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Dr Natalie Darko

Job: Associate Professor

Faculty: Stephen Lawrence Research Centre

School/department: Research

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A

E: natalie.darko@dmu.ac.uk

 

Personal profile

Dr Natalie Darko is an Associate Professor at the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre. Prior to this role, she was a Research Fellow and Academic Research Lead at the NIHR Applied Research Collaborative (ARC) East Midlands Centre for Ethnic Health. She was also a Senior Lecturer of Sociology for eleven years at Nottingham Trent University.

Dr Darko is an experienced academic and researcher and has been working in higher education for over 15 years, leading on national and international research exploring health inequalities, ethnicity and race.

She has completed various research projects for public, private and voluntary sector organisations including the Antigua and Barbuda Ministries of Education and Sport, the International Olympic Committee, Sport England, NIHR, Bangladesh Youth & Cultural Shomiti Centre, DEFRA, Leicester City Council, Leicester City Commissioning Group, the Academic Health Sciences Network, Genomics England, the NHS and Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO).

Natalie specialises in research and practice that addresses equality, equity, diversity and inclusion of ethnic minority groups in the UK. She has extensive experience in supporting researchers and health practitioners on how to capture the seldom heard voices of ethnic minority groups, and how to work collaboratively to inform equitable health and research practice.
Natalie currently works across a broad portfolio of research within social, health and clinical sciences of which her current research projects focus on;

  • Experiencing maternity care during the SARS-CoV-2 Covid-19 Pandemic: the access, care and support provided to women from black and ethnic minority groups in the UK.
  • Type 2 Diabetes in 18-45yr olds (Millennials to Middle Age: A Multifactorial Intervention to Address Multimorbidity (NIHR).
  • SARS -CoV- 2 Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the Impact to Teaching, Learning and Wellbeing for Secondary Students in Leicester City (Leicester City Council).
  • Type 2 diabetes self-management amongst adults of black African and African Caribbean ethnicity.
  • Social constructions of the NHS: perceptions and experiences of ethnic minority groups in the UK. 

Research group affiliations

Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)

Publications and outputs

Research interests/expertise

  • Covid-19, race, ethnicity and health.
  • Racial and ethnic health disparities/inequalities
  • Health and health care for ethnic minority groups.
  • Equity, equality and sensitivity in research and practice.
  • Issues of inequality, inequity and social justice.
  • Qualitative research methods. 

Qualifications

  • PGCHE (HEA Fellow)
  • PhD Sociology
  • MPhil. Social Research Methods
  • BSc. Sociology

Projects

Current projects

  • Experiencing maternity care during the SARS-CoV-2 Covid-19 Pandemic: the access, care and support provided to women from black and ethnic minority groups in the UK.
  • Type 2 Diabetes in 18-45yr olds (Millennials to Middle Age: A Multifactorial Intervention to Address Multimorbidity (NIHR).
  • SARS -CoV- 2 Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the Impact to Teaching, Learning and Wellbeing for Secondary Students in Leicester City (Leicester City Council).
  • Type 2 diabetes self-management amongst adults of black African and African Caribbean ethnicity.
  • Social constructions of the NHS: perceptions and experiences of ethnic minority groups in the UK. 

Conference attendance

Recent Presentations

  • Darko, N., and Seidu, S., (2021) Having Comfortable Conversations – Cultural Competency in Diabetes Care for African and African-Caribbean People, Diabetes Africa and Novo Nordisk. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzpJ40TaAhQ
  • Seidu, S., Darko, N., Goff, L., and Odiase, C., (2021). Getting the Treatment Right- Diabetes Care for African and African- Caribbean People, Diabetes Africa and Novo Nordisk. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAc3OmU9bzo.
  • Mirza, H., Ochieng, B., Darko, N., and Brown, I (Director of Public Health) (2020), Covid -19 and Racial Inequality in the UK Webinar, Panel Discussion. The Exchange, Stephen Lawrence Research Centre.
  • Darko, N and Byron, M (2019) 'Migration, the Caribbean Diaspora and Migrant Wellbeing’ Understanding intersectionality and the management of health amongst British African-Caribbean Women, UoL West Indies Summer School.
  • Xu, G, Darko, N, and Highton, P (2019) Cultural acceptance of Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups may hinder the awareness of chronic kidney disease in some UK communities – an opportunity to increase engagement. UK Kidney Week, June 2019 Brighton.
  • Omeni, A., Darko, N., Thomas, R., Levine, D., and Professor Nishan Canagarajah VC (2019) Africa Research Group Launch, University of Leicester, Dec 2019.
  • Darko, N., Khunti, K., Davies, M., Ackroyd, C., and Harrington, D. (2018) All-Party Parliamentary Group International Diabetes Summit, Houses of Commons, Changing Cities Diabetes for BME Populations, Dec 2018
  • Darko, N., Willis, A., and Farooqi, A. (2019) NIHR Strategy Board – Invited Speakers- How are we serving underrepresented BME groups? Dec 2019, NIHR, University of Leicester, College Court Leicester.
  • Darko, N. (2019) High Performance Sport Summit, Invited Speaker- Policy, Sport and Health in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados.

