Our Team

Our Team

Logos of University of Aberdeen, Addis Ababa University and University of Rwanda

Project Team

University of Aberdeen, UK

Professor Pamela Abbott (Joint-Principal Investigator)

Photo of Prof AbbottRole on the project: Project Director, Joint-Academic Lead, and Country Lead for the UK. Co-lead for WP5 Dissemination, Advocacy and Sustainability, and contributing to WPs 1-4 and 6. Lead on critical realism, gender and intersectionality.

About: A sociologist by training, my main research interests are health, wellbeing, and quality of life. I have carried out research in more than 20 countries in the Global South including the former Soviet Union, North Africa and the Middle East, East Africa, and Bangladesh. For the last 10 years most of my research has been in East Africa, much of it in Rwanda.

In addition to the NIHR project I am directing a project on the Social Practices Approach to Adult Literacies in Rwanda funded by the Scottish Government. I am also co-I on two International Development Research Centre funded projects in Rwanda, one on economic and social recovery from COVID-19 and the other on women’s unpaid care work, on a project on transitions to democracy in Tunisia funded by the Scottish Funding Council, and a project on the impact of COVID-19 on the readymade garment industry in Bangladesh funded by the Arts and Humanities Funding Council and the Scottish Funding Council. My work has been published in authored books, in peer review journals and chapters in edited collections.

I am also working on a research capacity building programme in Ethiopia funded by the UK Research and Innovation. At the University of Aberdeen, I supervise PhD students and teach on a 6th Century Course, Sustainable Development for All.

Niamh Bruce

Biography to follow.

Dr Lucia D’Ambruoso

Photo of Dr D'Ambruoso

Role on the project: Co-Lead for WP1 Context, Situational Analysis, Community and Policy Actors Engagement, and contributing to WPs 3-6. Expertise in Health systems research and lead for participatory research.

About: I am a social scientist and health policy and systems researcher interested in service organisation and delivery, the social determinants of health, and participatory theory and method. I am working mainly with: Verbal Autopsy (VA) for routine mortality surveillance, and Participatory Action Research (PAR) to shift power towards those most directly affected to understand and transform. I also work in policy studies and on research uptake, and determinants of uptake.

I have 20 years’ experience of international working with universities, research agencies and networks, UN organisations, and in governments at different levels.

In addition to the NIHR Global Health Research Group on Promoting Children’s and Adolescent’s Mental Wellbeing in sub-Saharan Africa, I am working on the following research supported by research councils and philanthropic organisations: 2015-present VAPAR (Verbal Autopsy with Participatory Action Research) Principal Investigator UKRI (MRC, ESRC, Wellcome/DFID Joint Health Systems Research Initiative) Global Challenges Research Fund programme strengthening health systems in rural South Africa through comprehensive primary care; and NIHR Global Health Research Group and Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHTS)   building evidence and capacity for people-centred approaches in child and adolescent mental health, and injury and trauma care in South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Pakistan.

I am a postgraduate teacher in health policy and systems research, health and development, and qualitative methods. I am the Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Development, University of Aberdeen, Honorary Senior Researcher at MRC/Wits Agincourt, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Extraordinary Senior Lecturer, Department of Global Health, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Global Affiliate of the Umeå Centre for Global Health Research, Umeå University, Sweden, and Honorary Analyst National Health Service (NHS) Grampian, Scotland, UK. I also serve on the Editorial Board of Global Health Action.

Eilidh Cowan

Role on the project: Research Assistant.

About: I am a data scientist with a particular interest in the generation and utility of routine data for understanding health inequalities. I work with Verbal Autopsy data, a tool to generate mortality data in areas where vital statistics are not routinely produced. Further to this I work with routinely collected administrative datasets in Scotland to utilise this data for research. Using administrative data, my PhD considers the health and wellbeing impact of childhood chronic diseases on the entire family.

Dr Abraham Getaneh

Dr Abraham GetanehRole on the project: co-I working on WP3.

About: I joined HERU as a research fellow in March 2023 and work in the Health Behaviour and Assessment of Technologies themes within the unit. My main research interests lie in the economic evaluation of health interventions by using both trial-based and decision-modelling approaches. I obtained my PhD degree in 2021 from Erasmus University Rotterdam, focusing on the economic evaluation of prostate cancer screening. I hold an MSc degree in Epidemiology and Economics from Utrecht University, the Netherlands (in 2015).

Professor Paul McNamee

Photo of Prof McNameeRole on the project: Co-lead for WP3 Applied Health Research and contributing to WPs 4-6. Lead for Health Economics.

About: I joined HERU as a Senior Research Fellow in October 2002 and am now Professor of Health Economics. I am the lead for the Health Behaviour theme within HERU.

My main research interests include the study of economic aspects of healthy ageing and social care, and the development of methods to design and evaluate self-management strategies in long-term conditions. Current research projects focus on measurement of the impacts of health behaviour change (principally diet and physical activity) on health, well-being and life satisfaction, both in healthy populations and amongst populations with long-term health conditions. My research also encompasses estimation of the cost-effectiveness of interventions that aim to improve healthy lifestyles and mental health, and the valuation of changes in health and well-being.

I hold an MA Honours degree in Economics from the University of Aberdeen, an MSc in Health Economics from the University of York and a PhD from the University of Newcastle. Prior to my present appointment, I was a Research Associate, then Lecturer, in Health Economics at the University of Newcastle.

Jane Negrych

Photo of Jane Negrych

Role on the project: Training in mindfulness for co-investigators, teacher educators and teachers, and co-designer of the mindfulness intervention.  Lead co-I on WP2 Context Specific Intervention, Design and Delivery.

About: I am the Managing Director of The Sanctuary, a Mindfulness and Meditation Centre in the heart of Dublin city.  I have been in this role since October 2018.  My role involves Strategic Implementation; Financial planning and management; Human Resources planning and management; Community relations/advocacy; and Risk Management.

I also teach on the Caring for the Caregiver programme and the MBLC Teacher Training.  I have been teaching the MBLC course to Service Users, Service Providers, and family members at the Recovery College in DCU since 2015.  I am also a trained Supervisor for Mindfulness teachers.

Prior to this, I was Communications Manager with The Mindfulness Association UK for almost 6 years.

