Mona Kanaan
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor

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Mona is a senior lecturer in Applied Health Research (Statistics) and is currently serving as the post-graduate admissions tutor. Mona is also the programme leader for the Postgraduate certificate in Health Research and Statistics. 

Mona has worked on statistical modelling of childhood infectious diseases, analysis of randomised controlled trials in the health and social sciences including cluster randomised trials and stepped wedge trials, and spatial statistics. She has published in health and social sciences and statistical journals.

Mona has been involved in the analysis of datasets from both the UK and internationally (Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa) with applications ranging from maternity outcomes to MMR vaccines, tobacco control, reablement and criminal justice data. Mona also serves on a number of data monitoring committees and has served on an NIHR regional funding committee. She is an assistant editor of Ethnicity and Health.

Mona trained initially as a mathematician at the American University, Beirut supported by a Hariri Foundation Scholarship. She then moved on to study mathematical statistics at the University of Cambridge supported by the Karim Rida Said Foundation. Mona then completed her PhD studies in spatial statistics at the Open University supported by an Open University studentship and an Overseas Research Studentship Award. This was followed by a post-doctoral post at the Open University working with Professor Paddy Farrington on parameter estimation for infectious diseases. Mona then took an assistant professor in biostatistics position at the Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut before joining the University of York.  


  • BSc in Mathematics (with distinction), American University of Beirut
  • Postgraduate degree in Mathematical Statistics, University of Cambridge
  • PhD (statistics), The Open University

Departmental roles



Mona's research interests include health statistics in general with particular focus on randomised trials, cluster randomised trials, stepped wedge design, spatial statistics and statistical methods for the analysis of infectious diseases especifically measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). 

Mona’s work includes trials on control of tobacco use, improving communication skills among doctors, and awareness of patient safety for doctors in training, empowerment of pregnant women, and breathing techniques for lung cancer patients.   


Current projects

Completed projects include:

  • CLASS (Children Learning About Second-hand Smoke): a cluster RCT. NIHR Public Health Research Programme Grant
  • Citizenship evaluation project, National Probation Service
  • Effect of doctors' training in interpersonal and communication skills on women's satisfaction at labour and delivery: a stepped wedge cluster randomized trial in Damascus, Wellcome Trust as part of the Changing Childbirth network
  • Mobilizing women to change maternity practices: a cluster randomized controlled trial, Wellcome Trust as part of the Changing Childbirth network A randomised trial of high versus low intensity training in breathing techniques for breathlessness in patients with malignant lung disease: early intervention (SOB-II)
  • HOPE - Health of Populations and Ecosystems
  • A randomised trial of high versus lowintensity training in breathing techniques for breathlessness in patients with malignant lung disease: early intervention (SOB-II)

Research group(s)


Interested PhD students with proposals that have a substantive/advanced quantitative element in a health related setting are welcome to contact Mona. Mona is specially interested in methodological issues related to stepped wedge (cluster randomised) trials and application of spatial statistics to health related fields. She is also interested in quantitative research related to under-researched and under-represented populations. 
Keywords: stepped wedge, trials, cluster randomised, epidemiology, surveys,  spatial statistics, tobacco.

Sucessfully completed PhD Supervision

Current PhD Supervisees

Thesis Advisory Panel Membership (TAP)

  • Member of the TAP group for Georgios Nikiliadis (Supervised by Marta Soares and Stephen Palmer)
  • (Completed) Member of the TAP group for Omara Dogar (Supervised by Trevor Shekdon and Kamran Siddiqi)



Module leader for:

Co-module leader for:


Full publications list

External activities


Editorial duties

Invited talks and conferences

  • "An introduction to spectral analysis of spatial point-lattice processes", invited talk presented at the Statistical Computing Section of the Royal Statistical Society


Contact details

Dr Mona Kanaan
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor

Tel: 01904 32(1375)