Professor Sarah Salway (she/her)

BA(Hons), University of Oxford; MSc, PhD, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Department of Sociological Studies

Professor of Public Health

Director of Knowledge Exchange and Impact

Professor Sarah Salway
Profile picture of Professor Sarah Salway
+44 114 222 6438

Full contact details

Professor Sarah Salway
Department of Sociological Studies
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Sarah read Human Sciences at Jesus College Oxford and then moved to London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine where she gained an MSc in Medical Demography and a PhD in Public Health. She joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2017, having previously been based within the School of Health & Related Research at the University of Sheffield from 2013. Prior to that, she worked at Sheffield Hallam University and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and spent extended periods of time living and researching in India and Bangladesh. Sarah’s work lies at the intersection of sociology, social policy and public health.

Research interests

Sarah’s research lies at the intersection of sociology, social policy and public health, with the aim of understanding and addressing the social and political determinants of health and wellbeing. Her work has particularly focused on health inequalities linked to migration, ethnicity and gender, and the processes of identification and in/exclusion operating at policy, practice and community levels that shape health-related experiences and outcomes. Her work also includes a focus on understanding the perspectives of service users and improving the fit between provision/initiatives and needs within complex systems. A parallel body of work explores ethical and methodological challenges in researching race/ethnicity and health.

Sarah’s research projects have focused on a range of health topics, particularly reproductive health. Much of her work involves close collaboration with statutory and third sector organisations, as well as partnerships with community-based groups and local people. Her research is international, with recent projects taking place in the UK, Pakistan, India, Ghana, and Sri Lanka.



  • Salway SM, Platt L, Chowbey P, Harriss K & Bayliss E (2007) Long-term ill health, poverty and ethnicity. Policy Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Horstman RG, Cleland J, Douthwaite M, Ambegaokar M & Salway S (2002) Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Interventions. NIDI and LSHTM. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers


Website content

Working papers

  • Chambers D, Preston L, Topakas A, de Saille S, Salway S, Booth A, Dawson J & Wilsdon J (2017) Review of diversity and inclusion literature and an evaluation of methodologies and metrics relating to health research. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download




Research group

Within the Department of Sociological Studies Sarah is a member of two research themes - Health & Wellbeing Across the Lifecourse and Science Technology & Medicine in Society. She is also a member of the workstream Intersectionality & Health within the University’s Healthy Lifespan Institute (HELSI).

Sarah enjoys mentoring early and mid-career researchers and is currently involved in: Dr Lois Orton’s Wellcome-funded project focused on the health and well-being of Roma people in the UK; Dr Steph Ejegi-Memeh’s NIHR career development fellowship focused on Black-led mental health organisations; Oluwaseun Esan’s NIHR SPHR fellowship focused on intersectional health inequalities; and Ruth Naughton-Doe’s NIHR postdoctoral fellowship focused on solutions for perinatal loneliness.

Sarah is also one of the University of Sheffield’s leads for the national UK NIHR School for Public Health Research. She is also a member of the British Sociological Association and within this, the Medical Sociology Study Group.

Postgraduate supervision

Sarah has supervised 14 students to successful completion, including both UK and international students. She welcomes enquiries from prospective students interested in investigating the broad linkages between migration, race/ethnicity and health and the gendered influences on health and wellbeing. She is particularly interested in supervising projects focused on South Asia and/or British Asian populations, poverty and reproductive health. Sarah can support a range of qualitative, quantitative and participatory methodological approaches.

Current students:

Charli Colegate - Perinatal experiences of women with a history of severe mental illness (fellowship support from NIHR School for Public Health Research & NIHR  ARC Yorkshire & Humber)

Christie Garner - Children's perspectives on the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities Programme (In collaboration with the Race Equality Foundation; White Rose Doctoral Training Centre fellowship)

Pragya Roy - Caste-Based Health Marginalisation in India: A Marxist-intersectional exploration of Dalit Women’s Maternal Health (Funded by the University of Sheffield Faculty of Social Sciences doctoral fellowship scheme)

Siyi Wang -  Migrant Chinese women’s access to social support in the perinatal period in the UK in the Internet context

To find out more about our PhD programmes, go to: Studying for a PhD in Sociological Studies

Date Sponsor Details
2023 National Institute for Health Research, UK Health Inequalities Programme: CLARITY - Creating Knowledge Partnerships for Equity. PI: Salway, S. Sheffield Co-PI: Ejegi-Memeh, S. £64,160
2022 National Institute for Health Research, UK School for Public Health Research:3. PI: Goyder, E,. CIs:  Salway, S, Brennan, A., Holmes, J., Weich, S. £599,583.

Medical Research Council (Health Systems Research Initiative)

Scaling up the 24/7 Basic Health Unit strategy to provide round the clock maternity care in Punjab, Pakistan: A theory-driven implementation study. PI: Salway, S and Mumtaz, Z. CIs: Bhatti, A, Booth, A and Dawson, J. £780,000


National Institute for Health Research, UK (Public Health Research Funding Board)

How can loneliness and social isolation be reduced among migrant and minority ethnic people? PI: Salway, S. CIs: Booth, A, Preston, L, Victor, C, Such, E, Ragavan, R, Powell, K and Hamilton, J. £212,200.