I hold a BA Hons in English from the University of Winnipeg.  I have completed and am an Honorary Teaching Fellow on the MSc Studies in Mindfulness with the University of Aberdeen.

Dr Rachel Shanks

Photo of Dr Shanks

Role on the project: Co-lead for WP4 Education and Training and contributing to WPs 5 & 6. Lead for capacity building/ training.

About: An education researcher interested in children’s rights and social and environmental justice, I am currently researching the affordability of school uniform and the lived experience of new teachers. I am engaging with national and local stakeholders on school uniform and working closely with both poverty and human rights groups in Scotland.

I am an experienced researcher and educator who has worked in employment rights, community education, trade union education and higher education for over thirty years. Research activities have been funded by the EU, the Scottish Government, local government, national charities, and national research funding bodies. I am a Training Coordinator for the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme, Politico, with Early-Stage Researchers researching how political concepts are used in the world. Additionally, I am Co-investigator of the Scottish Government funded research study Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education. 

I am Associate Director of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) with responsibility for the Society and Welfare Hub and the SGSSS postdoctoral fellowship scheme. Previously, I have worked as the Former Education Pathway Convenor for SGSSS and Postgraduate Research Director for the School of Education. I am a Co-convenor of the European Educational Research Association network ‘Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures’.

Currently, I also coordinate interdisciplinary courses at the University of Aberdeen on Sustainability and Employability and supervise four PhD studies. I teach how to use NVivo software for qualitative data analysis at the University of Aberdeen, for SGSSS and the University of Inland Norway. I am editor of the journal Human Rights Education Review and former lead editor of Education in the North journal. In addition, I am an external examiner for the University of Stirling’s EdD Doctor of Education and MRes (Education) degrees and previously external examiner at the University of Warwick.

Isabel Stanley

Photo of Isabel StanleyRole on the project: Research Project Manager

About: I work as a Research Project Manager within the Centre for Global Development, focussing on the NIHR-CAMW Project.

I have extensive project management experience in the academic and charity sectors. I graduated with a BA (Hons) in International Studies and an MSc in Policy Analytics. 

I sit on the International Aid Transparency Initative (IATI) Publisher's Working Group. 

University of Rwanda, Rwanda

Professor Wenceslas Nzabalirwa (Joint-Principal Investigator)

Photo of Prof Nzabalirwa

Role on the project: Joint-Principal Investigator and Country Lead for Rwanda. Mindfulness Primary Teacher Educator. Co-Lead for WP5 Dissemination, Advocacy and Sustainability, and contributing to WPs 2, 4 and 6.

About: I am a teacher educator, trainer of trainers and curriculum developer interested in the contextualisation of teaching, learning and assessment approaches in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in general, and Rwanda in particular.  Using qualitative case study designs, I have worked on a series of papers which have been published in various education areas such as learner-centred pedagogy (LCP), competence-based curriculum (CBC) and social practice approach (SPA) with a firm effort to re-conceptualise, re-interpret and adapt these approaches to the political, economic and socio-cultural Rwandan education system.

I have over 25 years’ experience of teaching, research, community engagement and academic management in Higher Education. I work as Head of Department, Faculty Dean, and Vice Rector for Academics and Research, as well as Coordinator of various research projects funded by international organisations and governments. These projects include Fostering a Social Practices Approach to Adult Literacies for improving people’s quality of life in Western Rwanda Project, funded by the Scottish Government (2017-2023); Leaders in Teaching (LIT) Initiative Project funded by Mastercard Foundation (2018-2024); and Higher Education Student and Staff Mobility Project funded by European Union through Erasmus+ programme (2020-2023). 

I act as supervisor/co-supervisor of PhD students’ dissertations at the University of Rwanda-College of Education (UR-CE) and from other national and foreign higher education institutions (HEIs) including the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), University of Aberdeen (UK), Cornell University (USA), Kenyatta University (Kenya) and East China Normal University (Shanghai-China). I am also an external Examiner of master’s and PhD theses of students from both national and foreign HEIs. 

Ali Kaleeba Bakali

Photo of Ali Kaleeba Bakali

Role on the project: Mindfulness Primary Teacher Educator. Co-Lead for WP2 Context Specific Intervention, Design and Delivery, and contributing to WPs 4 & 5.

About: I am an enthusiastic and goal-oriented teacher educator as well as a quantitative and qualitative researcher. I have over 15 years of experience in applying quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in various assignments for local and international organisations, and as a co-researcher in several research grant projects, including: Use of ICT in Supporting  Basic Education in Rwanda,  a five year research  project (2005-2010) led by the Kigali Institute of Education (Current University of Rwanda, College of Education) in partnership with the University of Bristol in the UK and the University of South Africa, funded by DFID; Engaging teachers in peace building (2015-2017) funded by ESRC/DFID; Strengthening Civic Participation through Community (2012) funded by the Rwanda Governance Board; Gender Responsiveness of School Curriculum (2016-2017) led by the Kigali Institute of Education (Current University of Rwanda, College of Education) funded by the University of California; and Fostering a Social Practice Approach to Adult Literacies for Improving People’s Quality of Life in Western Rwanda (2017-March 2022) funded by the Scottish Government. 

My main research interests include gender education, mental health, adult literacies education and blended learning. I participated in the development of TOT manuals for pre-service teachers and community members in various areas including mental health, school guidance and counselling, community adult literacies, soft skills for work readiness, gender education, Educational Psychology, and Measurement and Assessment in Education. I am involved in the development and implementation of various education programmes in higher learning institutions including the Rwanda Education Qualification Framework (REQF), Undergraduate Bachelor of Education and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Diploma programmes at the University of Rwanda, College of Education. 

Ivan Gahima

Role on the project: PhD student at the University of Rwanda.

About: I am dedicated academic and researcher. I hold a Master's degree in Neuroscience from Konkuk University, South Korea and I serve as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Rwanda. My expertise extends to the field of Psychiatry, where I impart knowledge to undergraduate students in the Department of Clinical Medicine & Community Health.

My research interests reflect my profound dedication to making a meaningful impact on mental health. My work delves into critical areas such as, addressing autism spectrum disorders, Social Isolation, & Social Reward Processing in the Brain. With an acute awareness of the challenges faced by these vulnerable populations, my research serves as a beacon of hope, aiming to improve the lives of those often overlooked. I have authored and co-authored and published two articles in peer-reviewed journals.

