• Source: Scopus
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1971 …2022

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Personal profile

Biography

Ala Szczepura is Professor of Health Technology Assessment in the Centre for Healthcare Research, Coventry University and Professorial Researcher at the University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire. She has over thirty years’ experience in interdisciplinary health services research with specific interests in: health and care technology assessment; re-design and assessment of services; and the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) populations.  

She has published over 180 peer-reviewed scientific articles including in the area of healthcare innovation, self-management, cancer, diabetes, kidney transplant and dialysis services, the ageing population and unobtrusive smart environments for independent living and, most recently, unconscious gender bias in medicine. Research grants won have totalled over £15m including projects funded by NIHR, Wellcome, MRC, ESRC, Innovate UK, the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Skills for Care, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Industry.

She has been involved in the strategic development of healthcare research and, increasingly, social care research at a national level. Both through her secondment in the early 1990’s to the NHS Executive to establish the NHS Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme; and as a member of the HTA Research Commissioning Board and National Advisory Panels (Screening and Diagnostics & Imaging), as well as national Research Charities (e.g. Vice-Chair Marie Curie Research Programme Funding Committee). She has a long-standing interest in the development of researchers, including membership of NIHR Fellowship Award Panels at all levels of (Post-Doctoral, Career Development & Senior Research Fellowships) and Department of Health Nursing Panel. As a member of Warwick University’s Education Policy Group she was instrumental in the establishment of a Medical School at Warwick. She remains a member of the Advisory Group for Warwick Evidence which undertakes Technology Assessment Reviews for NICE. Internationally, Professor Szczepura is also a founder member of the Heath Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Special Interest Group on Patient & Citizen Involvement in HTA; and the International Group on HTA in Developing Countries.

Throughout her career she has been a strong supporter of the role of women and she was a member of Warwick Medical School’s successful bid for an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2013; the first medical school in England to hold the Silver award. In 2018, she was winner of the 'Services to Medicine' category in the First English Women's Awards.

She established the first UK Centre for Evidence in Ethnicity, Health and Diversity (CEEHD) with De Montfort University, funded by ESRC. The CEEHD Specialist Library was launched by the Secretary of State for Health in the House of Commons; subsequently NICE incorporated the Library into the newly established NHS Evidence.

Ala holds an Honorary Chair in Warwick Medical School and is also Visiting Professor in Health Technology Assessment at the University of the West of England Bristol. She has recently joined The Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ (RCOT) Research Foundation Advisory Group. She remains a member of the Advisory Board for Care We Share (https://careweshare.org), and the Scientific Advisory Board of PinPoint Data Science Ltd (www.pinpointdatascience.com). She is Trustee for various charities.

Research Interests

Health technology assessment, emerging technological innovations, policy research

Vision Statement

I have been committed to health technology assessment (HTA) since my secondment to the Department of Health in the 1990’s to establish a national HTA programme. HTA is wide-ranging involving evaluation of the effectiveness, costs and broader social and ethical implications of a technology. The definition of ‘technology’ is also broad to include ‘all the methods used by health professionals to promote health, prevent and treat disease, and improve rehabilitation and long term care’. In summary, my research vision focuses on the challenge of multidisciplinary research, working closely with scientists, clinicians, end-users, policy makers and technology developers, to evaluate new and emerging health and social care technologies.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

External positions

Member Research Review Committee, Marie Curie Cancer Care Research

1 Mar 2019 → …

Member Research Foundation Advisory Group, Royal College of Occupational Therapists

1 Mar 2019 → …

Visiting Professor, University of the West of England

9 Sep 201625 May 2025

Visiting Professor, University of Warwick

1 May 201631 Dec 2023

Vice-Chair, Research Programme Funding Committee, Marie Curie Cancer Care Research

28 Feb 20151 Mar 2019

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  • Harue Masaki

    Kim Bul (Host), Ala Szczepura (Host), Toshio Nomura (Host) & Martin Bollard (Host)

    4 Nov 2017 → …

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