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Biography

Dr Sian Oram is Head of the Section of Women’s Mental Health and Senior Lecturer in Women's Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London.  Her research focuses on interpersonal trauma, its intersection with gender and with institutional and societal structures, and its relationship to mental health.  She has an interest in developing methods for safe, ethical, and participatory research with and by people affected by trauma and abuse, and has expertise in qualitative methods, systematic reviews, and evaluation research. 

Dr Oram  is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); her thesis explored the UK public policy response to the health needs of trafficked people.  Prior to this she studied BA Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and received an MSc in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research from LSHTM.  She joined King’s College London in 2011.  

Dr Oram is the Deputy Director (KCL) of the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit, which aims to help the Department of Health and others involved in making nationwide plans for mental health services to make decisions based on good evidence, and Co-Director of the UKRI-funded Violence Abuse and Mental Health Network.  Previously, she managed an NIHR research programme to inform the NHS response to human trafficking. For more information, see the PROTECT (Provider Responses, Treatment, and Care for Trafficked People) project page.

Research Interests

  • Human trafficking and modern slavery 
  • Domestic and sexual violence  
  • Mental health policy  

Teaching

Dr Oram is primary supervisor to: 

  • Sohail Jannesari, an ESRC-funded PhD student investigating impact of the asylum process on mental health. 
  • Dr Marilia Calcia, an MDRes student investigating the role of mental health services in responding to domestic violence perpetration.  
  • Katherine Saunders, a NIHR-funded PhD student investigating the association between mental disorder and domestic violence perpetration.  
  • Siofra Peeren, an ESRC-funded PhD student investigating the maternity care experiences of women who have experienced sexual violence in adulthood.  

Dr Oram is also the PhD Admissions Tutor for the Health Service Research Department. She leads the Women's Mental Health module for third-year BSc Psychology students.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Dr Oram’s work has informed reports and guidelines produced by the World Health Organisation, NHS England, Public Health England, NICE, and the Chief Medical Officer. Dr Oram participates in a range of advisory and stakeholder groups on human trafficking and on domestic and sexual violence and has been interviewed about these issues for BBC World News and Sky News.