Dr Claire McIvor, a senior lecturer in Birmingham Law School, has been awarded a research networking grant from the AHRC for her Legal Epidemiology project. 

Epidemiology is a core public health science that looks at determinants of health outcomes in human populations.  Using medicine, research methodology and statistics as  their key tools, epidemiologists are trained to draw causal inferences from empirical data. ‘Legal Epidemiology’ refers  to the use of epidemiologic methods and evidence to resolve problematic questions of causation in law, most notably within the context of personal injury litigation. With the aim of establishing ‘Legal Epidemiology’ as a new academic discipline, the grant will be used to establish an international network of lawyers and scientists committed to working  at the interface between law and epidemiology. 

The network’s main objectives will be: (i) to facilitate collaborations  between lawyers and epidemiologists; (ii) to share information with relevant stakeholders about the benefits of using  epidemiological evidence in legal contexts; and (iii) to promote academic research into the (mis)use of epidemiological data in court. 

The Legal Epidemiology project is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project involving the following key participants: Professor Maurice Zeegers (epidemiologist, Maastricht University), Prof Michael Faure (lawyer, Maastricht University) and Prof Sana Loue (epidemiologist, Case Western University).