Julie Balen BSc (Hons), PhD
Section of Public Health
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
University of Sheffield
30 Regent Street
Office: Room 2037, 2nd floor, Regent Court
Tel: +44(0)114 222 6192
Fax: +44(0)114 222 0749
I have worked in Higher Education for the last decade in various institutions around the world. Originally trained as a biological scientist (2000-2004), I transitioned initially to public health and epidemiology (2004-2009) and then to health policy and systems (since 2009), adopting increasingly trans-disciplinary and mixed-methods approaches in my work. At ScHARR I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Global Health, involved in independent and team-based research, teaching, student supervision and management. My research sits broadly within the areas of global health and development, health policy/governance/politics and health systems organization/management/leadership. I have worked in the field in Cambodia, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Nepal, Senegal, Thailand and The Gambia and have conducted policy-relevant research across Southeast Asia. I am also studying, part-time, for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).
My research interests include global health systems and health policy, leadership and governance in health, human resources for health, system-wide challenges and opportunities posed by emerging infectious diseases and neglected tropical diseases, operational/implementation research across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and harnessing trans-disciplinary concepts and mixed-methodology tools for health research.
I co-ordinate and teach on the Semester 1 modules Key Issues in Global Public Health for face-to-face (HAR675) and distance learning (HAR6047) Master of Public Health programmes (MPH and MPH-DL, respectively) as well as on Semester 2 modules Communicable Disease Control (HAR685 and HAR698) for the MPH and MPH-DL, respectively. I also teach on the Semester 2 modules Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems (HAR6049) and Leading and Managing Healthcare Services (HAR699) for the MPH-DL.
In our joint-programme MPH-International Development (MPH-ID), together with the Department of Geography, I also
teach on the Fieldwork in International Development (Nepal) class (HAR6056), which involves a 2-week field-class in Nepal during Semester 2.
For our new MSc in International Health Management and Leadership, together with the International Faculty, City College Thessaloniki, in Greece, I help co-ordinate courses on human resource management, leadership and teamwork.
I strive to embed research-led teaching, learning and discovery into my classes.
As part of my teaching role, I have also supervised a number of Master's students, including:
- Dr Simukai Chigudu (MPH, Distinction, 2013, Imperial College London)
- Ms Felicity Dormon (MSc Health Policy, Distinction, 2013, Imperial College London)
- Ms Amy Cotes (MPH, expected completion 2014, The University of Queensland)
- Ms Fatou Jaiteh (MPH-ID, expected completion 2014, The University of Sheffield)
- Dr Adaku Olatise (MPH-Leadership and Management, expected completion 2014, The University of Sheffield)
- Dr Ayesha Iqball (MPH, expected completion 2015, The University of Sheffield)
Presently, I co-supervise two PhD students:
- Dr Samuel Lassa whose research explores the interface between medical professionals and other stakeholders involved in Global Fund To Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, focussing on Health Systems Strengthening grants (rounds 8 and 10) in Nigeria. Samuel is co-supervised by Dr Jenny Owen from ScHARR and Professor Aryuba Zoakah from the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. Samuel expects to complete his doctorate in September 2015
- Ms Maelle deSeze whose research focuses on the impact of biomedical knowledge on evidence-informed health policy making, focussing on malaria control in Senegal and The Gambia. Maelle is co-supervised by Dr Simon Rushton from the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield and Prof Olivier Nay at the Pentheon-Sorbonne University ("Paris I"), Paris, France. Maelle expects to complete her doctorate in August 2017.
I thoroughly enjoy supervising high-achieving students in subjects related to global health governance, health system strengthening (especially leadership and management) and neglected tropical diseases, among other areas. Fully-funded/partially-funded students are particularly encouraged to contact me regarding supervision opportunities.
I am an external PhD thesis examiner to Doctoral students at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia and at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland. I am also an external examiner for the MPH-DL programme at the University of Liverpool, UK>
Chigudu S, Jasseh M, d'Alessandro U, Corrah T, Demba A, Balen J. (2014) The role of leadership in people-centred health systems: a sub-national study in The Gambia. Health Policy and Planning Special Issue on People-Centred Health Systems. Health Pol. and Plan. Special Issue on People-Centred Health Systems 1-12.
Balen J, Raso G, Li YS, Zhao ZY, Yuan LP, Williams GM, Luo XS, Shi MZ, Yu XL, Utzinger J, McManus DP. (2011) Risk factors for helminth infections in a rural and a peri-urban setting of the Donting Lake area. People's Republic of China. Int. Journ. Paras. 41:1165-1173.
Coker R, Balen J, Mounier-Jack SM, Shigayeva A, Lazarus JV, Rudge JW, Naik N, Atun R. (2010) A conceptual and analytical approach to comparative analysis of country case studies: HIV/AIDS and TB control programmes and health systems integration. Health Pol. and Plan. 25(1):i21-i31.