Rachel’s research focuses on distributional justice and health. A major focus of her research is the use of mixed methods to elicit societal values with respect to health care resource allocation. Since moving to GCU in 2010 she has been involved in research investigating social enterprise and microfinance in terms of their potential as complex public health initiatives, acting on the social determinants of health. Her work has been funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Chief Scientist office of the Scottish Government (CSO) and European Commission.
In her doctoral work Rachel applied Q methodology and qualitative methods to economic theories of rationality in the context of health and lifestyle choices. Her Post Doctoral Fellowship was funded by the ESRC and included 3 months as a visiting researcher at the University of Calgary, Canada. She has expertise in the use of health economics approaches to valuation and preference elicitation including Willingness to Pay, Standard Gamble and Person Trade off techniques.
Between 2004 and 2010, Rachel was part of national and international research teams investigating the social value of quality-adjusted life years, led by Professor Cam Donaldson (UK Social Value of a QALY and EuroVaQ). As part of this work she used Q methodology to investigate societal perspectives about the principles underlying health care resource allocation
In collaboration with colleagues at GCU, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Rachel led a 3 year research project funded by the MRC Methodology Panel (2011-2014) to investigate societal perspectives on the relative value of life-extending treatments for people with terminal illnesses. This builds on work developing Q survey methods to investigate the distribution of views identified in large respondent samples.
Rachel is a member of the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group for Ethics and Society (early career awards) and, from 2012-2016 served on the Health Improvement, Protection and Services Research Advisory Committee for the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office. She is Past President of the International Q methodology Society.