I am currently enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Rwanda, under the project NIHR Global Health Research Group on Promoting Children’s and Adolescent’s Mental Wellbeing in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Darius Gishoma

Photo of Dr GishomaRole on the project: Co-lead for WP4 Education and Training, and contributing to WPs 3, 5 & 6.

About: I am an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Mental Health Department, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda. I also serve as a guest Lecturer for the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) since 2018. I finished my PhD at Catholic University of Louvain (clinical psychology).

I am a practicing clinical psychologist with a wide range of clinical experience in helping people affected by traumatic experiences and other common mental health disorders in Rwanda. I also have a track record of research and associated publications in the field of mental health In Rwanda. My primary area of research and publication is in treatment development and evaluation of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and substance abuse, global mental health, maternal and child health and community-based interventions. 

I also have a significant amount of public engagement activity: from January 2018 to December 2021, I served as the Chairperson of the Board of the National Commission for Children (NCC), a government institution established to address issues affecting Rwandan youth under 18 years, coordinate welfare services and advise the Government on all aspects related to Children under 18. I also serve as a Member of the Rwanda National Ethics Committee.

Associate Professor Clementine Kanazayire

Role on the pAssociate Professor Clementine Kanazayireroject: contributing to WPs 1, 3 and 4.

About: I hold a Ph.D degree in Psychological Sciences and Education from the ‘Université Libre de Bruxelles’ in Belgium and a Bachelor of Science in Scholar Psychology awarded by National University of Rwanda (NUR). I am currently an ‘Associate Professor’ and the Head of the Mental Health Department in the University of Rwanda.

My research interests are related to reconciliation, intergroup relations, Gender Based Violence and Mental Health. As a lecturer I am also interested in identifying barriers that are impacting students’ mental wellbeing and their learning process. I have a wide expertise in qualitative, quantitative research and skilled in curriculum, modules development, monitoring and evaluation of projects, adult training, and am skilled in working with communities and multi-cultural diversity.

Previously, I have worked on a project titled ‘The Effect of Compassionate Therapy on Reconciliation Project’ performed in collaboration with Ghent University, Belgium, and Université Libre de Bruxelle, Belgium. I have also been involved in TSAM and ‘Project Health Equity in Context’ performed in collaboration with Western Ontario University, Canada. I am currently working as a principal investigator for the project on ‘Common mental disorders and associated factors among healthcare students in Rwanda: A cross-sectional study.’

I have experience as a consultant for several institutions in Rwanda such as International Alert, Survivor Fund, Prison Fellowship, UNICEF, Handicap International, and Caritas Rwanda, through the Commission Justice et Paix, Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, and in Burundi with I+ Solutions Organisation. I also worked as the Project Coordinator in ‘Action pour le Development et la Paix en Afrique (ADPA)’ in charge of Child Labour and Vulnerable Children.

Emmanuel Mwizerwa

Role on the project: Research Assistant, contributing to work packages 1, and 3-6. 

About: I work as a Research Assistant at UR-SPIU on the NIHR Global Health Research Group on Promoting Children’s and Adolescent’s Mental Wellbeing in Sub-Saharan Africa Project.

I’m a holder of a bachelor degree in Environmental Health Sciences from Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences at University of Rwanda. I have three years of experience in the research field. I worked on Covid-19 Data Quality at Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) for the period of two years, and one year as Research Assistant at Ingenuity Ltd. I am always looking for new ways to boost and develop community health in developing countries specifically the young generation, which I would like to explore more during my academic and professional journey.

Emmy Ndagijimana

Emmy NdagijimanaRole on the project: Finance and Administrative Officer

About: Based in Kigali Rwanda, I currently serve as a Finance and Administrative Officer at UR-SPIU for the project “NIHR Global Health Research Group on Promoting Children’s and Adolescent’s Mental Wellbeing in Sub-Saharan Africa”.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting Science from the College of Business and Economics at the University of Rwanda (UR). With a robust background in accounting and finance, I bring expertise in various areas including financial reporting, cash management, human resource management, and employee benefits.

With six years of experience in the finance and administrative field, I have demonstrated proficiency in managing finances for both private entities and international contexts. Previous roles include Accountant at Source Oil Company for three years, followed by a promotion to Manager for an additional year. Additionally, I served as a Cashier at Paradise Agents Uganda (U) LTD for one year and completed a professional internship at the University of Rwanda Single Project Implementation Unit (UR-SPIU) in the finance department for one year.

Francois Nkurunziza

Photo of Francois NkurunzizaRole on the project: Community representative and contributing to WPs 1 & 5.

About: I have 9 years of working experience in healthcare as a nurse, in addition to 9 years of experience working as a health center manager involved in planning the activities of the health center, human resources and financial management.

I work on quality improvement projects in mother and child health programs, for example increasing postpartum family planning, increasing health facility delivery, increasing utilisation rate of antenatal care services and women’s cancer early detection.

I also facilitate students on the Community Based Education (CBE) at the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE).

I participate in varies book camp summer programmes organized by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) on “Health Service Delivery at Community Health Facilities: Health Centers and Health Posts”.

Professor Laetitia Nyirazinyoye

Photo of Prof NyirazinyoyeRole on the project: Co-lead for WP1 Context, Situational Analysis, Community and Policy Actors Engagement, and contributing to WPs 3-5. Qualitative research lead in Rwanda.

About: I am a full Professor in Public Health at the University of Rwanda, in the Community Health Department of the School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences. I was born and raised in Gikondo, Kicukiro District, Kigali City. I completed a Professional Certificate Program at the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Eastern Province of Rwanda where I was trained and from which I graduated in 1996 with Distinction (Infirmière accoucheuse, A2).

I received my bachelor’s degree in Public Health in 2002 at the National University of Rwanda and joined academic staff of the University the same year. In 2007 I received a Master of Science in International Development and Technology Transfer. I was awarded my PhD in 2011, in International Health and Development with concentration in community health programs at Tulane University. I have an expertise of twenty years in teaching and conducting policy and program evaluations using qualitative and mixed research methods.

