Room 705,

Adam Smith Building,

Glasgow G12 8RT

Research Summary

PhD Topic

Structural Violence and (In)equities in Health and Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multilevel Analysis

Research Interests

  • Computational Social Science
  • Research Methods
  • Global Health
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Social theory


Michalopoulos, L. M., Baca-Atlas, S., Simona, J. S., Jiwatram-Negron, T., Chube, A and Cherry, M. B. 2017. “Life at the River is a Living Hell”: A Qualitative Study of Trauma, Mental Health, Substance use and HIV Risk Behaviour among Female Fish Traders from the Kafue Flatlands in Zambia. BMC Women’s Health 17:15 

Michalopoulos, L. M., Ncube, N., Simona J. S., Kansankala, N and Sinkala, E. 2016. A Qualitative Study of Migration-related Stressors, Psychosocial Outcomes and HIV Risk Behavior among Truck Drivers in Zambia. African Journal of AIDS Research 15 (3) 219-226.

Simona J. S., Muchindu, M & Ntalasha H. (2015). Intimate partner violence in Zambia: Socio-demographic determinants and Use of Maternal Health Care. Working paper no. 121. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF International. Available at:

Ntalasha, H., Malungo, J. R. S., Merten, S & Simona J. S. (2015). Influence of food supplements on testing for HIV/AIDS and adhering to treatment in a resource poor rural setting: a case of Chivuna, Southern Zambia. Science Journal of Public Health 3 (3): 314-320



    Sponsor / Funder

    University of Glasgow Q-Step PhD Scholarship


    Simona is a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Social and Political Science and he is involved in the following courses:-

    • Quantitative Methods I (Undergraduate)
    • Quantitative Methods II (Undergraduate)
    • Quantitative Methods for Social Sciences (Honours)
    • Research Design (Postgraduate)
    • Quantitative Data Analysis (Postgraduate) 

    He previously taught the following undergraduate courses at the University of Zambia:-

    • Social theory
    • Sociology of Health and Illness
    • Social science research methods

    Research methods in sociology

    Additional Information

    Simona obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Zambia and he was later awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue an MRes in Sociology and Research Methods at the University of Glasgow. Before commencing his PhD in 2016, Simona was a lecturer of Sociology and social science research methods at the University of Zambia. 

    Simona has a strong interest in social science research methods. His PhD research uses advanced multilevel modelling techniques to study ways in which structural factors influence health and healthcare inequities in sub-Saharan Africa. He delineates structural factors into multiple levels including the household/family, community/neighbourhoods, the nation and the globe at large. He is further studying the extent to which these factors could be conceptualised as ‘violent’.

    Simona is also keen on exploring the opportunities brought by the emerging field of computational social science and the big data revolution. He particularly intends to harness these new approaches to measure and understand how emergent properties are created and maintained within the social system and how they enhance or inhibit good health outcomes. He believes that doing so will further our knowledge of the position of an individual within the wider society and the ramifications that come with it. To achieve this, he is developing expertise in several advanced methods such as agent-based modelling, Bayesian inference, Social networks analysis and natural experiments. He has an excellent command of a few software and programming languages for data analysis including SPSS, Stata, R, Python, Atlas.ti and NVivo.