Amy M Russell

Amy M Russell


Dr Russell is a Senior Research Fellow recently awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship.

Her background is in the Social Sciences and Humanities and her more recent work has applied this expertise to the topic of health inequalities.

Current and previous roles

Her PhD (completed in 2010) examined women's embodied experiences of human trafficking and was fully funded by the AHRC. It was supervised between Religious Studies and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (CIGS), University of Leeds. During this time she worked as a lecturer in Sociology and Religious Studies.

Amy joined the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences in 2011 as a Research Fellow on an RfPB project about depression screening for patients with diabetes and CHD in Primary Care.  She then pursued her interest in RCTs and health inequalities as a Senior Research Fellow and Project Manager for a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment-funded three-year feasibility trial. She led a team of researchers to deliver a feasibility RCT to improve the diabetes management of people with a learning disability. 

She was awarded the Institute's Career Development Fellowship. During the Fellowship she secured an Internship at NICE and funding from The Health Foundation, Leeds Community Healthcare Trust and the British Medical Association to consolidate her work on health services and health inequalities for people with a learning disability and other comorbidities. She then lead on the resulting projects including, REMAIN (Health Foundation) and REAL-D: REasonable Adjustments for Learning disabilities - Diabetes care (LCHT and BMA).

As a result of this work and her collaboration with NICE and Diabetes UK she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship for 4 years Capacity, consent and autonomy: health research participation for people with a learning disability. And funding as PI from the Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust for the project EDICT: Enabling Diabetes Informed ConsenT.


Previous Roles:

She was formerly the Deputy Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, School of Sociology and Social Policy, and remains an affiliated member.

She has held previous posts as an Academic Coordinator for a Higher Education Academy Subject Centre (2010–2011).

Prior to her doctoral research, Amy was a Library Manager for Leeds City Council and line-managed a large team. During this time she was awarded her Masters which involved a period of fieldwork in Sierra Leone, examining the post-war reintegration of female combatants and the Truth and Reconciliation process. Examining gender-based violence and social stigma through an embodied approach looking at the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process in Sierra Leone and its viability for women. Amy also examined the effectiveness of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone.


Places of Worship as Sites for BME Health, Tomalin, E. Russell, A. M. IGNITE funded collaboration with Public Health Leeds. 2014.

State of Girls' rights in the UK today. Plan International UK. 2016 and 2019

Advisor to Portugese Government on it’s approach to Female Gential Mutiliation in migrant populations.

In addition to this research, she has also examined the government's decision to award gender-based care and health provision to faith-based organisations, with a focus on post-trafficking support in the UK. 


  • Co-Lead Institute Athena Swan Self-assessment Team
  • Doctor of Clinical Psychology supervisor and examiner
  • Lecturer Health Research Msc/PGCert

Research interests

Amy's interests can be described under two main themes:

Theme 1. Addressing health inequalities in applied health settings - with a special emphasis on the intersection of mental and physical health.  Her work includes qualitative work with patients and clinicians, intervention development and RCTs. For example her work as the lead researcher on the ethnographic study Evaluation of screening for depression in patients with chronic physical disease in primary care, funded by the NIHR RfPB scheme. And her work as lead researcher and project manager on Looking after yourself when you have diabetes, an NIHR HTA grant.

Theme 2. Cultural and social explanations of inequalities - drawing on theories and methods from the humanities, social sciences and cultural geography to explore the social and cultural aspects of health and social inequalities. For example, her Wellcome Trust Fellowship on Capacity, Consent and Autonomy in health research for people with a learning disability and her Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project on the enduring effects of human trafficking.


  • PGCert Health Research, 2013
  • PhD Interdisciplinary Gender Studies – University of Leeds, 2010
  • MA Religion and Public Life – University of Leeds, 2005
  • BA (Hons) Theology & Religious Studies and English Literature – University of Leeds, 2002
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner 2013

Professional memberships

  • Society for Academic Primary Care
  • British Sociological Association
  • Feminist and Women's Studies Association
  • White Rose Gender Consortium

Student education

Amy teaches on the Intercalated BSc in qualitative methods and on the RESS research skills module of the MBChB.

She supervises on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is open to PhD applications to work on projects relating to her research themes. 

Doctoral Supervision:

  • Megan Beadle, Seeking support for hoarding difficulties, Dclin, Year 2.
  • Clare Charman, The long term mental health effects of birth trauma in men, Dclin Year 1.
  • Lucy Singer, Evaluating the impact of pregnancy loss up to 24 weeks on men’s mental health, Dclin. [passed with minor corrections]
  • Rion O’Farrel-Walsh, Feeding choices for mothers with babies who have Down’s syndrome and their effect on bonding and attachment, Dclin [Passed minor corrections]

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Cardiometabolic
  • Health and social psychology
  • Infant feeding
  • Maternal, child and family health
  • Psychological and Social Medicine
  • The Health and Wellbeing of Older People
  • Mental health
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>