The focus of my studies is maternal, child and adolescent health especially the relationship between mental health and human development in a divided society, including the protection of children, adolescents, and women against both exposures to, and consequences of trauma from genocide, violence, and HIV/AIDS. My major scientific achievements comprise development research capacity and evaluation of health and development policies, programs and interventions in Rwanda and in other countries.

I have served as member of the Board of Governors of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, as member of the Board of Directors of the Rwanda Biomedical Center and have been member of the Executive Committee of the National Ethics Committee since 2013. I am also member of the Board of Directors of the Jesuit Urumuri Center for Research and Social Action.

I was recently elected the Vice-President of the GEARG-Rwanda, an Organisation founded by Rwanda Graduates Genocide Survivors for improving the quality of life and knowledge of Genocide Survivors for their effective active participation in genocide prevention activities and to contribute to the Rwandan sustainable development agenda. From 1996 to 1997, I was elected secretary of the first Executive Committee of College Representatives of the Genocide Survivors Students Association (AERG) at the national University of Rwanda.

I am a Christian and married with four children. I am a member of the Brotherhood of the New Evangelization for the Revival of the Faith and Inner Trauma Healing in Rwanda (Fraternité), and an active member of the Connect Up Team, a Christian non-profit ministry focused on helping people connect with God through personal healing prayer. I like reading, travelling, and caring for my family and friends.

Dr Eric Remera

Photo of Dr RemeraRole on the project: Lead for quantitative research in Rwanda. Co-lead WP3 Applied Health Research, and contributing to WPs 1, 4-6.

About: I am a trained biostatistician with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Epidemiology and biostatistics from Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland.  I have more than twelve years in public health programs in the programmatic design of delivery of prevention, care, treatment, and support service delivery for public health interventions, monitoring and evaluation, and population and population and clinical research. I have served as director of HIV surveillance and research. Previously I have contributed to the national HIV and Viral Hepatitis guideline revision and national strategic plans by providing critical analysis and evidence based systematic reviews and led the strategic information unit for the funder (Global fund and PEPFAR) grant applications. 

As data scientist and researcher, I have been leading the development and implementation of study protocols, conducting data analyses, and the scientific communication of study findings. This has included major studies including the Rwanda AIDS Indicator and HIV Incidence Survey, the Rwanda population Based Impact Assessment, the demographic health survey, the integrated behaviour and biological surveys among key populations and clinical trials. 

I have co-authored more than forty-five peer-reviewed scientific publications and has presented research findings at national and international scientific conferences. Further, I serve as adjunct lecturer for research methodology in clinical research at the University of Global Health Equity and University of Rwanda, where I mentor master students. My research focuses on longitudinal data analysis, policy evaluation using statistical methods, Bayesian statistics and decision models. 

Dr Clarisse Marie Claudine Simbi

Biography to follow soon.

Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Dr Tsion Hailu

Photo of Dr Tsion Hailu

Role on the project: Academic Co-Lead in Ethiopia, Country Co-Lead for Ethiopia, and contributing to WPs 2 and 4-6.

About: I have worked as a practicing psychiatrist for the past 6 years. I am experienced in integrating mental health service in primary care and interested in community based mental health care.

In addition, I have participated in quantitative research and am interested in global and community mental health research.

I teach psychiatry to medical students and postgraduate students at St. Paul Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, and Diredawa University, Diredawa, Ethiopia.

Dr Mahlet Yared

Photo of Dr Yared

Role on the project: Academic Co-Lead for Ethiopia, Country Co-Lead for Ethiopia, Co-Lead for WP 5 Dissemination, Advocacy and Sustainability, and contributing to WPs 1, 3, 4 & 6.

About: I am a psychiatrist and mental health researcher interested in global mental health and mental health system and service delivery. One of my main interest areas is equitable mental health service delivery in rural parts of Ethiopia.

I have collaborated in different severe mental illness research projects and have experience in improvement of depression detection in primary care settings.

I teach Psychiatry to medical students and postgraduate students. I am also the current postgraduate coordinator in the department of Psychiatry.  

Isayas Wubshet Alemu

Role on the project: PhD student at Addis Ababa University.

About: I graduated from Addis Ababa University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and social anthropology, and subsequent to that, I obtained two master’s degrees in development studies and social work. I am currently a PhD student in sociology at Addis Ababa University.

I have over a decade of experience in various governmental and non-governmental local and international organisations, primarily focused on children, youth, women, and vulnerable groups such as drought-affected and flood-prone communities.

For the past six years, I have been giving lectures on several courses related to sociology, social anthropology, and social work at various public and private universities. Among the major ones are medical sociology, urban sociology, criminology, inclusiveness, sociological theories, sociology of peace and conflict, globalization, social movements and civic societies, population movements, sociology of Ethiopian societies, social identity, and social anthropology.

Besides my role as a lecturer, I review, consult, and evaluate degree students’ research projects. I have also participated in a lot of volunteer work and community service. I have published two articles that are primarily focused on hospital-based psychosocial treatment for children with cancer and on youth unemployment. In addition, as a principal investigator, I conducted a study on female criminality in Ethiopia and participated as a co-investigator in another study focusing on inter-ethnic conflict.

Dr Semere Gebremariam Baraki

Dr Semere Gebremariam BarakiRole on the project: Post-Doctoral Researcher, contributing to work packages 1 and 3-5.

About: I attended and received my PhD in Public Health from the University of South Africa, Pretoria, MSc in Health Informatics; and a BSc in Nursing from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. In addition to this, I have received training in various programs such as family planning, ART, urban health extension, electronic health management and information systems, monitoring and evaluation, comprehensive abortion, hospital preparedness and mass disaster, integrated management of children and infants, emergency and first aid response, violence and injury prevention, tuberculosis and leprosy management, paramedic pre-hospital emergency service, advanced qualitative and quantitative research courses, infection prevention, and clinical  mentoring of HIV care from various national and international organizations.

