Back to top

Academic Forum

The Academic Forum for Occupational Health provides a nonaligned and multidisciplinary forum for academic organisations. Established in 2000, its Chair is Professor Ewan Macdonald. Currently only 50% of the UK workforce has access to OH support and advice and there is a significant lack of research and evaluation to both inform government and support the UK workforce. However, there has been a decline in the number of academic departments, partly counterbalanced by a growth in departments focused on single system occupational disease and ill health (such as for workplace musculoskeletal, respiratory and mental health issues).

The Forum is calling for an independent Academic Centre to promote, protect and improve the health of the UK’s working people or those wanting to get into work. The Centre would deliver real, practical and applied outputs to help keep workers healthy, offer a non-Governmental voice that will support to develop more efficient and effective workplace health strategies and help change the way we think and act in terms of health in the workplace.  

The Academic Forum offers Buddy Support to fellow researchers who are moving into Academic Research in this area or wish to progress their Academic Career.

  • What does the support consist of? The buddy support will enable you to better understand the support you need to progress your career and the options for next steps. Buddy support will include information and signposting.
  • Who is it for? - The support is for researchers who perhaps are just starting out their academic career, or those who are looking to take the next step up their career ladder.
  • Where can it occur? - Peer support can occur over the phone, via Skype or face to face etc. This is for each party to decide together, mindful that no cost support is provided.
  • Frequency of support - This is for each party to decide together.

Note buddies are offering their time freely. The process is of a voluntary nature and can be stopped at any time by either party. Contact details for buddies are:

  • Dr Gwenllian Wynne-Jones University of Keele. Area of research focus - primary care, epidemiology, clinical trials, Musculoskeletal pain, nursing
  • Professor Ewan MacDonald University of Glasgow. Area of research focus - Occupational Medicine Research generalist
  • Dr Sharon Stevelink (Lecturer in Epidemiology) Area of research focus: epidemiology, high risk occupations, mental health, well-being, quantitative methods, military
  • Dr Joanna Yarker Kingston University. Area of research focus - organisational psychology, stress and mental health, organisational interventions, line managers, process/real-world evaluation

Minutes of recent meetings of the Academic Forum are below. The Forum’s submission to the 2017 Green Paper for Work, Health and Disability is here. If you would like to attend the Forum or would like further details, please contact the SOM.

In June 2019 the SOM released The Value of Occupational Health Research: History, Evolution and Way Forward. Download the report here.


Academic Forum minutes 25th June 2018

Academic Forum minutes 9th October 2018

Academic Forum minutes 14th January 2019