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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences
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Dr Sarah Neal RGN, BSc, MSc,PhD

Associate Professor in Global Health, Joint Departmental Programme Director, Departmental Postgraduate Taught Programme Lead, Departmental Admissions Officer – Global Health

Dr Sarah Neal

Associate Professor in Global Health with interests in maternal, neonatal, child and reproductive health in low and middle income countries.

I originally trained as a nurse before studying social policy and social research at the Universities of Bristol and Bath. I have worked on a number of public health programmes in developing countries (and particularly in fragile states), and also spent time as a UK-based advisor with the UK Department for International Development. After completing my PhD on the determinants of neonatal mortality in developing countries at Southampton University in 2009, I worked on the Atlas of Birth Maternal Health Advocacy Project with the Universities of Southampton and Aberdeen and the White Ribbon Alliance. Prior to my appointment as lecture I held a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship researching motherhood in very young adolescents (under 16 years) in developing countries.

Research interests

Primary research group:

Research Interests:
My interests include maternal and child health (with particular focus on the neonatal period), adolescent sexual and reproductive health, inequities in health and health in conflict affected areas. Much of my recent work has focussed on the determinants and outcomes of very early adolescent motherhood (<16 years). I am particularly interested in the interface between research and policy and practice, and have close links with the WHO Reproductive Health team and colleagues within UNFPA as well as several NGOs.

Research projects:
Principal Investigator, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship: Very early adolescent motherhood in developing countries: trends, determinant and outcomes (£270,800): Sept 2012-June 2016.

Principal Investigator, ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant (in collaboration with colleagues from Southampton Geography Department, WHO and UNFPA Latin America): Disaggregating data on adolescent first birth for improved policy and practice (£9,600). June 2015-June 2016.

Principal Investigator, ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship: Determinants of neonatal health in developing countries (£75,000): (January 2011-June 2012).

Named Researcher, WUN network grant. The Journey to Reproductive and Sexual Health for Unaccompanied Adolescent Asylum Seekers. (£30,000). Jan 2015- Jan 2016.

Co-Investigator, ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant: The Atlas of Birth - Embedding the health of women and children into the post 2015 development agenda using online mapped evidence (£10,000) June 2014-June 2015.

Co-investigator, Gates Ventures Global Health Exemplars: ASHER: Adolescent Sexual Health Exemplars (£1.5m). December 2021- January 2023.

Co-Investigator, ESRC: ASPIRE-COVID-19: Achieving Safe and Personalised maternity care in response to epidemics. September 2021-February 2022.

Co-Investigator, New Ventures Fund; Follow-up activities from State of the World's Midwifery Report: Midwifery Educational Pathways in Low and Middle Income Countries. July 2021-April 2022.

Co-Investigator, Global Challenges Research Fund Grant: Redressing Gendered Health Inequalities of Displaced Women and Girls in contexts of Protracted Crisis in Central and South America (ReGHID) (£2.2million) Feb 2020 - Feb 2022

  • Erasmus/Exchange Coordinator, Social Statistics and Demography
  • South Coast DTP Pathway Coordinator for Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
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Working Paper

Module coordinator:

DEMO2010 (Population Change in Low and Middle Income Countries)

Lecturer on:

GLHE6002 (Methods and Analysis of Global Health Trends and Differentials)

DEMO2008/DEMO3007 (Population and Reproductive Health)

DEMO6026 (Population and Reproductive Health) 

UOSM2004 (Global Health)

Dr Sarah Neal
Reception Building 58 University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number : 58/4007

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