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5 minutes with Jamie Murdoch

Dr Jamie Murdoch is a Senior Lecturer in Social Science and Health, and has recently joined King's School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia. We took 5 minutes with Jamie to learn more about his career, life outside of work, and ambitions for his new position.

Jamie Murdoch interview

Briefly, tell us about your background and career up to this point?

I began my research career supporting a consortium of Norfolk GPs to implement primary care research, which then led to me studying for a PhD on medication adherence at the University of East Anglia (UEA). After working on several clinical trials, I developed a specialism in process evaluation, in other words, methods to evaluate how healthcare interventions are implemented. I became fascinated with understanding how the delivery of healthcare interventions is shaped by the contexts in which people live, and the systems in which care is delivered. I am now looking to expand this work at King’s as a Senior Lecturer in Social Science and Health.

Do you have any current projects that you’d like to tell us about?

King’s is leading a large programme of research which aims to develop and evaluate an intervention to improve the quality of care for people living with long-term conditions in South Africa. This study includes a multi-disciplinary team involving epidemiologists, social scientists, community and patient advocates and clinical trialists. The research started in August 2021 and my role is to lead the social science components within the clinical trial and capacity-building for the team.

What do you do with your time outside academia?

I am a keen runner and try to run regularly. It’s a great way to have a break from work and often helps me to think through different problems. I also love spending time with my family, including my two daughters who make sure I don’t take myself too seriously!

What is something positive that happened to you in 2020?

I was able to convince my 11-year-old daughter that I knew something about algebra and could help her. I wouldn’t call it homeschooling during a pandemic, but it was progress.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m really looking forward to meeting new colleagues and hearing their ideas for research and teaching. I’m also very excited about leading on the Social Research Methods module for the Masters of Public Health and it will be great to meet new students. Hopefully face to face!

Who inspires you most and why?

Someone who has influenced my thinking a lot is Jan Blommaert who sadly died in January 2021. Jan was a linguistic anthropologist who made a huge contribution to understanding processes of globalisation, diversity, language, context and social mobility. I was lucky enough to meet Jan on several occasions, most notably at a training course on language and ethnography at King’s in 2008. I came away from that course completely rethinking my PhD and his ideas have since fundamentally influenced how I think about studying complex healthcare interventions.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Read outside your discipline. Social science encompasses a wide and diverse body of literature which can fundamentally change how you think about the social world.


Favourite season... Spring

Favourite book... Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (at the moment anyway)

Coffee order... Espresso and then a latte

One thing you could not go a day without... Cup of tea first thing in the morning

In this story

Jamie Murdoch

Jamie Murdoch

Senior Lecturer in Social Science and Health

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