Dr Ruth Lewis
- Research Fellow (MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit)
I am a sociologist interested in how social relationships - with partners, family members, peers, and communities - affect health. Much of my work focuses on sexual health and wellbeing. I am committed to collaborating with communities and organisations to co-produce and evaluate interventions aiming to improve health and reduce health inequalities.
- BA Geography, University of Leeds
- MSc Social Research, University of Edinburgh
- PhD Sociology, University of Edinburgh
Prior to joining SPHSU, I worked at the University of Edinburgh (2009), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2009-2014), and the University of the Pacific (2014-2017).
I am based in the Relationships and Health programme at the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (SPHSU).
I am an Associate Director for the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, and a member of the Operations Committee for the Scottish Interdisciplinary Research in Sexual Health (IReSH) network. I am also a member of the British Sociological Association and the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses.
I use mixed methods research to understand how social relationships affect health, and to develop and evaluate interventions to improve population health.
- adolescent and young adults' health
- sexual health and wellbeing
- mental health and wellbeing
- co-production and participatory approaches
- systems thinking
- qualitative methodologies
- process evaluation
- CONUNDRUM Action (Co-Principal Investigator). A participatory project aiming to increase young people’s meaningful involvement in sexual health policymaking and service improvement in Scotland. The project brings together an Action Group including young people across Scotland, researchers, and sexual health stakeholders from Scottish Government, NHS Scotland, and third sector.
- Equally Safe at School (Co-Investigator). An evaluation of a whole schools approach to tackling gender-based violence in secondary schools in Scotland. Intervention design and evaluation, in partnership with Rape Crisis Scotland.
- Katawag (Co-Investigator). Mental wellbeing among call centres employees in the Philippines: A complex systems approach to intervention development. The project is a joint venture between researchers at De La Salle University in the Philippines, and University of Glasgow.
- National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles-4 (Natsal-4)
- SaFE (Co-Investigator), a NIHR-funded study to optimise, feasibility test and pilot a safer sex and healthy relationships intervention for Further Education settings.
- TRIUMPH (Co-Lead, Key Groups theme) - a UKRI-funded network, which brings together young people, academics, practitioners and policymakers to find new solutions to improve youth mental public health. The Key Groups theme focuses on groups of young people with poorer mental health outcomes, including LGBTQ+ and care-experienced young people.
- WAYS (Co-Investigator) - a qualitative multi-modal project using interviews and photos to explore understandings and experiences of health and wellbeing among LGBTQ+ young people living in diverse locations and circumstances across Scotland.
- CONUNDRUM (2019-2020, Co-PI). Commissioned by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, and Lothian, in partnership with the Scottish Government, this co-produced study examined the multi-level and complex factors shaping young people’s use and non-use of condoms and contraception. A diverse range of young people and sexual health stakeholders (e.g. service providers and decision-makers) took part in the research process, to generate in-depth understanding of the issue, and to co-produce recommendations for future sexual health policy and service provision. Study outputs can be found here
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Enhancing the impact of a project to design mental health workplace interventions in the Philippines
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
2022 - 2023
- CONUNDRUM Phase 2
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
2022 - 2022
- Developing the meaningful involvement of young people in sexual health policymaking and service improvement in Scotland
2022 - 2022
- Mental wellbeing among call centres employees in the Philippines: A complex systems approach to intervention development
Medical Research Council
2021 - 2022
- Optimisation, feasibility testing and a pilot randomised trial of SaFE: a safe sex and healthy relationships intervention in Further Education
National Institute for Health Research
2020 - 2022
- Young People's uptake and use of condoms and contraception
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
2019 - 2020
I welcome PhD supervision enquiries, and particularly those relating to:
-- sexual health and wellbeing
-- development and evaluation of sexual health interventions
-- co-production and participatory approaches to improving health and wellbeing
- Bosó Pérez, Raquel
What do young people understand by ‘sexual wellbeing’ and how do they seek to attain it?
- Kernaghan, Kirsten
How can we better harness community pharmacies as a resource for sexual health and wellbeing within local communities?
- Wilson-Lowe, Rachel
Talking about abortion online: how and why are women using the Internet for support?
I contribute to teaching about qualitative research and participatory approaches on the Research Methods in Health & Wellbeing course.
I also supervise MSc dissertations on the Masters in Public Health programme.
Previous and current topics include:
- Towards an understanding of break-up cultures among young people: Implications for health promotion
- Digital media interventions to promote STI prevention knowledge and behaviours among young people
Professional activities & recognition
Professional & learned societies
- 2019 - present: Operations Committee, Interdisciplinary Research in Sexual Health (IReSH) Scotland network
- 2005 - present: Member, British Sociological Association
- 2009 - 2012: Executive Committee (Early Career Forum Co-Convenor), British Sociological Association
- 2005 - 2009: Executive Committee (Postgraduate rep), British Sociological Association
Selected international presentations
- 2018: International Academy of Sex Research (Madrid)
- 2022: Society for Scientific Study of Sexuality (Vancouver)