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Dr Michael Head BSc (Hons), PGDip, PhD

Senior Research Fellow

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Michael is a senior research fellow who started at Southampton in October 2015.

He previously spent 11 years at UCL in the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and the Farr Institute for Health Informatics. He has research interests in research investments analyses, global burden of disease, health policy, care home research and scabies outbreaks.

Michael graduated from his PhD by published works (Amsterdam Institute in Global Health, University of Amsterdam) in May 2016, and he completed postgraduate study in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Portsmouth.


BSc, Biomedical Science, University of Portsmouth, 2000
PGDip, Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2006
PhD, The Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD), University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, awarded 17th May 2016 - Primary supervisor - Professor Frank Cobelens

Appointments held

2015- Senior research fellow, University of Southampton

2004-2015 – Research associate, University College London

2002-2004 – Course administrator, Tavistock and Portsman NHS Trust, London


Research interests

Michael is project lead (and co-applicant) on the Research Investments in Global Health study. (ResIn),  This project has previously systematically mapped research funding for infectious disease research awarded to UK institutions between 1997 and 2013. The analyses described the funding trends by pathogen and disease area, type of science, awarding body and by receiving institution. Further, analyses included correlations between disease-specific funding and the global burden of disease – so how much investment is there in research compared to how much disease there is thought to be? The results suggested that the UK is a key player in global infectious disease research, and probably has research strengths in some of the neglected tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis and trypanosomisias. However, we have little funding or established research infrastructure for diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhoea, and other areas such as pneumonia are probably very under-funded.

The ResIn study now has funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to carry out a two year expansion project whereby we collate investment data from the G20 countries for infectious disease research and analyse global data against global and national burdens of disease (using the Global Burden of Disease study data produced by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation). We will also assess the impact and outputs of research, to ascertain how ‘useful’ investments in R&D are.

See our published outputs to date. The work is expanding to includue analyses on cancer research investments and also veterinary disease.

Michael also is involved with an epidemiological study looking at scabies outbreaks in residential care in southeast England (led by Brighton and Sussex Medical School), and has published on the complexities of setting up outbreak research where the participants lack capacity and thus cannot themselves consent to taking part.





Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Internal - Chair of a session at the BM5 3rd Year Conference, January 2016 (provisionally agreed)

Reviewer of submissions for Lancet Infectious Diseases, Lancet Global Health, BMJ, BMJ Open, Health Research Policy and Systems, and several other journals 


Member of the Infectious Disease Research Network steering group 

Member of the project team and the steering group of the ‘scabies outbreak in residential care’ study

Just completed 5-year tenure on the ‘primary care and community’ panel at the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (finished July 2015) 

Supervised several medical and A level students on work placements



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Michael has taught on short courses at UCL (and in particular the Farr Institute for Health Informatics). Topics have variously included the use of analyses of research investments, public engagement, and patient and public involvement

Dr Michael Head
Tel: +44 (0)23 8120 8895

Room Number: SGH//MP852

Telephone:(023) 8077 7222x7200

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