Professor Tracy Roberts PhD, MPhil(Econ), BSc(Econ)(Hons) RGN

Professor Tracy Roberts

Institute of Applied Health Research
Professor of Health Economics, Head of Health Economics Unit
Honorary Professor of Health Economics, University of Keele

Contact details

Health Economics Unit
Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Tracy has specific research interest in the area of economic evaluation and is particularly interested in testing and screening programmes. Clinical areas of interest include sexual health, obstetrics and gynaecology, women’s health and breast cancer. She is also interested in outcome valuation for use in economic evaluation in these clinical specialties with particular interest in the utilities and dis-utilities of screening and overdiagnosis.

Tracy has a wide range of applied research publications in these areas and has been a successful health economic applicant to both the MRC and NCCHTA on numerous grant applications. 


  • PhD in Health Economics 2008
  • MPhil(Oxon) in Economics 1992
  • BSc (Hons) Economics  1990
  • Registered General Nurse 1987


Tracy joined HEU in January 1998 as Lecturer in Health Economics, having previously worked in health economics research at Oxford University. She studied Economics at University College London and subsequently Wolfson College, Oxford and completed her PhD as a member of staff in Birmingham. Prior to her career in health economics, her career path includes a year in a commodities consultancy and 3 years as energy economist, both in Oxford. She is also a qualified Nurse.  Tracy’s main research interests are in the area of economic evaluation in sexual and women’s health. Tracy has published widely in these areas and has been a successful applicant to both the MRC and NCCHTA on a wide range of major research projects.

In February 2009 Tracy was appointed Professor of Health Economics.

Tracy has been active in teaching throughout her time in the Birmingham and in 2008 she assumed the role of Director of Teaching and Director of the MSc programme, only relinquishing the role to take on the role of Head of Unit in January 2012. 


Postgraduate supervision

Tracy is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Measurement and valuation of healthcare benefits/outcomes
  • Economic issues related to sexual, perinatal and women’s health
  • Disutilities and overdiagnosis in screening

 Current PhD Students:

  • Raymond Oppong
  • Chidubem Ogwulu
  • Lavanya Diwakar
  • Hannah Bromely
  • Aish Junga 

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Tracy on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: or call +44 (0)121 414 5005 or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings  


Research themes 

  • Health Economics
  • Economic Evaluation
  • Temporary health states and valuation of outcomes in areas where valuation is challenging: Sexually transmitted disease; women’s reproductive and general health
  • Disutilities and overdiagnosis in screening programmes
  • Model based economic evaluation
  • Systematic reviews 

Research activity 

Tracy’s current research activity research is concerned with exploring outcomes in clinical areas where valuation is challenging, such as  sexually transmitted diseases where the outcomes may be considered temporary for example and also in areas of women’s reproductive health. She is also exploring the utilities and disutility imposed by overdiagnosis in screening programmes. She is interested developing the methodology of economic evaluation to ensure that the benefits of healthcare interventions are more fully captured. 

Tracy is involved in leading a wide range of applied economic evaluations many of which are in the areas of sexual health and women’s reproductive health and breast cancer. She has collaborated and is the lead health economist on a wide range of grant-funded projects in these areas.

Other activities

  • 2015 - present: Panel member of  HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship Scheme Review Panel 
  • 2014: Panel member and lead reviewer for the Evaluation Panel for the Welsh Economics Support Service (WHESS)  
  • 2008 - present: NIHR Programme grant Core Methodologist Group as Health Economist (NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme)


Jackson, L J and Roberts TE. Measuring health and quality of life for women undergoing testing and screening for chlamydia: A systematic review. Sexually transmitted diseases 43.3 (2016):152-164. 

Rachaneni S, McCooty S, Middleton LJ, Parker VL, Daniels JP, Coomarasamy A, et al (including Roberts TE).(2016) Bladder ultrasonography for diagnosing detrusor overactivity: test accuracy study and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess 2016;20(7) 

Sanghera, S., Frew, E., Gupta, J. K., Kai, J. and Roberts, T. E. (2016), Sensitivity to scale of willingness-to-pay within the context of menorrhagia. Health Expectations. doi: 10.1111/hex.12452 

Heazell AEP, Siassakos D, Blencowe H, …….(incl Roberts TE,) et al. (2016)  for The Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirths Series study group* with The Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirths investigator group. Ending preventable stillbirths 3: Stillbirths: economic and psychosocial consequences. The Lancet, January 18, 2016 

Goranitis I, Coast J, Al Janabi H, Latthe P and Roberts TE. The validity and responsiveness of the ICECAP-A capability Well Being Measure in women with irritative lower urinary tract symptoms. Quality of Life Research 0962-9343] (2016) p.1 - 13 

Francis A, Thomas J, Fallowfield L, Walis M, Bartlett J, Brookes C, Roberts TE et al. (2015) Addressing overtreatment of screen detected DCIS; the LORIS trial European Journal of Cancer. Volume 51, Issue 16, November 2015, Pages 2296–2303 

Gheorghe A,  Moran G, Duffy H,  Roberts T, Pinkney T, Calvert M,  Health Utility Values Associated with Surgical Site Infection: A Systematic Review. Value in Health (2015) doi:10.1016/j.jval.2015.08.004

Jackson LJ and Roberts TE (2015) ‘Conceptualising quality of life outcomes for women participating in testing for sexually transmitted infections: a systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative research to inform economic evaluation.’ Social Science & Medicine, 143: 162-170.

Oppong R, Jowett S, Roberts TE.  Economic evaluation alongside multinational studies: a systematic review of empirical studies PLoS ONE. 2015; 10(6) 

Mitchell, P M, Roberts TE, Barton PM, Coast J "Assessing sufficient capability: A new approach to economic evaluation." Social science & medicine 139(2015):71-79. 

Monahan M, Boelaert K, Jolly K, Chan S, Barton P, Roberts TE.  Iodine, IQ and income: exploring the potential costs and benefits of iodine supplementation for pregnant women in a mildly/moderately iodine deficient population. The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. 2015;3(9):715-72  

Ogwulu C, Jackson LJ, Heazell AEP, Roberts TE (2015) Exploring the intangible costs associated with stillbirth: a structured review and synthesis of the evidence. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 15(1): 188. 

For a full list of publications please follow link:

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