Naira Kalra

Naira Kalra

Naira completed the M.Phil in Evidence-based Social Intervention in 2008, as an Inlaks scholar from India. Her thesis, under the mentorship of Professor Frances Gardner, involved a systematic review and meta-analysis of cognitive-behavior therapy based interventions to promote psychosocial well-being in schools. During the course of the degree, she was awarded a Barnett Scholarship by the department. She was also selected for an ESRC Methods for Research Synthesis Programme student placement at the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre at the UCL Institute of Education. She subsequently worked there as a Research Officer and contributed to teaching graduate-level courses in research methods for the social and behavioural sciences.

The training in research synthesis and critical appraisal of research at the department has been critical to her work as a consultant for organizations, such as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the World Bank, and Save the Children, U.K. More recently, as a consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO), she carried out systematic reviews and appraised the quality of research using the GRADE approach to inform WHO guidelines in the areas of ‘health promotion interventions for maternal and child health’ and ‘responding to intimate-partner violence and sexual violence against women’.

Naira is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is using her training in evidence-based social intervention to develop and evaluate interventions that address gender-based violence and reproductive health needs of brothel-based sex workers in India.

The programme successfully combines cutting-edge research methodology training with the Oxford tradition of individualised teaching. The mentorship and training I received here has been central to shaping my career thus far - I could not have asked for a better stepping-stone into the world of evidence-based policy and practice.