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Rowena Jacobs is Professor of Health Economics and Deputy Director of the Centre. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of York (2002) and an MCom Degree in Economics (cum laude) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa (1997).
Rowena has expertise in the economics of mental health and mental health policy. She has interests in the linkage and use of large and complex datasets and the application of advanced statistical methods to interrogate big data and inform mental health policy. Her research areas include the evaluation of mental health policy reforms, incentives and performance measurement of mental health services. She has undertaken various research projects on funding and contracting approaches for mental health services. She also has interests in the area of physical and mental illness multimorbidity. She leads several multi-disciplinary multi-centre programmes of research and has raised research income from major funders including the Department of Health, NIHR, MRC, ESRC, UKRI and the Health Foundation.
She is active in disseminating her research to a wide range of audiences, including the NHS, policymakers and international bodies. Her research has won several awards e.g. the Willard Manning Award in Mental Health Policy and Economics Research (2019). She has acted as an adviser to various UK government and other agencies, as well as the World Bank, WHO and OECD.
Her work has had an impact, for example being used by policymakers in the NHS in the design and use of classification systems to account for activity in mental health services (2015-2017). She has also advised various policymakers on the design of mental health payment systems in Ireland (2018), Australia (2019), France (2019), the Netherlands (2020) and Peru (2020). She has major national collaborations across the UK as well as internationally, including in low and middle-income countries in South-East Asia and Africa.
Current and recently completed PhD students:
I would be interested in supervising students on the topic areas listed above.