Dr Sofia Vougioukalou

Research Fellow


I hold a British Academy Innovation Fellowship exploring the policy links of creative social prescribing for older people experiencing dementia and social isolation. I also work on the following projects:

  • Communicable diseases service mapping for refugee and asylum seeking populations across Wales (Public Health Wales)
  • The use of restrictive practices in the care of people living with dementia in hospital (National Institute for Health Research)
  • Addressing the Barriers to Inclusive Cycling in Wales (Learned Society of Wales)

I was previously researching the processes of embedding innovation through creativity in health and social care settings as part of the Health Arts Research People (HARP) programme.

I am an associate editor at the Arts & Health journal, co-convenor of the Migration, Ethinicity and Diversity (MEAD) research group and sit on the leadership team of the Wellbeing Research Network of the the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD). I am also a member of the Health and Care Research Wales Equality Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group and the All Wales Deaf Mental Health and Wellbeing working group. In 2021, I was the recipient of the Dementia Friendly Wales Diversity Award by the Alzheimer’s Society Wales and the Public Involvement Awards by Health and Care Research Wales. In 2022, I received the Celebrating Excellence Award in Civic Mission by Cardiff University. 

I am a qualitative health services researcher with a background in medical anthropology, user-centred design and evaluation. I have experience of co-production in healthcare settings using Experience-Based Co-Design, Appreciative Inquiry, Participatory Action Research and Participatory Rural Appraisal. My past research has contributed to the evaluation and foundational understanding of the integration of lay and experiential knowledge into health service improvement for long-term conditions such as cancer and dementia. I use approaches of medical anthropology such as ethnographic and visual methods to understand patients’ experiences of illness, treatment and survivorship. I use patient and public involvement and engagement to identify culturally-appropriate ways to engage service users in research, service improvement and impact-generating activities. My goal is to contribute to the delivery of speedier inexpensive innovation in health and social care services through engaged research.