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We research experiences of health and illness, interviewing people about what it’s like to live with medical conditions such as cancer, heart failure and autism. We highlight how personal narratives can inform policy and improve services.

Health Experiences Research Group

The group has an international reputation as a centre of excellence in qualitative research. We use social science informed, qualitative and mixed methods studies to understand health experiences and use the findings in applied research.  Findings are published in social science and clinical journals and on (which is owned and run by the DIPEx charity).  

We bring a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds to our research, including medical sociology, anthropology, psychology, political sciences, discourse analysis and biological sciences. Many of us are funded to research a specific health condition (so far 110 different conditions have been covered and findings are available at This research is based on in-depth interviews with people about what it’s like to live with different health issues – mostly recorded on video.

The methods used by the Oxford Health Experiences Research Group have set the benchmark for research into health and illness experiences.Sir Muir Gray

We research the use of personal narratives in health policy and practice, including the sharing of personal experiences online, using personal narratives to stimulate local experience-based co-design and to inform NICE quality standards.

In addition to our research, members of the group teach on MSc courses in the University of Oxford, and are involved in setting up new MSc degrees in Applied Digital Health, and in Translational Health. Our courses on qualitative methods research are internationally renowned.

We collaborate with numerous universities including Aberdeen, Stirling, Edinburgh, the Open, Manchester Metropolitan, Cambridge, University College London, University of West of England, Southampton, York, Bristol, LSHTM, Imperial, and research centres, such as QORU and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), Picker Institute, and government bodies such as NHS England.

Link to

Information on the HERG Data Archive 

Group Leads