Omolade Femi-Ajao

Omolade Femi-Ajao, PhD, FRSPH


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Personal profile


I am a Lecturer developing an international profile in Global Health research, with a specific focus on improving the access of ethnic minority and immigrant women in high-income countries to existing health, social, and community services. My research interests also explore how the strengths of ethnic minority-led non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and faith-based organisations (FBOs) can be used for addressing health inequalities. One of the successful approaches from my work is developing collaboration with community groups and faith-based organisations.

My career aim is to become a Chair and contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG -5) on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment and SDG 3 on Universal Access to healthcare globally, and in the UK, by focusing on immigrant women’s health and the role of NGOs and FBOs in addressing health inequalities. I intend to undertake action research that will practically influence policy and practice for women and children from ethnic minority and immigrant groups in the UK and globally, across various health issues, including domestic violence and abuse, oral health, and child health issues.



Since the completion of my Public Health degree in 2006, I have been involved in public health research.  Over the last 14 years, I have worked with women in their local communities to help utilise locally available resources to promote and enhance their quality of life. 

I began my academic/research career as a teaching/graduate Assistant in 2007, working in the Dept of Public and Allied Health, Babcock University, Nigeria. My varied job role was the motivation for the completion of a MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics from CMIST (University of Manchester).

Over the last 12 years, I have been involved with Greater Manchester-based domestic violence charities and voluntary organisations, community groups and faith-based organisations to explore strategies for improving the access of immigrant women to appropriate health and social care services. I have also worked with leaders of faith-based organisations to ensure their capacity is enhanced for supporting women with lived experience of intimate partner and abuse.  

Research interests


I am primarily a global health researcher with a research background in health education & promotion, and social statistics. My research interest spans across a range of public health issues, including women’s health, domestic violence and abuse among adults in intimate relationships, social capital, social support networks, and involvement of community groups and faith-based organisations in service utilisation. I am keen to enhance health services utilisation by people from immigrant populations in the UK, through working with healthcare professionals and service user groups to improve care pathways. Findings from my research highlights a significant need for collaborative working between statutory service providers, commissioners and leaders of immigrant NGOs and Faith-based organisations.


Another key aspect of my work is on oral health, with a specific focus on how having a lived experience of domestic abuse can be a risk factor for poor oral health. I was a co-applicant and trial manager for the NIHR-funded Dentistry Responding in Domestic Abuse (DRiDVA) study. This was a feasibility study exploring the development of a referral pathway within dentistry for women experiencing domestic violence and abuse. 


My collaborations

Prof Anne-Marie Glenny - University of Manchester

Dr Suzanne Huot - University of British Columbia, BC, Canada

Dr Nancy Clarke - University of Victoria, BC, Canada

A/Prof Cathy Vaughan  - University of Melbourne, Australia 

Prof David Schultz - University of Manchester 

Prof Tanya Walsh - University of Manchester

Prof Neils Peek - University of Manchester

Prof James Nazroo - University of Manchester

Methodological knowledge

  • Quantitative Data Analysis Using SPSS 
  • Expertise in recruitment to research studies
  • In-depth Interview Skills
  • Focused Groups Discussion Sessions
  • Thematic Analysis 
  • Community-based Participatory Action Research
  • Cross-sectional Qualitative Study Design


ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring 2020

Practitioner Level 3 Diploma in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Life Skills Coaching 2018

Life Coaching Diploma 2017

PhD (2016, University of Manchester): Thesis Title: Factors Influencing the Disclosure and Help-Seeking Practices of Nigerian Women Resident in England with Lived Experience of Domestic Violence.

MSc (2010, Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester): Social Research Methods and Statistics

BSc (2006, First Class Honours, Babcock University): Public Health

Social responsibility

I am committed to the University of Manchester Social Responsibility agenda, and I am heavily involved in public engagement activities. I am the Chair of the Board of Trustees for a Greater Manchester-based registered charity, whose charitable objects is to preserve and protect the health, both physical and mental, of persons who have suffered or are suffering from domestic violence and/or domestic abuse, and stress and depression.

I am a member of the Greater Manchester for Women 2028 (GM4Womem28) think tank group, working to advance equality for women and girls across Greater Manchester. I am part of the Safety group – given my on-going work on domestic violence and abuse against women.

I am a Local Authority School Governor for a Primary School in Manchester, and I volunteer as the Chair of the inclusion committee.  


Research interests

My research interests are in the following areas:

  • Improving access to and utilisation of health services by immigrant groups
  • Involvement of immigrant NGOs and Faith-Based Organisations in Public Health Initiatives (especially domestic violence and abuse prevention initiatives)
  • Enhancing the response of community groups and faith-based organisations to disclosure of domestic abuse 
  • Health Systems Strengthening in Low and Middle-Income Countries

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

University Research Ethics Committee (UREC)

I am an Ethics signatory for the Division, and a chair of UREC Proportionate committee. I am a permanent member of the UREC proportionate committee.


DENT 10340

POPH 62130

POPH 62411

POPH 62212

Manchester Access Programme



PhD Opportunities

I welcome enquiries from prospective students who will like to conduct research around global health issues. Particularly, women's health, oral health inequalities or in any area of my methodological expertise.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Areas of expertise

  • H Social Sciences (General)

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


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