I am a health informatics specialist with sufficient knowledge and experience in areas of HMIS and indicators, DHIS2, data quality assessment techniques and metrics, and information use. I have extensive knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research, and software applications such as SPSS, Epi Info, STATA, ATLAS.ti, NVivo, and Endnote. During my career, I have worked as an academician, researcher, consultant, advisor, and reviewer. I have worked at a health science college as a lecturer, assistant professor, department head, and research coordinator. I have worked as a researcher with national and international universities and organizations in the field of health science, and I have 18 years of work experience  teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students in  various courses,  including research methodology, biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy, monitoring and evaluation, introduction to public health, and introduction to computer and software applications. I have also worked as a main  advisor and co-advisor  to  postgraduate and undergraduate  students in Menelik II Medical and Health Science College, Addis Ababa.  

I have participated in community services in different areas, such as hospitals, health centres, youth centres, prisons, and schools, for behavioral change communication, to identify community health  problems, to plan interventions, monitor and evaluate community health  interventions, and ultimately to  improve the health of the community in the Addis Ababa city administration, the capital city of Ethiopia. In addition to this, I have participated in researcher activities as a principal investigator, co-investigator, supervisor, and data collector in various thematic areas such as  urban health extension program evaluation, health professionals ethics, health professionals work satisfaction, health system delivery and redesign, sexual and reproductive health of  adolescents, COVID-19, and gender-based violence, and I have disseminated my research outputs in peer-reviewed journals. I also serve as a life member of the Ethiopian public health association, and I am a focal person in my working organization for the national blood bank service of Ethiopia.

Meron Birle

Meron BirleRole on the project: Project Manager

About: I hold a BSc degree in Public Health and an MSc in Medical Physiology. I have worked as a lecturer for three years, sharing my expertise with students. Additionally, I have spent the last two years as a research assistant at AAU, focusing on sexual and reproductive health for adolescents and children. This experience has fuelled my passion for working with young people, inspiring me to pursue opportunities that support their health and development. I am particularly interested in developing and implementing evidence-based programs that address the unique challenges faced by adolescents and children. My goal is to make a meaningful impact on their well-being and overall health outcomes.

Wakgari Tasisa Duressa

Photo of Wakgari Tasisa Duressa

Role on the project: Mindfulness Primary Teacher Educator, co-lead for WP4 Education and Training and contributing to WPs 2, 5, 6. Expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods.

About: I am an Assistant Professor and Education Policy, Leadership and Teacher Education researcher interested in service organization and community-based works. My specific research interests include teacher training issues, curricular design, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of teachers and school leaders, transformative leadership, Action Research, organizational learning, outcome-based learning and education, impact evaluation, organizational culture, pre and adolescents, and gender equity amongst others. I am engaged in research that transforms the education system through a transformative approach, creation of a learning organisation and measurement of performance/change made with special focus on teacher educators and leaders. 

In addition, I work as a consultant in education policy studies and their impact on school education with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Education. Previously in this role, I have worked on developing Ethiopian Teachers and schools’ leaders Continuous Professional Development, monitored by the International Organization Education Development Trust/EDT, and financed by DFID/UK Aid, ending in 2021.

I have over 15 years’ experience as teacher, researcher and community services provider, and consultant working at various levels of the education system from Tertiary to Lower primary school level and below. 

I have served as Principal investigator of various teacher education research projects, including Participatory Action Research (PAR) on mathematics achievement for female students; students attrition determinants in higher education with focus on marginalised groups; and gender issues funded through the competitive National Government Grant, Ministry of Finance of Ethiopia. 

I am also a National Trainer on teacher education, leadership and organisational delivery certified by the Ethiopian Management Institute and Haramaya University. I have served in leadership and management positions of the government education system of Ethiopia.

Furthermore, I am a postgraduate teacher, thesis advisor and examiner in the areas of teacher education, children and adolescents’ education program, policy focuses, leading organisations for success, quality management issues, and systems research, action based researches and human development through advanced quantitative methods and qualitative methods. 

I am the General Manager at TMOD Management Consulting; Head of Teacher Education Program at Haramaya University, Ethiopia; and Coordinator of the Innovative Female Leadership training program, funded by the UK Government/DFID.

Dr Kibur Engdawork

Photo of Dr EngdaworkRole on the project: Co-Lead for WP1 Situation Analysis and Stakeholder Engagement and contributing to WPs 3-6.

About: I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, at Addis Ababa University. I have been teaching at Addis Ababa University for over a decade, working on social efforts that aim to reduce stigma and improve the health behaviour of people in rural Ethiopia. 

I am one of the investigators for the project entitled “NIHR Global Health Research Group on Promoting Children's and Adolescent's Mental Wellbeing in sub-Saharan Africa”.

In addition, I have co-authored articles related to Neglected Tropical Disease and stigma in peer reviewed reputable journals. I have previously secured several research grants from local and international organizations. I was awarded a post-doctoral research fellowship for Social Sciences for Severe Stigmatizing Skin Diseases (5S foundation) at the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), funded through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in 2019. During my postdoc, I studied the influence of contexts and settings on the implementation of health promotion interventions. 

Dr Girma Motti Geletu

Role on the project: Postdoctoral Researcher, contributing to work packages 1, and 3-5.

About: I attended and received my PhD in curriculum studies, teacher education and professional development, MA in curriculum and instruction, and BSc in biology and chemistry from Addis Ababa University. In addition, I attended and received a higher diploma program (HDP) license of teaching higher education certificate from Dilla University, Ethiopia.

During my career I have worked as an academician, researcher, consultant, advisory, writer and editor. I have worked in in secondary schools, and colleges of teacher education, as well as a senior education expert, stream head, HH-surveyor (using software such as using mobile technology- KOBO, SPSS, SAT, INVIVO, ATLAS) for data collection and analysis, and a higher diploma program (HDP) leader and trainer.

I have worked as a pedagogical designer and writer on a national grade 9-12 biology student textbook and teacher guide, and as a pedagogical designer and committee member of blended learning at Hawassa University.

I have also worked in distance education, policy framework development, linkage schools coordinator, principal, journal editor-in-chief and editorial manager and education research ethical clearance member and secretary at Hawassa University College of Education.

I have participated in community services and more than twenty thematic and disciplinary research projects at Hawassa University, Addis Ababa University and Bule-Hora and Fitche Colleges of Teacher Education (CTEs) in Oromia Regional State. I have also worked on job attractiveness and assertiveness for skilled and semi-skilled youth employment, as a supervisor on the ID-insight or ethiochicken project, as a USAID/GEQUIP surveyor, and in collaboration with SOS, TMOD, GAGE, and FMC consultancy.