The Health Foundation

Supporting new migrants in primary care. PI: Such, E. CIs: Salway, S, Walton, E. £55,443.


National Institute for Health Research, UK

School for Public Health Research. PI: Nicholl, J. CIs: Goyder, E, Salway, S, Meier, P, Brennan, A. £1.6 million.


Canadian IDRC

Improving standards based maternity care in Malawi. PI: Chirwa, E. CIs: Mumtaz, Z, Salway S. et al. Ca$1million.


Medical Research Council (Public Health Intervention Development Scheme)

Modifying a weight management intervention for people with intellectual disabilities. PI: Croot, E. CIs: O’Cathain, A, Salway, S, Harris, J, Hatton, C, Lanvin, J. £148,023.


National Institute for Health Research, UK. (Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellowship)

Mobilising knowledge about ethnic inequalities to improve access, experience and outcomes for Black and Minority Ethnic users of NHS services. Fellow: Carter, L. CI Mentors: Salway, S, Gerrish, K. £145,847.


National Institute for Health Research, UK

CLAHRC Yorkshire & Humber Public Health & Inequalities Theme. PI: Goyder, E. CIs: Salway, S, Tod, A. £941,433.


UK Department of Health (Policy Research Programme)

A study of knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes about Hepatitis B among Chinese and Far East Asian residents of South Yorkshire. PI: Vedio, A. CIs: Lee, A, Horsely, J, Salway, S, Goyder, E. £220,219.


National Institute for Health Research, UK (Health Services & Delivery Research)

Towards equitable commissioning for our multi-ethnic society: understanding and enhancing the critical utilisation of evidence by strategic commissioners and public health managers. PI: Salway, S. CIs: Gerrish, K, Mir, G, Ellison, GTH, Whitfield, M. £348,100.


Economic and Social Research Council (National Centre for Research Methods)

Promoting methodological innovation and capacity building in research on ethnicity. PI: Dale, A. CIs: Nazroo, J, Salway, S, Platt, L. £24,000.


Canadian Institute of Health Research

Addressing disparities in maternal health care in Pakistan: gender, class and exclusion.. PI: Mumtaz, Z. CIs: Hamid, Lang, L, Shanner, Salway S, Zaman. Ca$450,000.


Economic and Social Research Council

Patterns, predictors and implications of multi-morbidity: exploring the co-incidence of depression and other types of chronic ill-health.. PI: Salway, S. CI: Coy, J, Grimsley, M. £24,600.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Ethnic diversity in social science research. PI: Salway, S. CI: Ellison, GTH, Gerrish, K. £82,000.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Fathering in middle childhood among UK South Asians. PI: Salway, S. CI: Clarke, L., Chowbey, P. £104,000.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Limiting illness, poverty and ethnicity: breaking the vicious cycle. PI: Salway S. CIs: Platt, L, Bayliss, E. £89,817.


The Nuffield Foundation (Career Development Fellowship)

Bangladeshi households in North and South: a conceptual and empirical exploration of livelihoods and wellbeing. PI: Salway S. Mentor: Grundy, E. £76,813.

 Selected consultancy and knowledge transfer projects

Date Sponsor Details
2023 National Institute for Health Research, UK, SPHR Impact Accelerator Award Refining, piloting and promoting a loneliness reduction toolkit. PI: Salway, S. Sheffield Co-I: Ejegi-Memeh, S. £28,750
2021 University of Sheffield Impact Accelerator/Knowledge Exchange Award Knowledge-to-practice toolkit on loneliness and social isolation among migrant and ethnic minorities. PI: Salway, S. £11,757.
2019 NHS England & Improvement, Maternity Transformation Plan Technical assistance to the strategic development of culturally competent genetic services.

Public Health England

Ethnicity and health in UK: technical support to an evidence review. PI: Salway, S. £5,000.


Medical Research Council P2D and Public Health England

Modern slavery: the public health response. PIs: Salway, S, and Such, E. £14,735.


Wellcome Trust

Review of diversity and inclusion literature and an evaluation of methodologies and metrics relating to health research. PI: Wilsdon, J, CIs: Salway, S, Booth, A, Preston, L et al. £45,270.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Poverty and stress: review project. PI: Blank, L. CIs: Goyder,E Baxter,S, Salway, S, Bissell, P. £29,928.


Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

Identifying promising innovations to enhance equity and efficiency in care for new migrant populations. PI: Such, E. CIs: Salway, S and Walton, E. £22,659.


Sheffield City Council

Developing online training resource for health professionals and the public on consanguinity and recessive genetic disorders. PI: Salway, S. £4,000.


Genetics Disorders UK

A participatory research study to develop a community genetic literacy intervention. PI: Salway, S. CI: Hussein, G., Ali, P. £23,124.


NHS Sheffield

A community based survey of knowledge and attitudes related to infant health. PI: Salway, S. CI: Piercy, H., Ismail, H. £12,000.


NHS Leeds

Cousin marriage and genetic risk: insight and development work.. PI: Salway, S. CI: Dearden, A, Ali, P. £16,500.


