Early Career Researchers Subcommittee

Max Barnish (Chair and Welfare Officer)

Maxwell BarnishI am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Health Technology Assessment at the University of Exeter with a specialism in systematic reviewing. My PhD research was related to communication difficulties in Parkinson’s disease. I have subsequently gone on to gain a wide-ranging research experience across the fields of health services research, epidemiology and public health. I am particularly interested in the applicability of research. As a member of SSM ECR Subcommittee, I hope to bring an enthusiasm for promoting and facilitating career development opportunities as well as seeing how we can help ECRs in what are turbulent times for the UK.

Kathryn Skivington (Chair Elect and Local Officer)


I am a Research Fellow at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow, and I work within a programme of research around Informing Health Public Policy. My research interests include complex interventions, health inequalities, multimorbidity, and how public policy affects health. I am excited to be one of the organisers of the ECR workshop at the SSM ASM, as local officer I’m enthusiastic about making sure ECRs get the most from the pre-conference day. I look forward to engaging with and supporting fellow ECRs in my role on the committee more broadly.

Evangelia Demou (Past Chair)

Evanglia DemouI am a Research Fellow at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow, where I co-lead the Workplace research theme within the Understanding and Improving Health in Settings and Organisations Programme. My research focuses on understanding how health can impact on work ability and conversely how work can impact on health. As a SSM ECR Subcommittee member I hope to contribute to the committee by supporting fellow ECRs, promoting professional development activities and facilitating networking and research dissemination opportunities.

Janice Atkins (Network Platform Officer)

Janice AtkinsI am a post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Epidemiology and Public Health Research Group at the University of Exeter Medical School. My background is in epidemiology and my current research focuses on understanding factors associated with healthy ageing and longevity. Prior to moving to Exeter, I completed a PhD at UCL exploring the effects of body composition and dietary patterns on the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in older age. As a SSM ECR Subcommittee member, I hope to contribute to developing the Network Platform, therefore helping SSM members to connect on shared research interests and encouraging collaborations and joint working across institutes.

Linda Ng Fat (Mentoring Officer)

Linda Ng FatI’m a Research Associate in the Health and Social Surveys Research Group, UCL, researching health behaviours using the Health Survey for England. Before this I completed a PhD in the Department of Epidemiology and Public health, exploring alcohol consumption across the life course using two British Birth Cohorts. My MSc in Social Research Methods at LSE inspired me to pursue a career in Research. As someone who has benefited from mentoring, I look forward to help shape a mentoring scheme that is worthwhile and supportive for SSM Early Career Researchers.

Tarra Penney (Communications Officer)


I am a Research Associate with the Food Systems and Public Health programme at the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge. Currently I am supporting the system level evaluation of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, a nation-wide policy to reduce sugar in soft drinks by targeting importers and manufacturers. The evaluation serves as the first study grounded in a ‘systems approach’ to evaluate whether, how and in whom the levy has an effect on health. Broadly, my research interests are to improve the prevention of obesity and chronic disease by studying the effects of food system change on population level diet and health. My role with the SSM ECR subcommittee will involve managing communications and supporting ECR activities and dialogue.

Naoimh McMahon (Deputy Welfare Officer)

naoimh-mcmahonI am a postgraduate student in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). In 2010 I qualified as a physiotherapist, before completing an MA in Health Promotion at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Prior to starting my postgraduate studies, I worked as a Research Physiotherapist in the Stroke Research Team at UCLan. This research examined innovative approaches to increasing upper limb exercise in stroke rehabilitation units. My MPhil/PhD research is funded by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) North West Coast. I am looking at interdisciplinary perspectives of upstream action to reduce health inequalities. I am delighted to be involved with the SSM ECR Subcommittee to assist with developing the Network Platform. I look forward to promoting and facilitating a positive and safe online space that can work to develop ideas and collaboration within the SSM community.

Kate Best (Newsletter Officer)

Kate BestI recently finished my PhD at the Institute of Health & Society at Newcastle University, which was focussed on congenital heart disease prevalence, survival and service provision. I am now working as a post-doc within the same institute, trying to develop projects to further my PhD research. I am also interested in the application of new statistical techniques, particularly within the maternal and perinatal setting. Prior to my PhD, I worked as a statistical advisor to clinicians within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospital Trust for two years.

Gillian Fergie (Local Officer)


I am a Research Associate at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow, working in the Informing Healthy Public Policy programme. My research interests include influences on health policy debates, media framings of health policies, and public perspectives on the social determinants of health. I have a long-standing interest in deliberative and participatory methods, and involving communities in public health research. As a local officer for the SSM ECR Subcommittee my role will involve coordinating the ECR workshop preceding the SSM ASM. I also hope to contribute more broadly by supporting fellow ECRs and facilitating networking opportunities.

Georgia Chatzi (Past Local Officer)

georgia-chatziI am currently a PhD student in Social Statistics based in Cathie Marsh Institute of Social Research at the University of Manchester. My PhD research focuses on missing data which may affect the association between life course socioeconomic position and inflammatory biomarkers in older adults using the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). My background is in public health, health promotion and social epidemiology. I joined ECR subcommittee as a local officer because I hope to be a vital component and contribute to the team whilst I develop further my organising and team-working skills.

To get in touch please email us on ecr.ssm@gmail.com

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