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A message from the Director

The Open University Health & Wellbeing priority research area brings together an impressive multi-disciplinary team of colleagues from across the OU with external collaborators from the wider academy, industry, government, policy and practice in a bid to work together to address local, national and international health challenges. If you are interested in knowing more about this priority research area or are interested in working with us, please contact us via the details on the Contact Page.

Dr. Sarah EarleDr Sarah Earle has worked in several UK Universities and joined the Open University in 2005. She has held a number of senior roles and is currently Director of the University’s priority research area in Health & Wellbeing. Dr Earle is a sociologist by background with specialist expertise in reproduction, sex and health. She is a member of the Special Interest Group in Sexualities & Reproduction and has published over 100 academic papers, books and book sections in this field. Dr Earle has investigated a number of areas including fertility and contraception, pregnancy and childbirth, infant feeding and facilitated and paid-for-sex. Her most recent projects have focused on pre-conception care for women with diabetes (funded by NIHR HTA), contraceptive choices for women with learning disabilities (funded by Open Societies Foundation) and the development of standards and guidance for supporting the sexual rights of people with life-limiting conditions (funded by HEIF with the Sexuality Alliance).

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Impact

Although not an exhaustive list, OU’s Health and Wellbeing research areas are:

  • biomedical sciences
  • health services research
  • human computer interaction
  • digital health
  • personal informatics and wearable technologies
  • psychology and counselling
  • health economics
  • medical statistics
  • health communication
  • health policy
  • public health and health promotion
  • social marketing
  • sport and fitness
  • medical humanities
  • health law and ethics

 

Early Career Research Grant awarded by the AHRC

Dr Victoria Newton, Senior Research Fellow, has been awarded an Early Career Research Grant by the AHRC for a project titled Reproductive Bodylore: the role of vernacular knowledge in women's contraceptive decision-making. The project draws together folklore studies and health research. An approach which is uniquely innovative and novel. The study of vernacular knowledge can tell us much about...

Gaming will help future centenarians

Gamer Dr Hannah R. Marston presented her research at the billion-dollar tech company Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment. The health and wellbeing priority research area fellow was invited by the game designer, in Sweden, to talk about her work ‘From Arcade to World Wide Web – how intergenerational gaming can help you pick up an extra life’. It focuses on levels of immersion, or flow,...

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