I teach undergraduate and postgraduate students on the topics of research design and methodology, action research and practicum, teachers as reflective practitioners, medical pedagogy, statistical testing curriculum, quality of education and educational testing,  curriculum design, development, implementation and evaluation, instructional modeling, multicultural and contemporary issues. I have worked as an advisor and co-advisor of MA and PhD students for the last 25 academic years.

I have disseminated my research outputs via more than ten international conferences and thirty-five national conferences, and have five peer-review journal publications on issues related to education and teacher professional development policy and practices, quality education, higher education, gender/culturally responsive pedagogy, play-based  curriculum and pedagogy, differentiated instruction, professional identity, science curriculum implementation, academic autonomy and freedom, accountability and responsibility, and action research.

I have excellent verbal and written language skills in English, Amharic, Afan Oromo and Tigrigna.

I am married and have four children.

Dr Elias Sebsibe Haile

Photo of Dr Elias Sebsibe Haile

Role on the project: Co-Lead on WP2 Context Speific Intervention, Design and Delivery, Mindfulness Primary Teacher Educator, and contributing to WPs 1, 4 and 6.

About: I am an Assistant Professor of Education (Educational Leadership & Management) at Kotebe University of Education, teaching on educational leadership and educational research related courses. I hold a Bachelors’ degree in Ethiopian Languages and Literature (Art) and Business Management (Art) the former from Addis Ababa University and the latter from Jimma University, an MA in Educational Planning and Management from Addis Ababa University, and a PhD in Education from the University of South Africa. 

I have 16 years of experience in the education sector, having contributed in various capacities. I am a certified consultant and trainer in leadership and management areas, and an author of “The Practice of School Leadership: Before the Political Reform of 2018 in Ethiopia”. I have published in various journals and participate in (inter)national educational conferences. I am passionate about educational leadership and commit my effort toward improving effective school leadership. 

Dr Awoke Mihretu

Photo of Dr Awoke MihretuRole on the project: co-lead for WP3, quantative research lead in Ethiopia, and contributor to WPs 1, and 4-6.

About: I am a clinical psychologist with over a decade of professional experience encompassing clinical practice, supervision, leadership, and research. I earned my PhD in Mental Health Epidemiology in the year 2021. Presently, I serve as an Assistant Professor of clinical psychology at Addis Ababa University, Department of Psychiatry. Within this academic role, I engage in lecturing, seminar facilitation, and supervision for Master of Science (MSc) clinical psychology, psychiatry resident and PhD students. My PhD thesis focused on the development and validation of a screening tool for problematic substances use. I possess research experience and a strong interest in various fields, such as implementation science, psychometrics, and addiction science.

Primary Teacher Educators

Kesia Ahobamfatiye

Photo of Kesia Ahobamfatiye

Role on the project: Mindfulness Primary Teacher Educator.

About: I am Kesia Ahobamfatiye, a teacher at TTC Kirambo. I have been teaching for 27 years. I taught primary school for 26 years (1996-2021) and I am teaching secondary school since 2021. 

I am a certified educator with MCE and I am digitally literate. 

Frehiwot Alemu Abera

Role on the project: Mindfulness Primary Teacher Educator for WP2.

About: I am a Lectuter at Kotebe University of Education. 

I am a young graduate from Addis Ababa University with a Masters in Anthropology and I have also completed another Masters with Business Administration from St.Mary’s University. My first degree was from Addis Ababa University in History (Education). I have also attended law school for three years.

I have 10 years of experience as a lecturer at public and private Universities in Ethiopia. Particularly I have developed good experience in teaching primary and secondary level teachers for the past six years. I  was able to publish about one of my research in my University’s annual journal.

Anatole Ntwari Nziharanira

Photo of Anatole Ntwari NziharaniraRole on the project: Mindfulness Primary Teacher Educator.

About: I am a teacher at TTC Kirambo (Teacher Training College-Burera-Northern Rwanda). Between 2011-2016, I studied at University of Rwanda – College of Education and I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Since 2019, I have been a teacher of Foundations of Education, a teacher of Music, Fine art and craft.

I am a Microsoft Certified Educator and Microsoft Innovative Educator trainer. I was a winner on Building Peace in Hearts and Minds (Goi Peace Foundation – winners of 2015).

Throughout my life, I have worked with youth as I was a sectoral youth coordinator. I now work in school where I meet youth of different ages.

Zergaw Lema Worku

Photo of Zergaw Lema

Role on the project: Mindfulness Primary Teacher Educator.

About: I was born in 1974 G.C in rural area of Ethiopia from my peasant family. I attended my primary education (1-6) in the nearby elementary school from 1982 to 1987. I also joined and completed the junior secondary school (grade 7& 8) from 1987-1989. My senior secondary school was held at the Woreda town of Arsi province from 1989 to 1993.

My tertiary educational career started in 1995/1996 by attending the one year teacher training institute that enabled me to stay as primary school teacher for about three years. From 1999- 2003, I attended and received my first degree in History major with minor Geography from Dilla University of Ethiopia. After my graduation, I was remained in secondary schools on teaching History from 2003- 2013. In the mean time I was attended and completed my MA degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Addis Ababa University from 2010-2012. 

In addition to my teaching experiences portrayed above, I had been also engaged on other government offices acting as an expert, team leader and facilitator for a period of five years. The most common organizations under this category included: National Archives and Library Agency, Geological Survey of Ethiopia and National Museum in the departments of Ethiopian Study, Gender and Women Affairs and Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage respectively.

Recently, since 2017, I have been joined University as lecturer for teaching Pedagogical courses for primary and secondary school teachers. Parallel to this, I participate in research work, community services as well as administrative works in the University. As an additional information, I live in Addis Ababa with my own family (my wife and a daughter).

Mindfulness Champions (Rwanda)

Izere Joyce

Biography to follow.

Ishimwe Giselle

Biography to follow.

Nzarwihishahe Jean Baptiste

Biography to follow.

Niyitegeka Fidele

Biography to follow.

Umuhoza Alexis

Biography to follow.

Kayitesi Marie Chantal

Biography to follow.

