 2011: Member of Mature and Working Life, Government Office North East Regional Advisory Group:
  • 2011: Member of the EU Marmot Review research group:
  • 2010: Editorial Board member Policy Press:
  • 2010: Member of the 'Priority Public Health Conditions' Task Group of the Marmot Review:
  • 2010: Member of the ESRC Peer Review College:
  • 2010: MRC/ESRC Assessment panel member for post-doctoral fellowships:
  • 2010: Panel member of the Swedish Research Council for Working Life and Social research (FAS):
  • 2009: Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of European Social Policy:
  • 2009: Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Public Health, University of Alicante:
  • 2009: Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Social Medicine, Karolinska Institute:
  • 2009: Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Social Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Sweden:
  • 2007: Member of NICE Programme Development Group on Incapacity and Sickness: (June 2007 - April 2008)
  • 2005: Member of the EU Tackling Health Inequalities in Europe project: 2005 - 2007

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Wood,C, Hunter, DJ, Jeffreys, B, Britnell, M, Abrahams, D, Bambra, C, Wind-Cowie, M & Hudson, R Health in Austerity. In: Demos; 2013.
  • Bambra, C. Social inequalities in health: The Nordic welfare state in a comparative context. In: Kvist, Jon Fritzell,Johan Hvinden, Bjorn & Kangas, Olli Changing social equality: the Nordic welfare model in the 21st century. Bristol, Policy Press; 2011:143-164.
  • Bambra, C., Smith, K. & Kennedy, L. Politics and Health. In: Naidoo, J. & Wills, J. Health Studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan; 2008:257-286.
  • Bambra, C., Fox, D. & Scott-Samuel, A. Towards a politics of health. In: Douglas, J., Earle, S. Handsley, S., Lloyd, C. E. & Spurr, S. A Reader in Promoting Public Health: Challenge and Controversy. London: Sage; 2006:48-54.
  • Street, A. & Bambra, C. Social policy: Health. In: Compton, H. Handbook of Public Policy in Europe. London: Palgrave; 2004:277-289.

Edited book

  • Smith, K., Hill, S. & Bambra, C. Health Inequalities: Critical Perspectives. Oxford University Press; 2016.


Show all publications

Related Links

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Disability issues:
  • Health & welfare services:
  • Medical and health research topics:
  • Public policy, health and well-being:

Selected Grants

  • 2015: Communities in Control: phase 2, NIHR, £155,000, 2015-2017
  • 2015: HiNEWS: Health Inequalities in European Welfare States, Norface, £230,000, 2015-2017
  • 2015: Wellbeing for Life Evaluation, Durham County Council, £10,000 2015-2017
  • 2014: Revitalising the Health Equity Agenda, ESRC seminar series, 2014-2017, 27k
  • 2013: Fuse: Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, MRC, £168,000, 2013-2018
  • 2013: Local Health Inequalities in an Age of Austerity, Leverhulme Trust, £1,000,000, 2013-2018
  • 2014: Communities in Control: phase 1, NIHR £180,000, 2014-2015
  • 2014: Community Pharmacy Interventions and Health Inequalities, NIHR, £3000, 2014-2015
  • 2011: Tackling inequalities in obesity (£178062.00 from NIHR)
  • 2010: Winners and losers in contrasting labour markets. Socio-economic and spatial inequalities in the population health effects of economic recession and economic growth (£132297.00 from BUPA)
  • 2009: BARD AWARD Post Graduate Bursaries (£68959.50 from One NorthEast)
  • 2009: Evaluating the County Durham Worklessness and Health Support Programme (£524560.31 from County Durham & Darlington PCT)
  • 2009: Transforming infrastructure: buildings for the 21st century (£148535.30 from Epsrc)
  • 2009: What are the impacts of welfare to work interventions for lone parents? (£7697.00 from Scottish Government Health Directorate)
  • 2008: Flexible working for improving employee health and well being: a Cochrane Review (£5000.00 from Department of Health)
  • 2008: NORTH EAST SHA (£462471.17 from North East SHA)
  • 2006: EVALUATION OF A MULTI-INTERVENTION (£38340.00 from Sedgefield Borough Council)