The Health Inequalities Research Group (HIRG) is led by Professor Stephani Hatch (Vice Dean for Culture, Diversity & Inclusion and Professor of Sociology and Epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London) and is focused on delivering interdisciplinary research on inequalities in mental health in marginalised communities and across health services with an emphasis on race at the intersection of other social identities.
- HIRG is a network of researchers, students, academics, clinicians, and others with shared interests in health and social equity. We meet every other month to discuss the latest research conducted by a member of the group or an external researcher.
- We also host the sub-group HIRG Peer Support and Reflective Practice which aims to provide a safe space for researchers, clinicians and community engagement coordinators to support one another, share resources and discuss ongoing projects.
- The sub-group have co-produced a HIRG Directory which lists individuals who can share their skills and experience across a range of academic, clinical and community settings. Members can use the Directory to connect with other researchers who have expertise in certain research topics, methods and skills (e.g. quantitative data analysis software, qualitative data analysis techniques, participatory action research, referencing software, public engagement, funding applications and teaching experience).
- Periodically, we hold HIRG Career Development Workshops where the team (across all levels from MSc students to senior leaders) answers questions, provide advice and share experiences and resources with attendees in small groups.
Research projects include, The Tackling Inequalities and Discrimination Experiences in health services (TIDES) study, CONNECT study (CONtributions of social NEtworks to Community Thriving) which is part of the Marginalised Communities and Mental Health programme within the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health and The South East London Community Health (SELCoH) study.
Health and Social Equity Collective (HSEC)
The Health and Social Equity Collective (HSEC) consists of researchers, community leaders, policy makers, and health professionals responding to persistent social and health inequities. The Collective aims to address inequity by identifying and engaging the levers of change within and across institutions. Specifically, using our collaboration and collective activities to:
(1) Generate a more inclusive knowledge base and make it translatable to individuals, communities, and policymakers' awareness
(2) Tackle entrenched inequalities in education, training, and capacity-building
(3) Redistribute power by working in partnership with communities affected by health inequities
With funding from Impact on Urban Health and a King’s Together Award, we are coming together to co-create our Collective approach to initiate inclusive, sustainable, and interdisciplinary ways of working along with the ideological shifts required to support system change. This means tackling structures which perpetuate inequities by determining what gets researched; whose voices are heard; how training and career pipelines are navigated and what evidence is valued, ensuring equity in all aspects of our work. We emphasise social justice by centring the lived experience of marginalised communities to challenge ‘deficit’ narratives prevalent within our sectors, and ultimately to instigate fair, impactful and human-centred solutions that confront the systems which sustain health and social inequalities locally, regionally and globally. Moreover, the Collective creates a space to co-develop strategies for future large funding bids based on existing and planned calls.
Community Organised Research for Equity (CORE)
CORE is funded by Impact on Urban Health for six community-driven research projects in Southwark and Lambeth, for up to £40K per project.
We are supporting quantitative research projects (or mixed-methods projects with a quantitative element) that analyse secondary data (such as survey, or service data) and address areas of health inequalities.
Our objective is to fund health-related projects that communities have identified as crucial priorities. These may include areas like environmental health, mental health, maternal health and chronic illness.
Funded projects are aligned with the objectives of the HSE Collective’s guiding principles, integrating attention to addressing inequities across the three priorities of the Collective:
- Community engagement and advocacy (e.g., engaging local community members in decision-making processes and advocating for their needs)
- Education, training, and capacity development (e.g., providing training opportunities and building up the skills and knowledge of community members)
- Research and evidence generation (e.g., conducting research to better understand health inequalities and develop evidence-based solutions)
Our goal is to fund innovative research initiatives that improve health equity and address the underlying causes of health inequalities in communities. We believe that by engaging with communities and generating evidence-based recommendations we can influence policy and produce practical solutions that lead to lasting positive change.
All research projects with the HIRG are linked to The Health inequalities Research Network (HERON).
The group is supported by the Wellcome Trust, Economic and Social Research Council and Impact on Urban Health.