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Dr Halima Iqbal

Assistant Professor in Public Health

Faculty/Dept/School School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership
(Faculty of Health Studies)


Dr Halima Iqbal graduated with an honours degree in Social Sciences (2008) and then completed her MA in Racism and Ethnicity studies (2009), before completing her PhD in health studies (funded by Born in Bradford) at the University of Bradford (2021).

Halima’s PhD research aimed to coproduce an obesity research agenda with Pakistani women; a seldom heard group, living in deprived inner-city areas of Bradford. She utilised Feminist Participatory Action Research as the research design underpinning her study. Her interest in this area stemmed from her positionality as an insider in this community and knowledge of the disproportionate adverse health suffered by this population, and their lack of engagement with research.  

Halima joined the University of Bradford as a lecturer in Public Health in May 2022. Before joining the university, Halima worked at Bradford Institute for Health Research as a Research Fellow across both the ActEarly and Born in Bradford projects. Halima is an experienced qualitative researcher specialising in thematic analysis and content analysis. She has a special interest in working with seldom heard groups, utilising participatory methodologies to address health inequalities. Coproduction and patient and public involvement in research are approaches she feels very passionate about. Halima is currently working in collaboration with Born in Bradford, leading research exploring the mental wellbeing of British Pakistani mothers in Bradford. She is co-investigator on an NIHR funded grant to codevelop and evaluate innovative peer-led Obesity UK support groups to provide support for, and improve research coproduction with, least heard and underserved communities at high risk of obesity and related co-morbidities. Halima is leading the workstream for South Asian Muslim women across West Yorkshire

Halima is module leader for Inequalities In Society and Community Development and Engagement in Multi-Cultural Populations on the BSc (Hons) Public Health and Community Wellbeing programme.



  • Research priority setting
  • Public and patient involvement in research; coproduction with communities; citizen science
  • Participatory methodologies 
  • Working with seldom-heard groups
  • Health inequalities and social determinants of health
  • Women’s health
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Mental Health 


Teaching interests

  • Health inequalities and social determinants of health
  • Coproduction with communities and patient and public involvement in research
  • Mental health
  • Obesity
  • Feminist methodologies
  • Qualitative research methodologies

Teaching highlights

Teaching delivered on the following modules/topics on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (2020 - 2023)

  • Health Inequalities and Social Determinants of Health
  • Health Needs Assessment in Practice
  • Working with Communities to Improve Health
  • Engaging Communities in Partnership Working
  • Qualitative research methods and data analysis workshops
  • Nvivo training
  • cultural competency for healthcare professionals

Professional activities

  • 01-JAN-22: University of Bradford - PhD
  • 01-JAN-08: University of Leeds - Masters
  • 01-JAN-07: Leeds Metropolitan University - BA

  • 01-JUN-22: Bradford Institute for Health Research - Research Fellow
  • Leeds City College - Equality and Diversity Officer

  • 01-JAN-23: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

  • English
  • Urdu


TitleIdentifying the Health Concerns of Pregnant British Pakistani Women Living in Deprived Areas: A Qualitative Study (2023)
AuthorsIqbal, H., West, J., McEachan, R., Cooper, M
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
TitleReflections from an insider researcher ‘doing’ feminist participatory action research to co-produce a research agenda with British Pakistani women; a seldom heard group (2023)
AuthorsIqbal, H., West, J., McEachan, R. R. C., & Haith-Cooper, M
JournalAction Research
Title“We lost a lot, but something good came out of it too:” Exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental wellbeing of British Muslim Pakistani women with family responsibilities (2023)
AuthorsIqbal, H., Lockyer, B., Iqbal, S & Dickerson, J
JournalPLoS ONE
PublisherPLOS ONE
TitleMeta-evaluation of a whole systems programme, ActEarly: A study protocol. (2023)
AuthorsMansukoski L;Lockyer B;Creaser A;Sheringham J;Sheard L;Garnett P;Yang T;Cookson R;Albert A;Islam S;Shore R;Khan A;Twite S;Dawson T;Iqbal H;Skarda I;Villadsen A;Asaria M;West J;Sheldon T;Wright J;Bryant M;
JournalPLoS ONE
TitleIntergenerational differences in healthy eating beliefs among British Pakistanis with type 2 diabetes. (2023)
AuthorsIqbal S;Iqbal H;Kagan C;
JournalDiabetic Medicine
TitleExploring the obesity concerns of British Pakistani women living in deprived inner-city areas: A qualitative study. (2022)
AuthorsIqbal H;West J;McEachan RRC;Haith-Cooper M;
JournalHealth Expectations
TitleDeveloping an obesity research agenda with British Pakistani women living in deprived areas with involvement from multisectoral stakeholders: Research priority setting with a seldom heard group. (2022)
AuthorsIqbal H;West J;McEachan RRC;Haith-Cooper M;
JournalHealth Expectations
TitleThe Impact of the Pandemic on Mental Health in Ethnically Diverse Mothers: Findings from the Born in Bradford, Tower Hamlets and Newham COVID-19 Research Programmes (2022)
AuthorsMcIvor, C; Vafai, Y; Kelly, B; O’Toole, S; Heys, M; Badrick. E; Iqbal, H; Pickett, K; Cameron, C; Dickerson, J.
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
TitleResearch priority setting in obesity: a systematic review (2021)
AuthorsIqbal H.;McEachan R.R.C.;West J.;Haith-Cooper M.
JournalJournal of Public Health (Springer)
TitleA systematic review to identify research priority setting in Black and minority ethnic health and evaluate their processes (2021)
AuthorsIqbal, H; West, J; Haith-Cooper, M; McEachan, R.C
JournalPLoS ONE
PublisherPLOS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0251685

Publication NameHard to Reach: Applied Research Methods with Hidden, Marginal and Excluded Populations (2023)
AuthorsIqbal, H., West, J., McEachan, R., Cooper, M

Title“Will we ever return to normality?” Findings from Phase 2 (Oct – Dec 2020) of the Born in Bradford Covid-19 Adult Survey (2021)
AuthorsRachael Moss, Claire McIvor, Brian Kelly, Charlotte Endacott, Kirsty Crossley, Bridget Lockyer, Laura Sheard, Shahid Islam, Rifat Razaq, Melany Zarate, Zahra Anser, Halima Iqbal, Sally Bridges, Helen Smith, Deborah Lawlor, Kathryn Willan, Aamnah Rahman, Rosie McEachan, John Wright, Maria Bryant, Kate Pickett and Josie Dickerson