Emilie Mcswiggan

UNCOVER Project Manager; ACRC PhD Student

  • Usher Institute
  • College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Contact details



Usher Building, The University of Edinburgh
5‒7 Little France Road, Edinburgh BioQuarter ‒ Gate 3

Post code
EH16 4UX


  • I currently work very part-time hours. I am normally available on Monday and Thursday mornings (UK time) for meetings. I aim to check emails daily and reply within 24 hours to urgent messages. Please do send a follow-up if you have been waiting too long for a response, as I may simply have missed your email.


I am the (part time) Project Manager for UNCOVER, and have been involved since its launch in 2020; providing organisational support as well as hands-on involvement in our evidence review projects. We produce rapid reviews on real-world questions (initially related to COVID-19, but we now also look at other complex questions with a public health dimension) for local, national and international decision-makers.

I am a full-time PhD student with the Advanced Care Research Centre; part of an interdisciplinary cohort of students researching ageing and care. My PhD explores the role of social prescribing for people in later life, with a particular interest in the community infrastructure needed to make social prescribing successful. 

Previously, I was an elected representative in the Guernsey parliament (the States of Guernsey) from 2016 to 2020, and sat on policy-making committees responsible for health and social care, social welfare and international development. Prior to 2016 I worked in public and voluntary sector roles on the island.


Current PhD student (2023 to 2026) – “An Evaluation of Social Prescribing in Later Life” (ACRC Academy, University of Edinburgh)

Master of Public Health [MPH] (2015 to 2019) – University of Edinburgh

BA (Hons) in Modern and Medieval Languages: French and Russian (2006 to 2010) – University of Cambridge

Responsibilities & affiliations

I am part of the organising team for the Usher Masters Alumni (UMA) Network.

Undergraduate teaching

I have contributed to tutoring on the first and second years of the MBChB programme - REBM (Research and Evidence-Based Medicine) and SEAM (Social and Ethical Aspects of Medicine) modules.

Postgraduate teaching

I co-lead the Leadership and Management in Public Health course on the online MPH programme, and  contribute to other teaching on the programme (Public Policy for Health, Migration and Health). I have supervised postgraduate systematic review and policy brief dissertations, and SLICC [student-led individually created course] projects for the MPH.

I enjoy supervising Masters and undergraduate students, and supporting and encouraging student and alumni development, particularly through UNCOVER and the Usher Masters Alumni (UMA) network. I am happy to share such experience as I have on rapid and systematic reviews; evidence for policy; grant applications (particularly for student-led grants); and returning to academia after working elsewhere.

Research summary

My PhD research focuses on social prescribing – that is, the use of non-medical interventions (such as arts programmes, exercise, or social groups) to help address the complex socioeconomic causes of poor health; often, but not always, within a primary care context. I am particularly interested in the way community infrastructure (such as voluntary sector groups and public facilities) and community participation contribute to health and wellbeing. I am also interested in the ethical dimensions of ageing well, and how interventions such as social prescribing can contribute to a meaningful quality of life in later life.

I have a broader interest in health inequalities (especially in the context of disability and of migration); health in small island contexts; and health and peace. These inform my approaches to research and to public health teaching.

I am interested in health policy and health systems; and in doing research and teaching which recognises and responds to real-world challenges and recognises the complex circumstances in which policy is so often negotiated and made.