Dr Ewelina Rydzewska-Fazekas (MA PhD)

Lecturer in Health Futures, Clinical and Health Psychology Research Ethics and Integrity Lead, Programme Coordinator for MSc in Planetary Health


I have joined the University of Edinburgh in January 2022 as a Lecturer in Health Futures at the Edinburgh Futures Institute and School of Health in Social Science. I am also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow's Institute of Health and Wellbeing where I had previously worked as a Research Fellow for the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory. In the past, I had worked for Autism Network Scotland at the University of Strathclyde, conducting research in collaboration with the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities. I currently collaborate with the SEARCH Center at the University of California, Riverside.

In my research, I investigate population demographics, health needs and determinants of health for people with autism and/or intellectual disabilities, using big data and data linkage methodologies. My work draws on various fields, such as public health, epidemiology, developmental and clinical psychology, which means that I often seek to cross disciplinary and methodological boundaries between health and social sciences and quantitative and qualitative research.

Responsibilities & affiliations

Member of the School of Health in Social Science Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Chair of the IASSIDD ASD Special Interest Research Group

Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow's Institute of Health and Wellbeing

Autistica’s Scientific Review Panel Member

Postgraduate teaching

Teaching activity within the Edinburgh Futures Institute:

Programme Coordinator for MSc in Planetary Health

Course Organiser for Human Health in the Anthropocene

Course Organiser for Mental Health in the Anthropocene

Course Organiser for Trauma and Resilience


Research Dissertation Supervision:

MSc in Applied Psychology (Healthcare) For Children and Young People

MSc in Mental Health in Children and Young People: Psychological Approaches

MSc in Psychology of Mental Health (Conversion)

MSc in Psychological Therapies


Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am particularly interested in investigating health, health inequalities, mental health, suicide risk and substance abuse in populations with neurodevelopmental disorders. I would be happy to supervise research students in any of these areas. Please, do get in touch if you wish to discuss a proposal with me.

Current PhD students supervised

I am currently a lead supervisor of Katie Rutherford's PhD project investigating therapeutic alliance in adults with autism and mental health problems.

Research summary

My academic interests evolve around multidimensional and interdisciplinary reflections on quality of life for people with autism and/or intellectual disabilities. I am particularly interested in researching patterns of vulnerability in these populations, including investigation of:

  • health needs and health inequalities;
  • mental health;
  • comorbidities;
  • mortality;
  • life course transitions;
  • self-harm and suicide risk;
  • substance abuse;
  • homelessness;
  • risk behaviours. 

Affiliated research centres

Current project grants

Suicide deaths in people with autism in Scotland: secondary data analysis and data linkage of administrative and health records
Chief Scientist Office

Past project grants

Learning disabilities - The Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory
Scottish Government
2018 - 2022

Predictors of mental ill-health in mothers caring for a son or daughter with intellectual disabilities
Economic and Social Research Council
2017 - 2019

Translating academic papers through visualisation and filming: Engagement with research users to increase impact
University of Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Flexible Fund

View all 41 publications on Research Explorer