Jeni Harden



Jeni Harden is a Senior Lecturer in Social Science and Health at the University of Edinburgh. She is also Director of Education for the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics. Jeni combines her research interests in the sociological study of family health and sexual and reproductive health, with a passion for teaching.


PhD, MPhil, MA (Hons)

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Director of Education, Usher Institute 
  • Director of Quality, Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences
  • BeSST (Behavioural and Social Science Teaching in Medicine) Committee Member

Undergraduate teaching

Jeni Harden is module organiser for Health, Ethics and Society, a year 1 module in the MBChB undergraduate medical programme. She is also theme lead for Social Science and Public Health within the curriculum.

Postgraduate teaching

As Director of Education and Director of Quality in the Usher Institute, Jeni works closely with the postgraduate programme directors.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Jeni is open to PhD supervision enquiries relating to Qualitative Social Science Research in :

  • Family health
  • Child health
  • Sexual and reproductive health.

Current PhD students supervised

Jeni has supervised a number of PhDs, among them:

  • Children's Experiences of and Involvement in the Treatment and Management of their Epilepsy: A Qualitative Study (Rebecca Black, PhD)
  • Factors Influencing Nigerian Adolescents’ Choices Regarding Sexual Initiation and Contraceptive Use (Temitayo Odewusi, PhD)
  • Children’s Experiences of Living with Cleft Lip and Palate (CLP) (Liliana Arias Urueña, PhD)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia: A qualitative study on the experiences and management of the condition (Cameron Werner, PhD)

Research summary

Jeni’s research interests lie within the field of families, relationships and health. She is Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR). She has specific interest in qualitative sociological research in sexual and reproductive health. She has conducted a number of related projects on views and experiences relating to abortion and contraception.

Current projects include:

  • Post Placental Intrauterine contraception (PPIUC): Health Service Evaluation (Funder: Wellbeing of Women Research Grant / Chief Scientist's Office [CSO])
  • Barriers and facilitators to participation in cancer trials amongst teenagers and young adults: qualitative study (Funder: CSO)

Previous projects include:

  • GPs’ and abortion information (Funder: NHS Lothian)
  • Young people’s knowledge, beliefs and attitudes to abortion (Funder: NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde)
  • Integrating abortion within a specialist contraceptive service: a qualitative evaluation of the experiences of women and health professionals (Funder: CSO)

Knowledge exchange

Jeni works closely with clinicians to ensure that her research addresses key concerns and is communicated effectively to a range of audiences.

Her research on abortion was used to develop an NHS Lothian video on abortion—Let's Talk About Abortion—for young people.


Affiliated research centres

View all 45 publications on Research Explorer