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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Q&A with Professor Stephen Morris

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    02 December 2019

    Professor Stephen Morris is our new Professorial Fellow in Health Services Research. He is also the RAND Professor of Health Services Research, based in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care.

    We caught up with Stephen to find out more about him and his research.

    Stephen at the end of the Snetterton marathon
    Stephen at the end of the Snetterton marathon in November 2019.

    Welcome to Murray Edwards College Stephen. How does it feel to be here?

    I am really pleased to be part of the College. I love the feel of the place and the atmosphere, and I am really looking forward to immersing myself in the College life and community.

    Can you tell us a bit more about your role as Professorial Fellow in Health Services Research?

    I am a health economist by training and lead a research group called the Cambridge Research Methods Hub based in the Primary Care unit, which is part of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care. The group is made up of health economists, statisticians and data managers, and we are involved in several health services research projects. I am also co-director of the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research, which is a collaboration between the University and RAND Europe. I am interested in undertaking research that is all about improving health services and population health. I am hoping to be able to share the knowledge and experience I've accumulated over my career so far with members of the College.

    What is your research focused on at the moment?

    I am involved in a number of research projects, on a range of different topics. One project that I lead is called the CONCORD study, which stands for Coordinated Care of Rare Diseases. It is a collaboration between several universities, hospitals and patient organisations, and the aim is to improve the health care that people affected by rare diseases receive. It is a really interesting and potentially impactful study.

    Has anything surprised you about your chosen career path?

    The main thing is that I consider myself extremely lucky to be in a career that I still enjoy and get excited about after all these years.

    What is the best piece of advice you have received?

    Two pieces. The first is: "Have the courage to live your life the way you want to live it, not the way that others want you to." The second is from my old headmaster: "Don't take yourself so seriously, Morris." Both have stood me in good stead I would say.

    How do you spend your free time?

    I am Chair of Governors of a secondary school in Cambridgeshire, which takes quite a bit of my time. Over and above that, I do a lot of running. I can't run very fast but I can run a long way – a few weeks ago I was on Exmoor running the Exmoor Ultra and next year, the big event for me is a 145 mile race from London to Bristol.