Jack Pollard

“I never had plans to pursue a career as a researcher”

Jack Pollard

Health Economist

I never had plans to pursue a career as a researcher, I just knew I wanted to follow a path based on my interests and passions. My (relatively early) career to date can be traced back to secondary school, when I decided to study Economics and Business Studies at A Level. It was during this course that I developed a genuine interest in economics and the way in which it can be used to interpret, as well as influence, the world around us. I went on to study Economics at undergraduate level where, during my final year, I took a Health Economics module and realised the potential of applying economics to further the health and healthcare of the population. I realised this was an area where I could make use of my skills for the benefit of society.

I went on to undertake a master’s degree in Economics and Health Economics, before joining RAND Europe, a not-for-profit policy research organisation, where I gained an understanding of the importance of research in informing and improving decision-making and policy. During my time at RAND Europe I worked on a variety of topics, from education to criminal justice, collaborating with experts from across the organisation.

“I realised that the most insightful and impactful research was often that undertaken when experts from different domains came together to tackle the most challenging issues.”

It was, however, my research on mental health that I was most passionate about, leading me to join the University of Oxford as a Researcher in Health Economics.

My current research is focussed on understanding the various outcomes of elevated child anxiety, from school attendance in the short-term, to educational achievement in the mid-term and ultimately employment outcomes in the long-term. The findings will be used to inform the economic evaluation of an intervention that aims to improve access to treatment for children with anxiety problems, and I am hopeful that it will be used to encourage the adoption of more evidence-based mental health interventions in the future.

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role as a health economist working in mental health research is getting together with experts from a variety of areas, from psychiatrists to statisticians, all of whom are pulling in the same direction, as this leads to the most meaningful discussions and the most insightful research.”

Ultimately, it’s the knowledge that my work could have a meaningful impact on the lives of those that really need it that motives me on a day-to-day basis.

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