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Linda Gibson1

Linda Gibson

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Sociology

Role

Linda's teaching areas at postgraduate level are:

  • Concepts of Health and Healing
  • Dissertation/Research.

At undergraduate level Linda teaches Sociology of Global Health and Development.

Linda is also an Internationalisation and Partnerships lead for the Division of Sociology.

Career overview

"I have over twenty years of experience in health promotion and working with local communities in the UK and internationally. I have worked in East Africa since 2003 running workshops on qualitative research for the British Council in Tanzania, and leading a partnership with School of Public Health, Makerere University, Uganda since 2012.

I am currently involved in several research partnerships, networks and teaching projects in Europe, East Africa (Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia) and across Africa, including the NTU Africa Middle East Network, Pan-African Mental Health Network, and the East African PhD Hub. My research focus is on health systems strengthening in low and middle-income countries and the community health workforce in primary care in Uganda, non-communicable diseases (CVD, Breast Cancer, Diabetes, Mental Health), antimicrobial stewardship, and patient safety.

I manage several externally and internally funded international research projects with research outputs and activities that contribute to public health practice, policy and knowledge exchange. I also have a strong postgraduate supervision portfolio.

My research portfolio is mixed methods ranging from stepped wedge, randomised controlled trials to ethnography, although I consider myself a qualitative specialist. My teaching focus is around developing international partnerships on the Sociology of Global Health and Development and early career research mentorship.

Working with colleagues has led to a vibrant and successful research and practice culture that is focused on bringing change to communities in low income settings with the poorest in society and led by an ethic of social justice. Shared ownership has developed from the ten-year partnership with Makerere University in Uganda as we have developed together to build capacity for knowledge exchange, mobility, and social enterprise.

This exploration of the value of philosophy and ethics has become increasingly important in international partnerships and assists us in challenging our assumptions in the context of the historical discourses of colonialism, of critically understanding the complex structural barriers that shape and maintain global inequities, and demands that we reflect on global goods and harms to individuals, communities and nations. Working so closely in East Africa over the 20 plus years that I have, I continue to learn about the potential for understanding that the global African ethic of Ubuntu (“I am because we are” ) can help guide our work towards decolonising and valuing different knowledge(s), bringing an ethic of ecological thinking, of community and service learning, of kindness and inclusivity, and to demonstrate impact and bring about change.

All these qualities I experience in the richness of our partnerships and they guide our work."

Dr Linda Gibson

  • Linda originally trained and specialised as an ophthalmic nurse but then undertook her undergraduate degree, BA (Hons) Health Studies at Liverpool John Moores University (1988 - 91). This is where she subsequently began her career as an academic, while also studying for a MA Health Research and then a PhD at Lancaster University (with Professor Keith Soothill and Dr Moira Peelo).
  • Linda has always studied health academically through the lens of social sciences and has seen it as a multidisciplinary endeavour. She chaired a successful national research network, the ACHRN (Alternative and Complementary Health Research Network) from 2000 - 2009, bringing together people undertaking social sciences research into complementary and alternative medicine. Linda also set up and ran the Liverpool Schumacher Lectures (1998 - 2000) with Liverpool John Moores University and the Schumacher Society, bringing leading environmental thinkers, academics and activists together to debate current issues.
  • Linda visited Cuba with Professor Theodore MacDonald in 2000 to visit their Primary Health System which was formative in beginning to develop a global health systems perspective. At that point she arrived to take up her post as a Senior Lecturer in Public Health at The University of Nottingham in Epidemiology and Public Health (2001 - 2005) and then moved to NTU in 2005 to develop the MA Public Health.
  • It was from Nottingham that Linda first went to Africa to run two British Council sponsored workshops: Qualitative Research Approaches (2003) and Evaluation: Principles and Skills (2005) at KCMC (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College) in Tanzania and began to truly engage with public health within a global context. Since then Linda has visited Africa many times in both a professional, research and personal capacity.

Research areas

Linda's research interests and current projects are:

  • global public health - especially relating to Africa
  • patient safety through both the lens of the social determinants of health and human rights
  • community health workers and community mobilisation (both in the UK and Africa)
  • health promotion and new social media.

Linda has links with:

  • the School of Public Health at Makerere University, Uganda
  • University of Ravensburg-Weingartwen in Germany
  • the University of Southern Denmark
  • and other international health institutions.

Funded projects:

  • 'Strengthening the Community Health Worker programme for health improvement in Wakiso District, Uganda' Joint Project with School of Social Sciences (Public Health) NTU, School of Public Health, Makerere University Kampala, Uganda, Ministry of Health, Uganda and c3 Collaborating for Health, London.

This project is funded through the Health Partnership Scheme, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and managed by the Tropical Health & Education Trust (THET). November 2014 - March 2017.

  • 'Increasing the uptake of Bowel Cancer Screening in Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Nottingham City – an exploratory study'; Co-Investigator with Dr Jason Pandya Wood, Dr Jatinder Sandhu, Prof. Jennie Fleming and Yesmean Khalil for Nottingham City CCG April - December 2014

External activity

Linda was invited and funded to Participate in the PACE-Net+ Bremen Conference and Think-Tanks (around tackling Non-Communicable Diseases) from 9 - 11 September 2014. The conference brought together selected international experts to identify and update priority and innovation areas for future joint EU-Pacific cooperation and activities.

Linda is also a steering group member of People's Health Movement UK.

Sponsors and collaborators

  • School of Public Health, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  • Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) Grants (Awarded November 2014, July 2012)
  • c3 Collaborating for Health
  • WHO African Partnerships for Patient Safety Unit (graduate from MA Public Health undertook an internship there September - December 2011)
  • Institute for Public Health, Odense University, Denmark
  • Faculty of Social Work, Health and Nursing University of Applied Sciences, Weingarten, Germany
  • Steering group member of People's Health Movement UK
  • UK People's Health Assembly hosted for People's Health Movement by NTU, 10 - 11 July 2012
  • People's Health Movement Uganda Chapter

Publications

  • Gibson. L. Odeyemi, P. The social determinants of health and the patient safety paradigm, British Journal of Nursing Vol. 21, Iss. 2, 26 Jan 2012, pp. 128 – 129.
  • Gibson, L 'People's health movement gains momentum First UK people's health assembly meeting at Nottingham Trent University further shapes social movement on health', published in Guardian Professional Online Healthcare Network, 19 July 2012.
  • Gibson, L 'Health Promotion and Alternative Medicine' in MacDonald T (ed.)(2003), The Social Significance of Health Promotion, Taylor and Francis, Chapter 10.
  • Tingle, J., Gibson, L. Ferrante, M. 'A new paradigm in patient safety', British Journal Of Nursing, Vol.20, No 19, November 2011.

Press expertise

  • Reverse knowledge innovation in global health and development
  • Community engagement in health promotion and education in UK and Africa
  • Community health workers in Africa
  • International research partnerships
  • Student mobility
  • Health systems in Africa
  • Mentoring female students for future careers in global public health
  • Traditional medicine in global health