NHS Sheffield

Exploration of factors contributing to lower revascularisation rates among Pakistani women in Sheffield: preliminary studies & proposal development. PI: Piercy, H. CI: Salway, S., Chowbey, P. £13,500.


UK Department for Work and Pensions

A review of the experiences of clients of the Pensions, Carers and Disability Service from minority ethnic backgrounds. PI: Salway, S. CIs: Allmark, P., Crisp, D. £20,000.


UK Equalities and Human Rights Commission

Scientific overview of health and life expectancy for the Triennial Review. PI: Salway, S. Allmark P CIs: Piercy, H. £24,560.


Trent Research Development Support Unit

Increasing capacity in researching ethnic inequalities in health. PI: Salway, S. CI: Brewins, L., Dhoot, P. £14,500.


NHS Bradford and Airedale

Development of a digital learning resource for cultural competence training. PI: Salway S. CI: Higginbottom, G. £4,000.


NHS Sheffield

Evaluation of the Enhanced Public Health Programmes. PI: Salway S, Tod, A. CI: McClimens, A, Chowbey, P. £25,000.


South Yorkshire Eating Disorders Association

Adapting Syeda's services to better meet the needs of minority ethnic communities: evaluation and feasibility study. PI: Salway S. CI: Chowbey P, Ismail, M. £3,600.


NHS Bradford & Airedale

Documenting the experiences and insights of UK South Asian GPs in Bradford. . PI: Salway, S. CI: Higginbottom, G. £9,400.

Teaching interests

I currently convene two level 3 modules within the Department of Sociological Studies: Perspectives on Inequalities and Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine.

Both modules are highly interactive, employing a range of learning approaches and a good deal of student-led discussion and debate. In Perspectives on Inequalities, we benefit from a range of external speakers who share both personal and professional experiences and insights into the causes and effects of social inequalities. I bring my international research experience to my teaching, as well as extensive experience of group facilitation and learner-centred approaches.

I also contribute a number of invited lectures to undergraduate and master’s level modules based around my methodological interests and subject expertise, such as participatory research methods and co-production, racial inequalities in health, and global public health perspectives.

Professional activities and memberships

Sarah is currently a member of the UK NHS Race and Health Observatory’s maternal health stakeholder group.

In 2024, Sarah is an invited external reviewer for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Sarah is a trained, volunteer doula with the Sheffield City Council doula programme.

Partnerships, engagement and impact

Sarah has worked in partnership with statutory and third sector organisations, as well as  community-based groups and local people, to generate and mobilise research evidence for real-world impact throughout her career. Current and recent partnerships include:

Real Medicine Foundation (RMF), Punjab, Pakistan

Sarah has collaborated with RMF, under the leadership of Afshan Bhatti and in conjunction with Professor Zubia Mumtaz (University of Alberta, Canada) on a series of projects over the past decade focused on finding ways to improve access to, and quality of, maternal healthcare in rural Punjab. The work has involved close engagement with government and donor agencies via the production of policy briefings, facilitated workshops, and ongoing policy dialogues. The overarching aim of this programme of work is to increase understanding of the social and political determinants of maternal health and care among decision-makers and practitioners, and to prompt policy changes that can address current inequities. Research evidence has informed policy changes related to the Community Midwife Programme and the 24/7 Basic Health Units, as well as prompted smaller-scale changes at practice level.

Exit interview with a woman whose delivery was observed in Pakistan

Darnall Well Being, Sheffield, UK

Closer to home, Sarah has collaborated with Darnall Well Being on a number of community-based research projects focused on the health and wellbeing of migrant and racially minoritised people. Currently, the collaboration is focused on understanding and tackling loneliness among these groups. A large-scale participatory evidence synthesis led to the co-production of a ‘toolkit’ for those involved in the design, commissioning, delivery and/or evaluation of initiatives aimed at tackling loneliness. A new grant, 2023-24, will enable the team to pilot and evaluate the toolkit with a number of organisations to assess whether it can be embedded into service design and delivery, and whether it can lead to improved experiences and outcomes for service users. Yvonne Witter leads the DWB side of this partnership.

NHS England and Improvement, Maternity Transformation Programme

Sarah has worked locally, regionally and nationally over the past 15 years to translate research findings into improved access to genetic services for families and communities practising customary consanguineous marriage. Sarah convened and chaired a national multi-professional steering group focused on this need from 2018 to 2021. Working closely with Naz Khan, Principal Genetic Counsellor in Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, and national Clinical Lead for Equality, Ethnicity & Genetics, Sarah’s research and knowledge exchange activities have been instrumental in shaping a new national strategy and significant new investment. Naz and Sarah published an opinion piece in the BMJ as part of the 2020 special issue on Racism and Medicine. Naz and Sarah also developed and delivered extensive capacity building workshops for health professionals and designed an online training package within the E-Learning for Healthcare (elfh) platform. This work formed the basis of a REF 2021 Impact Case Study.


Sarah is currently working with University and third sector colleagues in Sheffield, Coventry and Newcastle to co-create a new Knowledge Partnership focused on enhancing the health and wellbeing of racially minoritized groups.