Twizerimana Egide

Biography to follow.

Twizerimana Pierre Celestin

Biography to follow.

Idukomeze Beatrice

Biography to follow.

Manirihose Isaie

Biography to follow.

Mindfulness Champions (Ethiopia)

Fetiya Ahmed Nuri

Biography to follow.

Naod Tesfaye Gebru

Biography to follow.

Meseret Tebkew Yideg

Biography to follow.

Abel Girma Demdime

Biography to follow.

Kidanu Jida Odda

Biography to follow.

Fantahun Eticha Abdisa

Biography to follow.

Yared Demie Alemu

Photo of Yared Demie AlemuRole on the project: Mindfulness Champion

About: I graduated from Kotebe Metropolitan University with Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree in Physics in 2017 G.C. I graduated from Arsi University with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting and Finance in 2021 G.C. I completed a Diploma in Automotive Diagnostic from General Winget Poly Technic in 2022 G.C.

I currently work as a teacher at Gullele Fana Primary School.

I am self-motivating person, reflective learner and I have strong communication skills, supporting me in the future to build my profession and, on this project, to give a strong awareness to the teachers and students.

Marara Tamiru Bekele

Photo of Marara Tamiru BekeleRole on the project: Mindfulness Champion

About: I graduated from Nekemte College of Teacher Education with a Diploma in English Language in 2010 E.C. I am fluent in Afan oromo, English and Amharic languages.  

I work as a teacher at Gullele Fana Primary School. 

Mahlet Birrsaw Belay

Photo of Mahlet Birrsaw BelayRole on the project: Mindfulness Champion

About: I am an environmental science teacher at 6th and 7th grades at Gullele Fana Primary School. I love interacting and educating children, they have an open and uncontaminated mind that is willing to learn. I like reading books especially historical books. I am also interested in cultures and meeting new people. I am currently a Master’s student in Hospitality and Tourism in Ethiopia.

Hawi Debela Bayisa

Biography to follow.

International Advisory Board

Dr Florence Baingana (Chair)

biography coming soon.

Dr Lisine Tuyisenge (Deputy Chair)

biography coming soon.

Professor Atalay Alem

biography coming soon.

Professor Justine Davies

My academiPhoto of Prof Daviesc interest is producing evidence to build systems for improved and equitable access to quality health care, particularly for cardiovascular diseases or conditions amenable to surgery (including trauma). I am particularly interested in the clinical and socio-economic consequences of providing these platforms of care. I am Professor of Global Health Research at Birmingham University, Visiting Prof at Wits University (South Africa), and Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University. My research covers disciplines from epidemiology to qualitative research, health service assessment, predictive modelling, economics, and implementation science. I am privileged to have strong collaborative networks with colleagues in many institutes to help answer these questions.

I currently work with partners in Rwanda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Pakistan, and South Africa. In all of these projects, I work closely with local institutes and academics and ensure capacity building. My team and I co-lead an NIHR funded Global Health Group on equitable access to quality healthcare after injury: Equi-Injury and an NIHR RIGHT4 project: Rwanda912: Use of an innovative electronic communications platform to improve pre-hospital transport of injured people in Rwanda.

Publications include The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, The Lancet Commission on Women and Health; I co-led The Lancet D&E Commission on Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa. I have previously practiced as a medical cardiologist, worked as a freelance journalist, and was Editor in Chief of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.  In my “spare” time, I play violin and ride horses.

Professor Anne Katahoire

biography coming soon.

Dr Abdulaziz Mohammed

Photo of Dr Abdulaziz Mohammed

Dr Abdulaziz Mohammed is the Head of Division, Disease control and Prevention, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, African Union commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the co-chair for the Infection Prevention and Control Technical Working Group for Africa CDC continental response to COVID-19.

He leads the Country Engagement work stream of Africa CDC Saving Life and Livelihood program for delivery of COVID-19 across the continent. He is a medical doctor and has a Master’s in Public Health. He is a fellow of the West African College of Physician and rose to the position of Chief Consultant Physician before Joining Africa CDC.

He is a fellow of the Chatham House Africa Leadership program in Public Health. Before his current appointment, he previously served as the Principal Medical Epidemiologist in Africa CDC where he was the program coordinator for Africa CDC first regional initiate to strengthen public Health in Africa. Dr Mohammed has over 40 publications in peer review journals like the Lancet, Nature Review immunology, American Journal of Psychiatry and BMJ Global Health.

Dr Sabin Nsanzimana

Photo of Dr Sabin Nsanzimana

Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana holds a Medical Degree (MD) and a Master's Degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the National University of Rwanda; and a PhD in Epidemiology from Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland. 

He serves as a Fellow at the African Scientific Institute (ASI), a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCP Edin) and Assistant Professor of Global Health at the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE). He teaches Epidemiology and Research Methodology at the University of Rwanda. He also serves as Co-Chair of WHO Strategy and Technical committee on HIV, Hepatitis and STIs. 

Dr Sabin is currently the Director General of University Teaching Hospital of Butare; prior to that, he led the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, national public health agency; Has been head of HIV and Hepatitis programs for a decade with over 17 years of extensive experience in control and research on infectious and non-communicable diseases. Dr Sabin co-authored more than 200 published scientific articles.

Professor Sam Porter

Photo of Prof Sam PorterProfessor Sam Porter is the Head of Department of Social Sciences and Social Work at Bournemouth University. He is a sociologist by academic training and a nurse by profession. His research interests reflect this combination. Those interests are both substantive and methodological.

His main substantive interests in the areas of health and healthcare are supportive (e.g. 1), palliative (2) and end-of-life care (3); the sociology of health professionals (4); and the use of arts-based therapies (5). 

Methodologically, he has contributed to the development of critical realist research approaches. His primary interest in this area is how different research methods can be used within a critical realist framework. He has interrogated a number of methods, including randomised controlled trialling (6), ethnography (7), and programme evaluation approaches (8).

