Dr. Ashok Patnaik

Dr. Ashok Patnaik

Department of Management
Research Fellow

Contact details

Department of Management
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Ashok is a Research Fellow in the Department of Management and is a member of the Organisations, Work and Employment Group. Ashok's research interests centre around sociological research into health and healthcare. His earlier research has examined how physical activity and sport improve mental health and well-being in children and adults. He is currently investigating how ethnic minority doctors in the UK experience the medical workplace and career progression in medicine. Ashok has a strong interest in issues related to equity and the use of research to contribute to the creation of a more humane and compassionate society.


  • PhD in Organisational Sociology, University of Huddersfield, 2017
  • Master of Letters (M.Litt.) in Modern English Literature, University of Glasgow, 2008
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English Literature, University of Mumbai, 2007


Ashok began his post-doctoral career working as a Policy and Information Analyst for Healthwatch Suffolk where he analysed information on the lived experiences of patients using healthcare services across Essex to inform policy-making. He then worked as a Research and Development Officer for Healthwatch Essex; in this role, Ashok had diverse responsibilities, including leading on a large survey of the mental health of secondary school students across Suffolk and the evaluation of an innovative new model of community nursing in the NHS. Ashok entered academia as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Bournemouth University where he led the evaluation of a physical activity-based intervention (Stormbreak) designed to teach primary school-aged children simple strategies to care for their mental well-being.

Ashok then worked as a Principal Research Fellow at Canterbury ChristChurch University where he co-led several impact evaluations of physical activity-and-sport-based interventions aimed at increasing engagement and participation in sport among young people; supporting adults experiencing loneliness and substance abuse issues to improve their mental health and find social connection and a sense of community; and supporting busy healthcare staff working in General Practices to be more active.

Ashok’s current research employs sociological research methods to examine the career trajectories of ethnic minority doctors working in the NHS across the entire span of their career - from secondary school students applying to medical school, to medical school students, to doctors at the most junior and the most senior levels. Ashok is working with other UoB colleagues to understand how ethnic minority doctors experience the medical workplace, how they navigate through the challenges of a medical career, and what hinders or enables them to progress their careers.        


Ashok’s research is centred around the use of sociological research to investigate issues related to equity and effectiveness in health and healthcare. 

Current Research Interests 

Sociological research into ethnic minority doctors’ workplace experiences and career progression in medicine. 

Systematic literature reviews. 

Previous research interests 

Impact evaluations of school-based, community-based, and General Practice-based physical activity and sport interventions. 

Evaluation of a school-based physical activity programme to improve mental health and well-being in primary school-aged children. 

How organisational form and culture influence equity in service provision in the UK National Health Service. 

Ethnic minority patients’ access to healthcare services. 

Funded Project 

Principal Investigator, “Discharge to Assess Pathways Evaluation”. (September 2018 - February 2019). Award: £15,225, Integrated Care Network Board (Suffolk).




Patnaik, A., Foad, A. (2022). Active Medicine in Practice Evaluation Report. Berkshire: Get Berkshire Active. 

Foad, A., Patnaik, A. (2022). Head 4 Health Evaluation Report. Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation. 

Patnaik, A., Foad, A. (2022). Multi Sport Pilot Research Report. Loughborough: Youth Sport Trust. 

Patnaik, A. (2022). Evaluation of a Physical Activity-based Intervention (Stormbreak) for Promoting Mental Well-being in Primary School Children - Final Report. Bournemouth: Stormbreak CIO. 

Patnaik, A. (2017). Experiences of Receiving Healthcare of Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) Communities in Manchester. Manchester: BHA for Equality in Health and Social Care.  

Patnaik, A. (2017). Strategies for Improving the Implementation of the NHS Friends and Family Test in General Practices in Barnsley. Barnsley: Healthwatch Barnsley. 

Conference Presentations 

Patnaik, A. (2023) A rapid semi-systematic review of the literature on minority ethnicity and minority ethnic doctors’ career transitions in medicine. Conference on Diversity and Inclusion: Amplifying Under-Represented Voices, Birmingham Business School, September, 2023.

Kenny, E., Duberley, J., Patnaik, A. (2023) Exploring Ethnic Minority Doctors’ Career Transitions - Overview of ESRC-funded Project. Department of Management Research Conference, Birmingham Business School, June, 2023. 

Patnaik, A. (2021) Evaluation of a Physical Activity-based Intervention (Stormbreak) for Promoting Mental Well-being in Primary School Children. BU Cafe Scientifique, Bournemouth, October, 2021.

View all publications in research portal