Dr Norha Vera San Juan

Postdoctoral Research Associate in NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit

Norha has a mixed academic background in political science, clinical and experimental psychology, and population research. She completed her PhD in Social Epidemiology at the IoPPN, with Dr Vanessa Lawrence as her first supervisor. For her PhD project she engaged in collaborations with the University of Chile, the Federal University of Sao Paulo, and the RedeAmericas International Research Project. 

She currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit, a commission of the Department of Health that informs mental health service and policy development. She is a member of the Rapid Research Evaluation and Appraisal Lab (RREAL), co-founder of the Social Research Platform on Mental Health in Latin America (PLASMA), and lead of the Recovery Chapter of the Latin American Consortium for Early Psychosis Research (ANDES). Norha is also a consultant for the projects User-Led Research in Mental Health: history, impact and current configurations (EURIKHA); London Transformation and Learning Collaborative - Critical Care programme (LTLC); and Modelling of public health interventions for the COVID-19 outbreak in Colombia (La Salle University).

Her work focuses on applying participatory research methods that promote stakeholder involvement; it challenges the traditional focus on clinical views and rather advocates for co-construction of knowledge to promote the sustainable development of health services. She is interested in innovative research methods that allow for collaborative data collection and analysis of large qualitative datasets in a timely manner. This includes qualitative methods such as rapid appraisal, framework analysis, and combining thematic analysis with health informatics methods like natural language processing.