  1. Mitchell, G., Porter, S., and Manias, E. (2021) Enabling sustained communication with patients for safe and effective management of oral chemotherapy: A longitudinal ethnography. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 77 (2), 899-909. 
  2. Porter, S., McConnell, T., Clarke, M., Kirkwood, J., Hughes, N., Graham-Wisener, L., Regan, J., McKeown, M., McGrillen, K. and Reid, J. (2017) A critical realist evaluation of a music therapy intervention in palliative care. BMC Palliative Care. 16. DOI: 10.1186/s12904-017-0253-5.
  3. Spacey, A., Porter, S., Board, M. and Scammell, J. (2021) Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on end of life care delivery in care homes: a mixed method systematic review. Palliative Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F02692163211029806.
  4. Porter, S. (2018) Gender and publishing in nursing: a secondary analysis of h-index ranking tables. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 74(8): 1899-1907. 
  5. Porter, S., McConnell, T., McLaughlin, K., Lynn, F., Cardwell, C.,  Braiden, HJ, Boylan, J. and Holmes, V. (2017) Music therapy for children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems: a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58(5): 586-594. 
  6. Porter, S., McConnell, T. and Reid, J. (2017) The possibility of critical realist randomised controlled trials. Trials, 18(133). DOI 10.1186/s13063-017-1855-1. 
  7. Porter, S. (1993) Critical realist ethnography: the case of racism and professionalism in a medical setting. Sociology, 27(4): 591-609.
  8. Porter, S. (2015). The uncritical realism of realist evaluation, Evaluation. 21(1): 65-82.
Dr Kathleen Rutledge

Photo of Dr Kathleen RutledgeDr. Rutledge has served in humanitarian response and development leadership and research for 17 years in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including leading a multi-sectoral Middle East regional response to the Syria crisis and displacement caused by the war with ISIS in Northern Iraq, serving as Country Director for relief, recovery and development programming in South Sudan and spearheading operations as Relief Coordinator in the wake of a catastrophic cyclone in Myanmar. In her field-based leadership roles, Kathleen has also helped to design, monitor and guide implementation of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programming in fragile contexts and as an independent MHPSS consultant, she has evaluated diverse MHPSS initiatives among children, youth and adults. These initiatives, led by both international and national organisations, have ranged from specialised MHPSS care among children and youth returning home after having experienced extended captivity and abuse under Islamic State (IS) to community-based and focused, non-specialised initiatives among children, adolescents and caregivers in more stable, developmental contexts.

Kathleen’s doctoral specialty is in culturally and religiously sensitive MHPSS, with expertise in guiding the development of programming that catalyses the cultural and religious (if prioritised by the population) beliefs and practices that may boost coping and resilience, in fulfilment of the ICRC Code of Conduct and industry best practice. Dr. Rutledge is also a Lecturer in MHPSS, project design and management and monitoring and evaluation at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Professor Maylene Shung-King

Photo of Prof Maylene Shung-KingMaylene Shung-King is an Associate Professor in the Health Policy and Systems Division of the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town. She is medical doctor with further training in public health and holds a DPhil in Social Policy from Oxford University. 

Her passion, and the area of focus of her research and advocacy is child health. She contributed to the development of child health policy and programming in South Africa over the past 25 years. She previously served as deputy director and acting director of the Children’s Institute, a child policy research and advocacy institute at the University of Cape Town. 

She is currently part of a multi-country research network of seven low-and-middle income countries that focuses on non-communicable diseases (NCD) determinants in Africa and the Caribbean, with the aim of contributing to interventions for improving the food and physical activity environment of adolescents in particular and prevent child and adolescent overweight and obesity, which are two key underlying contributors of the NCD pandemic. 

She also convenes a postgraduate Diploma in Health Leadership, called the Oliver Tambo Fellowship programme, which has been running for the past 27 years.

Previous Contributors

Eilidh Cowan

Role on the project: Research Assistant.

About: I am a data scientist with a particular interest in the generation and utility of routine data for understanding health inequalities. I work with Verbal Autopsy data, a tool to generate mortality data in areas where vital statistics are not routinely produced. Further to this I work with routinely collected administrative datasets in Scotland to utilise this data for research. Using administrative data, my PhD considers the health and wellbeing impact of childhood chronic diseases on the entire family.

Henok Hailu

Co-I in project year 1 at Addis Ababa University.

Role on the project: Quantitative research lead in Ethiopia. Co-lead WP3 Applied Health Research, contributing to WP1s, 4-6

About: I am a young researcher in the area of mental health with a focus on indigenizing mental health concepts into the local context, mental health aspects of children and adolescents and neuro developmental disorders. 

I have 10 years’ experience of work, in local non-governmental organizations and higher education in teaching and clinical works. 
I am faculty at Addis Ababa University, Department of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology Program. I also serve as President of The Ethiopian Psychologists Association and executive committee member of Pan African Psychology Association (PAPU). 

Professor Graeme Nixon

Photo of Prof Nixon

Role on the project: Trainer in mindfulness for co-investigators, teacher educators and teachers, and co-designer of the mindfulness intervention. Co-lead for WP2 Context Specific Intervention, Design and Delivery, and contributing to WPs 4-6.

About: I am a social scientist and researcher interested in mindfulness, world view education and thinking skills in schools. 

Previously, I worked for 10 years as a secondary teacher (Religious Education and Philosophy) in Scottish schools. I have worked for 17 years at the University of Aberdeen in the field of initial teacher education, principally in Religious Education, but also in areas such as values education and citizenship. I have contributed to educational policy and research in these areas, as well as being an international collaborator on various projects and publications with colleagues from Germany, Sweden, England, Austria (for example on Erasmus Plus consortiums). 

For the last 12 years I have been the programme director of the University of Aberdeen’s MSc Studies in Mindfulness programme which has led to publications on and research projects on mindfulness. I am a PhD and MSc supervisor on research projects involving mindfulness, including research looking at transcultural approaches to mindfulness and the impact(s) of a mindfulness intervention on pupils and teachers in Scottish secondary schools.  

I also deliver mindfulness teaching to medical students in the Institute for Medical Science as part of their degree and mindfulness CPD to schoolteachers in various local education authorities. 

I am involved in the Mindful Scotland initiative which led to the introduction of mindfulness to staff (including parliamentarians) at the Scottish parliament.

I am an external examiner for teacher education and PGT Mindfulness programmes at the Universities of Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Coventry, Queens (Belfast), and Newman University. 

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a peer reviewer and editorial board member for multiple academic journals. 

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