Dr Jennifer Burr BA (Hons), MA (Distinction), PhD, SFHEA

Senior University Teacher in Medical Sociology


Section of Public Health
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
The University of Sheffield
Regent Court
30 Regent Street
S1 4DA

Office: Room 2037, 2nd Floor, Regent Court

Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 0792
Fax: (+44) (0)114 222 0749

ORCiD: 0000-0003-3053-3994


I am currently a Senior University Treacher in Medical Sociology in the Public Health section of ScHARR.  I have particular expertise in qualitative research methods and have conducted research in a range of health and social care contexts including ethnicity and racism, sexuality and reproduction and eating disorders.  My current interests include how individuals negotiate and navigate everyday ethics.

Research Interests

My current interests are in the use of systems theory to explore the role and function of research ethics committees.

Teaching Interests

I co-ordinate and deliver the teaching on HAR6016 Sociology of Health and Illness and co-ordinate the sociology teaching on the MBChB.  I provide teaching and advice on research ethics to students at all levels in the Department and provide selective input on medical ethics on the MBChB.

Professional Activities

  • Deputy Chair University Research Ethics Committee (UREC)
  • Chair ScHARR Ethics Committee
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Senior Tutor

Key Publications

  • Burr, J, Winter, R. Heyerdahl-king, I. Warren, M. Redman, A. Nicholls, O (In press) A qualitative study of how students learn from human cadavers. European Journal of Anatomy
  • Gordon, A., Lehane, D., Burr, J., Mitchell, C (2019) Influence of past trauma and health interactions on homeless women's views of perinatal care: A qualitative study. British Journal of General Practice. 69(688) e760-e767. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp19X705557
  • Putnis N and Burr J. (2019) Evidence or Stereotype?  Health Inequalities and Representations of Sex Workers in Health Publications in England.  Health:  An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine.  https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1363459319833242
  • Burr J and Gibson B (2017) Informed consent in research ethics: an analysis from the perspective of Luhmann's social systems theory.  Social Theory and Health (published online:  DOI 10.1057/s41285-017-0054-1)
  • Squires H, Chilcott J, Akehurst R, Burr J and Kelly MP (2016).  A framework for developing the structure of public health economic models.  Value in Health, 19(5), 588-601.
  • Squires H, Chilcott J, Akehurst R, Burr J and Kelly MP.  (2016).   A systematic literature review of the key challenges for developing the structure of public health economic models.  International Journal of Public Health, 61(3), 289-298.
  • Gibson B and Burr J. (2014) Polycontexturality in medical research ethics.  In M. Knudson and W. Vogel (Eds) Systems theory in the sociology of health and illness.  Routledge: London. 
  • Burr J (2013)  Anonymous or known donors?  A brief discussion of the psychosocial issues raised by removing anonymity from sperm donors.  Human Fertility 16:1, 44-47.
  • Cimini N and Burr J (2012) An Aesthetic for Deliberating Online: Thinking Through 'Universal Pragmatics' and 'Dialogism' with Reference to Wikipedia.  In the Information Society 28:3, 151-160.
  • Burr J and Reynolds P. (2010) The wrong paradigm?:social research and the predicates of ethical scrutiny.  In Research Ethics Review. 6(4) 128-133.
  • Reid M, Williams S, Burr J. (2010) Healthcare Professionals' Perspectives of Eating Disorders and Service Provision: A Qualitative Study. In European Eating Disorders, Review 18(5) 390-398Burr J. (2010) To name or not to name? An overview of the social and ethical issues raised by removing anonymity from sperm donors. In Asian Journal of Andrology. 12:801-806.doi:10.1038; published online 12 July. 2010: http://www.nature.com/aja/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/aja201060a.html.
  • Burr J. (2009) Fear, fascination and the sperm donor as 'abjection' in interviews with heterosexual recipients of donor insemination. Sociology of Health and Illness. 31(5) 705-718.
  • Burr J.(2009) Exploring reflective subjectivity through the construction of the 'ethical other' in interview transcripts. Sociology. 43(2) 323-339
  • Reid M, Burr J, Williams S, Hammersley R. (2008) Eating disorders patients' views on their disorders and on an outpatient's service: A qualitative study. Journal of Health Psychology 13 (7) 956-960
  • Burr J. and Reynolds P. (2008) Thinking the right to genetic inheritance: Liberal Rights, Communitarianism and the right to privacy for parents of DI children. Journal of Medical Ethics. 34 281-284.