Dr Samantha Rowbotham

Dr Rowbotham is a lecturer in Health Policy in the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney. Her teaching focuses around systems approaches to health policy research and analysis, and the development and communication of policy proposals.

She is a mixed methods researcher with diverse interests and experiences. She began her career in Psychology and completed her PhD at the University of Manchester, where she explored the role of co-speech hand gestures in the communication of physical pain. She has since been involved in research across a range of health topics, particularly tackling complex issues including the over-prescribing of antibiotics, health system staffing, knowledge mobilisation, evaluation of working in partnership for health, and engaging the public in the science and practice of population health.

Dr Rowbotham is currently developing a program of work exploring the potential applications and impact of ‘citizen science’ approaches in public health. She recently led a pilot project using citizen science to explore workplace support for breastfeeding. She is a member of the steering committee of the recently launched Citizen Science node at the University of Sydney, and is exploring opportunities to build researcher capacity for citizen science methods in public health.

Read more about Dr Rowbotham’s work

Kayaking with Boots the dog

Please describe your role: I am involved in an exciting program of work which is exploring how to engage the public in chronic disease prevention, particularly to increase public understanding of and demand for effective programs and policies. I am also involved with a number of activities around evaluation and improvement of the Prevention Centre as a model of partnership working.

The most challenging part is: Juggling the many things that I am involved in and sometimes having to say no to things – there is just so much interesting work going on across the Centre!

I’m interested in the work of the Prevention Centre because … By working closely with policy makers and other partners it strives to produce work that is relevant to the real world and will hopefully have a positive impact.

At work I am always learning that … There is always more to learn. I am surrounded by such amazingly talented and knowledgeable people with a huge variety of skills and expertise and I try to absorb as much of it as I can.

Before my current position, my most memorable role was… Teaching undergraduate psychology while completing my PhD at the University of Manchester. I learnt so much through working with students and met such lovely and inspiring and people along the way.

Most people don’t know that I … Love boxing! I have never had a fight, but I train regularly to keep fit.

When I’m not working, I most enjoy … Reading. I love getting lost in a novel and am rarely without my Kindle or a paperback. I also enjoy walking along the beautiful coastline around Sydney and swimming in the sea pools.

Right now I want to … Visit my family in the UK as it has been over a year since I was last home. I am missing my parents’ cooking, long walks with our dog and spending time with my family.

I would most like to live … Right here in Australia. I am so lucky to be living and working in this amazing country and am so thankful that I had the opportunity to come here.