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Congratulations to Dr Caitlin Pilbeam, a medical anthropologist and postdoctoral researcher in the Department, who has been awarded the Mildred Blaxter Fellowship from the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness.

Portrait of Caitlin Pilbeam © University of Oxford

Caitlin completed her DPhil in Primary Health Care with no corrections in January 2020, working with the Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences (IRIHS) group. During the Fellowship, she will continue her work on quality of life towards the end of life, mentored by her DPhil supervisors Prof Trish Greenhalgh in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and Dr Caroline Potter in the Nuffield Department of Population Health. 

Caitlin specialises in ethnographic methods, and in her DPhil used these methods to explore how people with heart failure make ‘life worth living’ whilst dying. She teaches qualitative research methods and writing in the Department as well as on other courses in the University. Caitlin also holds an Honorary Academic position at the University of Auckland, where she spent time earlier this year, collaborating with the Te Arai End of Life Research Group led by Prof Merryn Gott.

In her first postdoctoral position, Caitlin mobilised her social science and qualitative research skills in a different context, working with colleagues in NDPCHS, and the Centre for Global Health and Tropical Medicine in the Epidemic diseases Research Group Oxford (ERGO) led by Prof Peter Horby. Caitlin works on a number of local and international projects focusing on healthcare workers’ experiences of high-consequence infectious disease epidemics, with high case-fatality rates.

Commenting on the Fellowship, Caitlin said: “I so appreciate the opportunity to produce key publications from my DPhil, to contribute to the medical sociology of death and dying, and further develop my work on living well towards the end of life. I am also excited to consolidate my interests in death and dying, global health, and holistic wellbeing through the Fellowship, using medical sociological and anthropological lenses. These experiences will set me up to lead further research and champion medical sociological and anthropological approaches in these important areas. I am looking forward to developing future collaborations and producing wide-ranging impact, and am so excited to start in March 2021.”