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Dr Sara A Morgan (née Afshar) BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Lecturer in Public Health

Dr Sara A Morgan (née Afshar)'s photo

Dr Sara A Morgan (née Afshar) is a Lecturer in Public Health based within the School of Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.

My work is guided by a desire to discover, and understand ways to improve, the causes and consequences of health inequalities, primarily during adolescence but also later into the life-course.

Sara initially trained in biomedical sciences, followed by global health and development at UCL, which led to work as a programme manager for a donor-funded programme at the National Cancer Institute in Sri Lanka and as a health advisor for an international charity.

She recently completed her doctoral studies in epidemiology and international public health. Her thesis examined the prevalence and impact of multi-morbidity in middle-income countries: for which she undertook mixed methods research, including qualitative fieldwork in Ghana. In parallel she undertook research consultancies with the World Health Organisation in Geneva and Cairo, and held responsibilities as a trustee for a local charity.

Currently, she has joined the ARC Wessex team as a Lecturer in Public Health to undertake mixed methods research that tackles the wider determinants of offending and violence prevention.

She was awarded Best Early Career Researcher in Public Health (2019) by the National Institute of Health Research and Public Health England.


BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences, University of Southampton (2009)

MSc Global Health & Development, University College London (2010)

PhD Epidemiology and International Public Health, University of Southampton (2017)

Research interests

Sara has a special interest in early prevention and promoting public health approaches that tackle health inequalities. Using a life-course perspective, she aims to investigate how early community-based interventions, particularly for those exposed to childhood adversity, can reduce risky lifestyle behaviours and the early onset of chronic disease.

To improve health outcomes for children and young adults, her interests are in:

  • applying health systems research to understand and address social inequalities
  • evaluating complex public health interventions in the community
  • examining risky behaviour, such as alcohol consumption, over the life-course and its influence on chronic disease
  • engagement with health services and rehabilitation of adolescents and young adults in contact with the criminal justice system
  • working directly with young vulnerable populations, particularly those affected by adverse childhood experiences
Current research projects

A public health approach to crime: secondary and tertiary prevention schemes for females victims and offenders in Hampshire and Dorset (ARC Wessex)

An evaluation of an out-of-court community-based Gateway intervention programme (Co-applicant; NIHR Public Health Research Programme: £1.4M)

An evaluation of the Family Support Project in Portsmouth (Co-investigator; £12,000)

A national qualitative scoping study of the Operation Encompass Scheme  (Chief investigator; £20,000)

PhD Research

PhD title: Multimorbidity: its prevalence and impact in middle-income countries. A multi-country comparison using household surveys and qualitative methods

Supervisors: Professor Paul J Roderick (Medicine), Professor Allan Hill (Social Sciences), Associate Professor Borislav Dimitrov (Medicine); Dr Caroline Eyles (Medicine)

Research group

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education

Affiliate research groups

Human Development and Health, Population Health Sciences Research group, Global Health Research Institute, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Wessex

Research project(s)


A randomised control trial, economic and qualitative evaluation to examine the effectiveness of an out-of-court community-based Gateway intervention programme aimed at improving health and well-being for young adult offenders; victim satisfaction and reducing recidivism

  • ARC Theme Lead for Wider Determinants of Health
  • Member to represent Faculty of Medicine at the University Senate Council (2018 – 2020)
  • Co-convener for cross-faculty seminars on Education, Mental Health & Well-being
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Book Chapter




  • Teaching on MSc Public Health Modules: “Health Service, Organisation and Evaluation”, “Epidemiology: Concepts, Analysis and Application”, “Development and Implementation of Public Health Policies and Strategies” and “Qualitative Methods for Public Health”
  • Supervision and mentoring of MSc Public Health and MSc Global Health students Facilitator for SSU Module – Health Improvement (BM5)
  • Undertaking appraisals/marking for MSc students in Public Health and students BM4/BM5

PhD supervision

Inna Walker (MD) on adverse childhood experiences and the public health approach to crime

Rebecca Harris (PhD) on exposure to domestic violence and abuse in low and middle-income countries

Dr Sara A Morgan (née Afshar)
Room AC19
Faculty of Medicine
Southampton General Hospital
South Academic Block
Southampton SO16 6YD

Room Number : SGH/AC19/MP805

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