Dr Kiran Rai

Kiran Rai

Institute of Applied Health Research
Honorary Research Fellow

Contact details

The Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Kiran Rai is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Applied Health Research, involved with COPE-West Midlands; an MRC-funded project, investigating the contribution of occupational exposures to risk of COVID-19 in three large Trusts within the West Midlands.

Kiran is also the research fellow for eTHOS (Enhancing the Health of NHS Staff); an NIHR HS&DR funded project, investigating the impact of a health screening service on employee wellbeing in four large hospitals.

Kiran has experience working in clinical practice and a range of research methods including systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials (including clinical trials), feasibility studies, cohort and cross-sectional studies and qualitative research.  Her interests focus on epidemiological research, investigating how health and work-related outcomes could be improved among healthcare workers and those with chronic disease.

She also teaches and supervises undergraduate students in Medicine.


  • PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Birmingham, 2016
  • MSc in Research Methods in Health Sciences, University of Warwick, 2010
  • BSc Nursing Studies, King’s College London, 2008


Kiran graduated in nursing at King’s College London in 2008, and went on to work in a few specialities in primary and secondary care within the West Midlands.  Her interest in research led to her completing her Masters in Research Methods in Health Sciences at the University of Warwick in 2010.

In 2011 she joined the BLISS programme as a PhD student to investigate the effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on employment, absenteeism and presenteeism under the supervision of Professor Peymane Adab and Dr Rachel Jordan.

Kiran has worked in a range of research areas, including clinical trials, health service research and public health and epidemiological research. Her main research interests focus on respiratory disease, public health and improving working outcomes in those with chronic disease.



  • COPE-West Midlands (£441,309; 2020-2021)

Kiran is the research fellow and project manager for COPE-WM. This study aims to examine the relative contribution of occupational, sociodemographic and clinical risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCW in University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (BWCH) and the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS), and how to minimise these risks.

  • eTHOS (£701,136; 2018-2020)

Kiran is the research fellow for eTHOS - A randomised controlled pilot trial of an employee health screening clinic for NHS staff, and manages the process evaluation element of the study.

  • Breathe Well programme (£2M; 2017-2020)

Researchers at the University of Birmingham are working with four low and middle income countries – Brazil, China, Georgia and Macedonia. The aim is to co-develop the capability, networks & platform to deliver targeted and effective research and healthcare outcomes in COPD, specifically to:

  • strengthen local research capacity in the partner countries in community-based COPD research & generic population research methods
  • develop and test community-based & culturally-appropriate approaches for identifying undiagnosed COPD in low resource countries
  • adapt evidence-based behavioural approaches for management of COPD according to cultural needs and the local healthcare infrastructure, and assess the feasibility of their implementation
  • build a robust platform for future collaborative research within the partner countries and other similar settings
  • Birmingham Lung Improvement Studies (BLISS)

The BLISS programme is a series of studies about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which aims new ways of better identifying and managing patients with COPD in the community.

Kiran’s work has mainly related to the Birmingham COPD Cohort study – examining the factors associated with employment and work productivity (absenteeism and presenteeism) among those with COPD and evaluating the effectiveness of a novel occupational health intervention on these working outcomes.

Further information about the Birmingham Lung Improvement Studies is available at www.birmingham.ac.uk/bliss 

  • Using Islamic religious setting to prevent obesity in South Asian children

Working alongside the ‘Born in Bradford’ research team on an NIHR-funded programme development grant, investigating how Islamic religious settings could be used to deliver an obesity prevention programme in South Asian children aged 5 to 11 years. The programme of work consists of a number of studies, which includes a review of the existing literature in this area, identification of obesity prevention behaviours in South Asians and qualitative research to determine the acceptability (in parents), receptiveness and capacity (in Islamic leaders and teachers) of Islamic religious settings to deliver a childhood obesity prevention intervention.

  • Health service research

Kiran has been involved in the evaluation of a few NHS health service initiatives for example a hospital-based service which aimed to provide a comprehensive geriatric assessment for vulnerable or frail older people, and a community-based initiative aiming to improve safety within care homes.


Rai KK, Adab P, Ayres J, Jordan RE (2018) Systematic review: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and work-related outcomes. Occupational Medicine (in press)

Rai KK, Dogra SA, Barber S, Adab P, Sumerbell CD (2018) A scoping review and systematic mapping of existing health interventions, including those with a focus on obesity, in Islamic religious settings in the UK. European Congress on Obesity (conference).

Rai KK, Adab P, Siebert S, Sadhra S, Fitzmaurice D, Sitch A, Ayres J, Jordan RE (2017) Factors associated with work productivity among people with COPD: Birmingham COPD Cohort. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 74 (12): 859-867

Rai KK, Jordan RE, Siebert S, Sadhra S, Fitzmaurice D, Sitch A, Ayres J, Adab P (2017) Birmingham COPD Cohort: a cross-sectional analysis of the factors associated with the likelihood of being in paid employment. International Journal of COPD. 12: 233-242

Damery S, Flanagan S, Rai K, Combes G (2017) Improving safety in care homes: protocol for evaluation of the Walsall and Wolverhampton care home improvement programme. BMC Health Service Research. 17: 86

Adab P, Fitzmaurice D, Dickens A, Ayres J, Buni H, Cheng K, Cooper B, Daley A, Greenfield S, Jolly C, Jowett S, Kalirai K, Marsh J, Miller M, Riley R, Siebert W, Stockley R Turner A, Jordan R (2017) Cohort profile: The Birmingham Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (Cohort) Study. International Journal of Epidemiology. 46 (1):23

Farley A, Kalirai K, Jordan R, Enocson A, Dickens A, Fitzmaurice D, Adab P (2016) Prevalence and predictors of electronic cigarette use by patients with COPD in the Birmingham COPD Cohort. European Respiratory Society Congress (conference).

Kalirai K, Adab P, Jordan R, Fitzmaurice D, Ayres J (2013) The relationship between employment status, work productivity and quality of life among patients with COPD: cross-sectional analysis of the Birmingham COPD Cohort. British Thoracic Society conference.

View all publications in research portal