Ellen Stewart

Chancellor's Fellow


I am a Chancellor’s Fellow in Social Studies of Health & Medicine, working at the intersection of medical sociology, health policy and public administration. I am a member of SKAPE (Science Knowledge and Policy at Edinburgh) and of the Clinical Medical School’s Athena Swan committee.

Before joining the Usher Institute I worked in the University of Edinburgh’s Global Public Health Unit, and University of St Andrews’ Medical School.


PhD in Politics (University of Edinburgh, 2012)

MSc in Social Policy & Planning (LSE, 2007)

MA (Hons) in Politics (University of Edinburgh, 2005)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am always happy to hear from students who want to pursue PhD research on my interests as described above, or more generally, on patient and public knowledge and action around health and healthcare.

Current PhD students supervised

Sophie Ilson (ESRC + Scottish Government funded) – public trust in practices of data linkage

Taina Meriluoto (external supervisor for student at University of Jyvaskyla, Finland) – expertise by experience in Finnish social welfare organisations

Carol Porteous (University of Edinburgh funded) – participants’ experiences of patient and public involvement in health research

Katherine Hirono (University of Edinburgh funded) – community engagement within Health Impact Assessment

Research summary

I am interested in how health systems accommodate and negotiate different forms of ‘lay’ and ‘expert’ knowledge, including demands for public engagement and for evidence-based policy.

I've previously worked on projects exploring everyday practices of public involvement in the local NHS, new governance arrangements for Scottish Health Boards, and how health policymakers use research evidence. My current research projects examine public responses to hospital closures as an example of contentious major service change.

View all 20 publications on Research Explorer