Dr. Fiona Cuthill


  • Centre for Homeless and Inclusion Health
  • Global Health Academy

Contact details



Room 2M10, Doorway 6, Medical Quad, Teviot Place

Post code


I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health in Social Science at the University of Edinburgh and Academic Director for the Centre for Homeless and Inclusion Health in the School of Health in Social Science:


I am also a Co-Director for the new interdisciplinary  research hub funded by the Binks Trust. The Binks Trust has provided five years of seed funding for the School of Social and Political Science, the School of Health in Social Science and the Edinburgh Futures Initiative to establish the hub. The Binks Hub will work with communities to co-produce a programme of research and knowledge exchange that promotes social justice, relational research methods and human flourishing. 

I am Programme Director for the MSc Advanced Nursing and teach several courses in Global Public Health, Community Health and health inequalities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have a particular interest in health inequalities, gender based violence, homelessness and refugee health.

I completed my doctorate at Sunderland University (2011) in community health and culture. Homelessness, migration and inclusion health is an ongoing focus of my research work, particularly the ways that conceptualisations of 'home', gender and health intersect. Over the last 18 months, during the Covid19 pandemic, I have been working on some exciting creative research projects to explore how people living and working in the homelessness sector experienced Covid19. In addition, we have developed and launched the Street Support Edinburgh digital resource with our colleagues in the homelessness sector. 

Related to my work in health inequalities, I am also keen to further explore the ways that health care professionals work with people experiencing homelessness, and how to overcome the barriers to effective engagement. 

Prior to my move into Higher Eduction, I worked for many years as a community development health nurse with people seeking asylum and refugees in the North East of England. I am a Registered Adult Nurse, Registered District Nurse and non-medical prescriber. I am also a founding member and current trustee of Justice First, a charity working in the Tees Valley with people who are seeking asylum in the UK [ http://justicefirst.org.uk/].

Undergraduate teaching

I teach several courses on our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes: Healthy Communities 1; Global Public Health: a critical approach to health improvment; Homelessness and Inclusion Health; and, Global Public Health (Honours Option). 

Postgraduate teaching

I am the Programme Director for the MSc Advancing Nursing Practice.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am happy to consider supervison for students to study a PhD in the following areas:

  • global public health
  • community health
  • homelessness and health
  • refugee and asylum seeker health
  • health improvement/health promotion

Current PhD students supervised

Emily Adams: Evaluation of Street Support Edinburgh and DDI related to homelessness

Aromoke Sanjo-Odutayo: Aromoke is exploring the decision to immunise by pregnant women in Nigeria

Catalina Martin: Catalina is looking at the experiences of homelessness by LGBTQi young people.

Yin Wang: Yin is exploring person centred in a Chinese context.

Lucie Woellenstein: Lucie is using machine learning to investigate Housing First.

Fiona McIntosh: Fiona is exploring cultural competence in nurses in a hospital setting. 

Paichit Amsri: paichit is investigating the experiences of female sex workers in accessing health care in Thailand.



Past PhD students supervised

Emma Hughes: Fluctuating power in refugee health nursing: A focused ethnography of the Refugee Health Program in Victoria, Australia (2021)

Temitayo Adeola Odewusi: An explroation of power relations in the sexual and contraceptive choices of adolescents in SW Nigeria (2020)

Sutantri Sutantri: 'A bridge to normal': An explorative study of Indonesian women's experiences of healrt disease and attending a phas two cardiac rehabilitation programme (2019).

Ari Sawitri: An exploration of families' expereiences in managing hypertension control in Denpasar, Indonesia: A qualitative study (2019).

Salwa Alalwi: Knowledge, perception, actin and intention to modify healthy lifestyle behaviour in Omani patients at riskof stroke (2018).


Research summary

Since coming to the University of Edinburgh in 2014, I have undertaken a range of different research and knowledge exchange activities in relation to health inequalities, harmful alcohol use, gender based violence, refugee health and homelessness. The focus of my work has been on both the lived experience of people who are forced to inhabit marginal spaces in society and also the day-to-day experiences of health care professionals as they strive to meet the health needs of poor and excluded individuals and families in community settings.  I am particularly interested in how health is understood by people who are unable to access mainstream health care provision - particularly those experiencing the asylum process and/or homelessness - and how we, as health care professionals, work as 'street level bureaucrats' to reconcile policy directives with the challenges of working in resource depleted environments. The themes of homelessness, asylum and gender weave through all of my thoughts, research, teaching and writing. 

Affiliated research centres

Current project grants

2021 Binks Trust. (Grant holders: held equally by joint Directors - Dr Fiona Cuthill, Dr Emma Davidson and Dr Autumn Roesch-March). Five year research programme, including set up of a new research hub, to pioneer a new methodology of co-created research into social inequalities which will have a long-lasting positive impact on the communities.

2021 Data Driven Innovation, City Deal. (Grant holder: Dr Fiona Cuthill; ; CO-Is: Professor Stewart Mercer and Dr Maria Wolters) Implementation and evaluation of Street Support Edinburgh: digital resource for people experiencing homelessness. (Feb – July 2021)

2020 ESRC Impact Accelerator Award (Grant holder: Dr Fiona Cuthill; CO-Is: Professor Stewart Mercer and Dr Maria Wolters) Implementation of Street Support Edinburgh digital resource. (£7K with match funding from community partner, Simon Community Scotland) (June 2020-January 2021).

2020 Cyrenians Scotland and Lankely Chase. (Grant holder: Dr Fiona Cuthill; Co-I: Dr Rosie Stenhouse) Living with Covid: community level experiences of people experiencing homelessness (March 2020 – ongoing).

2020 Cyrenians Scotland. (Grant holder: Dr Larry Doi; Co-I Dr Fiona Cuthill) Evaluation of Pathway hospital inreach for people experiencing homelessness (January 2020 -ongoing).

Past project grants

2019 (PI) Scottish Health Action on Alcohol: Exploring the factors that influence harmful alcohol use through the refugee journey: a qualitative study in Scotland and England (Co-I: Dr Steph Grohmann).

2018 (Co-I) NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde: Qualitative evaluation of pharmacy into into clinical care of homeless people (PI: Professor Sarah Johnsen, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh).

2017 (Joint PI with Dr Tessa Parkes, University of Stirling) Scottish Universities Insight Institute: An intersectional and international dialogue on how to reduce harm and promote wellbeing amongst people who have housing, health and substance use challenges.

2017 (PI) Internal UoE research project: An exploration of homeless patients' experience of General Practice care in an outreach setting (Co-I) Dr Victoria Hirst, NHS Lothian).

2017 (Co-I) Alcohol Research UK: Staying better than well: an exploration of the experiences and active ingredients of sustaining recovery within a supportive environment (PI: Dr Sarah Rhynas, UoE).

2016 (PI) Internal UoE research project: An exploration of the day-to-day experiences of Health Visitors when using a routine enquiry aproch to domestic abuse (Co-I: Lesley Johnston, Gender Based Violence lead, NHS Lothian).

2015 (PI) Alcohol Research UK: Think Tank Event: Alcohol related harm in Scotland: disseminating new evidence and identifying policy-relevant research priorities (Co-I: Professor Aisha Holloway).

2014 (PI) British Council Travel Links Grant: Gender roles and health: an exploration of the day-to-day lives of women caring for elederly family memebers in the UK and South Korea.

View all 19 publications on Research Explorer