Consultancy work

Dr Darko has undertaken a number of advisory roles providing strategic oversight and guidance on how to improve inclusive research and access to services for black and minority ethnic people. She has completed consultancy for various public, private and voluntary sector organisations including; the Bangladesh Youth & Cultural Shomiti Centre, Leicester City CGG, Lilly, Diabetes Africa, Triple Skillz in the Community, and KB in the Community. 

Current research students

I have previously supervised research students within the fields of health, ethnic health inequalities and culturally relevant health inventions for ethnic minority groups. I currently supervise research students in the following area:

  • Post-COVID-19 spatial inequalities, housing, ‘race’ and wellbeing for people with Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia and their families.

I am interested in supervising research students in the following areas:

  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Racial and ethnic health inequalities
  • Covid-19 and ethnic minority groups
  • Health and healthcare.
  • Equity, equality and sensitivity in health research and practice.
  • Inclusive and tailored health interventions 

Externally funded research grants information

Recently awarded grants

  • Type 2 Diabetes in 18 – 45 years olds (Millennials to Middle-Age): A Multifactorial Intervention to Address Multimorbidity (2020 – present) NIHR, PHR, Davies, M., et al., (Co-I) £2.8M.
  • Understanding Attitudes and Beliefs about COVID-19 and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the health and wellbeing (2020) NIHR ARC EM, Centre for Ethnic Health, & University of Leicester, Darko, N., Routen, A., Willis, A., Highton, P., Khunti, K., et al., (PI) £50,000.
  • BAME Communities: Ageing in Place- exploring the social infrastructures that enables BAME communities to age in place (2019- 2020) Ambition Ageing & University of Leicester (PI) £10,000.
  • Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) – East Midlands, NIHR, (2018) Khunti, K., Waring, J., Walker, M., Armstrong, N., Darko, N, Morris, R., Farooqui, A., Abrahams, K et al., (Co-applicant and Panel Member) £10M.
  • The effectiveness of BME women-only physical activity and yoga programme for improving participation, social isolation and well-being amongst South-Asian women (2018-2020) Sport England, BYCS & University of Leicester (Co- PI with BYCS) £18,000.
  • Understanding AHRC researchers’ practices regarding the equality of participant involvement in applied ARC health research (2020) NIHR ARC East Midlands (Co-PI) £162,000.
  • Exploring the impact of Covid-19 school closures on learning, teaching and mental health among Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) in Leicester City Secondary Schools (2020- present) Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, DMU Local & Leicester City Council. Hammond Perry, K, Darko, N, Overton-Edwards, S and Byran, R (Co-I). £6,372.
  • Tiger Team BECAP: Bespoke EndometriaL CAncer Follow-uP (2020) University of Leicester, Tiger Team Grant, Moss, E., Darko, N., Cooper, N., Clarke, D., Jones, E., Guttery, D., Gore A., and McDermott, H. (Co-I). £10, 000.
  • 10 x 10 challenge Fund- University of Leicester- EXCEED study – extended cohort for e-health, environment and DNA- recruitment of BME groups (2020) Tobin, M., Khunti, K., Darko, N., et al., (Co-I) £10,000.
  • Ethnicity, Dementia and Aging (2019) University of Leicester Tiger Team Grant, Maltby, J., Darko, N, Willis, A., Khunti, K., et al., (Co-I). £5,000
  • Migration, Mobility and Citizenship Research Network Grant (2019) University of Leicester Byron, M., Eborall, H., Darko, N., Pareek, M., Bernard, R., Aissaoui, R., Kefalidou; G., and Groves, Z. (Co-I) £40,000.

ORCID number

0000-0002-6384-9269

natalie-darko