Essie Kaur

Essie Kaur

Health Services Management Centre
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Social Policy, HSMC
Park House
University of Birmingham
B15 2RT

Essie’s research focuses on novel organisational behaviour, culture and leadership theories in healthcare services, systems and workforces. Her research activities and aims include developing novel psychological- and behaviour-based interventions for improving employee mental health, communication and performance. Essie has applied her research to inform knowledge and evidence-based practice in healthcare systems and services; training and development practices; workforce support and policy in practice (e.g., identifying which interventions can reduce healthcare staff burnout and improve retention). From Essie’s on-going doctoral training, she is skilled in a variety of advanced statistical and specialist qualitative methods, techniques and analyses, often undertaking mixed methods research. 


  • PhD
  • MSc
  • BSc (Hons)
  • Psychometrics qualified assessor


Essie is currently working as an associate on the Culture in Action QP with Dr Justyna Bandola-Gill. Together they are researching:

  • Policy knowledge and Evidence-based policymaking &
  • Research evaluation and Research culture(s) in higher education and Russel group universities following the REF 2023 update.

One of Essie’s primary research streams investigates organisational behaviour and culture in the healthcare context. She has recently researched the process of breaking bad or unexpected news for professionals in healthcare contexts with Dr Johnson at the University of Leeds based on her previous research, which suggests that news delivery is a frequent but challenging occurrence for healthcare professionals. INDIRA Coach is being piloted as a multi-phase project to evaluate whether communication coaching could be a useful intervention for healthcare professionals and whether it might improve experiences for both staff and patients in healthcare settings. In addition, Essie has worked on other projects concerned with the access and quality of staff and volunteer mental health and wellbeing support services; improving patient access and pathways to primary care for allied health services and various research evaluation studies. 


  • MSC supervision


Research interests

  • Organisational Behaviour, Culture and Leadership in Healthcare Services. 
  • Voice & Silence Behaviour and Communication theories concerning employee mental health in healthcare settings. 
  • Healthcare Interventions to support mental health, workplace wellbeing and alleviate burnout. 
  • Healthcare Leadership and Staff training and development.
  • Inclusive and participant-led research methods and methodologies

Current projects

  • Culture in Action QP
  • Photo Schwartz – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson NHS Leadership Programme (Doctoral Project)
  • INDIRA Coach (University of Leeds)

Other activities

Research groups and institutes:

  • Equality, Diveristy and Inclusion Committee
  • Health and Social Psychology Group 
  • Work, (Un)Employment and Mental Health Group
  • Healthcare Services Research 


 Johnson, J., Kaur, E., Arezina, J., Bryant, L., Wallace, R., Harrison, G., Bender Atik, R., Coates, J., Hardicre, N., Sicklen, R., Lardner, T., Horwood, K., Beety, H., Arnold, J. & Pollak, K. (2023). Communication coaching for sonographers (CCS): Preliminary evaluation of a novel intervention to improve unexpected news delivery. PEC Innovation, in press.

Kaur E, Arezina J, Bryant L, Pollak KI, Harrison G, Bender Atik R, Coates J, Hardicre NK, Sicklen R, Horwood K, Lardner T, Arnold J, Wallace R, Johnson J. 2023. Adapting a communication coaching intervention for obstetric sonographers delivering unexpected news: A qualitative study.  Ultrasound.   

Johnson J, Pointon L, Kaur E, Vogt K, Alzahrani A, Keyworth C. 2022. Evaluating Facilitators and Barriers to Accessing Staff and Volunteer Support Services in the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership.