Project Team

The project team holds and steers the vision for the Synergi Collaborative Centre and its effective delivery, supported by the Advisory Board and Lankelly Chase Foundation.

Synergi Collaborative Centre Stroke
Director: Professor Kamaldeep Bhui CBE - Professor of Psychiatry, University of Oxford

Director: Professor Kamaldeep Bhui CBEProfessor of Psychiatry, University of Oxford

Kamaldeep Bhui is Professor of Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry,
and Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Science, University of Oxford. He is a Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the East London NHS Foundation Trust, Co-Founder of Careif, Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry and International Journal of Culture and Mental Health and Honorary Professor at Queen Mary University of London. He has led research and learning programmes on ethnic inequalities in mental illnesses, suicide, self-harm, chronic fatigue, violence and traumatic experiences, homelessness, refugee experiences, drug use and Mental Health Act detentions in hospitals and in the criminal justice system, including prisons. Kamaldeep has been an adviser to the Department of Health and Public Health England, and formerly chaired the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ committees on public health and transcultural psychiatry. He has supported three projects for the National Clinical Director on Mental Health (Consultation and Advice for NHS England, Public Health England, and providing a national public health online resource called Mental Health 4 Life). In 2016, Kamaldeep was awarded a CBE  in the Queen’s New Years’ Honours List for services to mental health care and research.

Co-Director: Joy Francis - Executive Director, Words of Colour Productions

Co-Director: Joy FrancisExecutive Director, Words of Colour Productions

Joy Francis leads on strategic and digital communications, public engagement, the Creative Spaces Network and the UK’s first Pledge to reduce ethnic inequalities in mental health systems. She co-authored the UK’s first survey on ethnic minority service users for Mind in 1997 and has worked on national mental health campaigns and policy initiatives, including the David ‘Rocky’ Bennett Inquiry and Delivering Race Equality, and developed media and public engagement campaigns targeting African and Caribbean communities for Time to Change. In the early noughties, Joy partnered with renowned virologist Dr Sheila Ochuboju to establish the world’s first African Science Cafes for the British Council Southern Africa which was then adapted for Kenya. Joy was the Media Liaison Lead for the Hillsborough Inquests, appointed by Birnberg Peirce law firm which represented 77 of the 96 families of the deceased, and reprised the role for the Camber Sands Inquests. She co-developed and helped to establish the world’s first Diversity and the Media MA at the University of Westminster in partnership with the international NGO, the Media Diversity Institute, and her work on media, publishing inclusion and reporting diversity has been recognised by the European Commission and Society of Editors. Joy is one of Eastside Community Heritage’s ‘Woman of Colour Trailblazer’ 2019, and she was selected for the UK’s first Museum of Colour’s People of Letters Digital Gallery 2019.

Co-Director: Professor James Nazroo - Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), the University of Manchester

Co-Director: Professor James NazrooProfessor of Sociology and Director of the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), the University of Manchester

Professor James Nazroo has conducted research on inequalities in health for almost 30 years, with a focus on the patterning and drivers of inequalities in later life, and on the inequalities faced by ethnic minority people. This work describes the patterning of differences in health across and within broad ethnic groupings, and assesses the contribution that social and economic disadvantage makes to these differences. Central to this approach has been developing an understanding of the links between ethnicity, racism and inequality, and how this evolves across the life course and over time. His research also covers the role of access to, and quality of health services, including a critical examinaIon of mental health services. James led the only national population-based surveys assessing ethnic differences in the prevalence of mental illness, and has written extensively on ethnic inequalities in severe mental illness.

Dr Kristoffer Halvorsrud - Research Fellow

Dr Kristoffer HalvorsrudResearch Fellow

Dr Kristoffer Halvorsrud is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Kristoffer previously worked as a Research Associate in the Evidence Synthesis Team in the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. His duties included conducting systematic reviews informing guideline and policy development processes for key stakeholders within health such as the World Health Organisation (WHO). Before taking up a position at Newcastle University, Kristoffer worked as a Research Associate for the Knowledge Centre for Education (part of the Research Council of Norway). His main responsibility was conducting systematic reviews in educational research commissioned by the Norwegian government and informing reports/guidelines at an international level for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Kristoffer has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Nottingham. His thesis was on the topic of migration and ethnic relations through a case study of South African migrants in Britain.

Dr Maria Haarmans - Research Associate

Dr Maria HaarmansResearch Associate

Dr Maria Haarmans (CPsychol) is a Research Associate within the Cathie Marsh Institute of Social Research at the University of Manchester. Her 20+ years in the mental health field in Canada, Japan and the UK, specialising in psychosis, both as a therapist and researcher, have sensitised her to inequalities and their role in psychological distress. Maria has used mixed methods and a sex- and gender-based analysis to investigate the impact of intersections of gender, class, ‘race’ and other social categories on the development and expression of psychotic experiences. She is interested in participatory approaches to research and has recently facilitated Participatory Action Research with male prisoners within a medium security prison. She aims to expand the focus from individual to social-structural levels of analysis for understanding severe psychological distress and enhancing practice. She is the project lead for the Synergi Participatory Action Research project, based at the University of Manchester.


Dr Dharmi Kapadia - Lecturer

Dr Dharmi KapadiaLecturer

Dr Dharmi Kapadia is a Lecturer in Sociology at The University of Manchester. Her interest in ethnic inequalities in mental health systems stem from her family’s experiences of mental illness. She has research interests in mental health/illness, ethnic inequalities, stigma with an expertise in quantitative methods. Dharmi has conducted research in ethnic inequalities in women’s use of mental health services, socioeconomic inequalities in suicide, as well as undertaken work looking at ethnic inequalities in the labour market, and the role of social networks in poverty for different ethnic groups. She has also worked on a number of large multisite studies in both primary health care and child and adolescent psychiatry.
Dr Roisin Mooney - Project Manager/Researcher

Dr Roisin MooneyProject Manager/Researcher

Dr Roisin Mooney graduated from Brunel in 2012 with a first class honours degree in Psychology with Professional Development, after which she worked in both research and teaching at the University of Hertfordshire. With a longstanding history of being employed in East and North Herts NHS Trust, her teaching specialisms relate to undergraduate research skills, conducting research in the NHS and health psychology, with research experience in multicentre NHS research, systematic reviews and qualitative research. In 2019 she completed a PhD on the experience and screening of depression in South Asian Haemodialysis patients, and has presented research at various professional conferences. Roisin’s research interests relate to identifying and measuring depression in people with chronic kidney disease, the lived experiences of depression in ethnic minority people and exploring the relationship between illness perceptions and depression. Roisin is based at the University of Oxford.