Dr Gemma Mitchell

ISMH Hastings Research Fellow

Institute for Social Marketing Stirling

Dr Gemma Mitchell

Share a link

About me

About me

I am a qualitative researcher with expertise in the commercial determinants of health. I study the impact of corporate political activity on public health, with a focus on alcohol industry involvement in science and policy.

I worked as a social worker with children and families for several years before completing my PhD in sociology in 2018. My experiences as a social worker had a profound impact on my way of thinking about the world, with my thesis exploring how experts make decisions about risk of harm to children. My focus gradually shifted towards the broader, often hidden drivers of health and social inequalities, which was supported by my work at the University of York on the Transformative Research on the Alcohol industry, Policy and Science (TRAPS) research programme, led by Jim McCambridge.

In my current role, I am continuing my work on alcohol industry corporate political activity. This includes the extent to which the industry shapes our thinking about addiction and how public health actors manage conflicts of interest. I also work on studies related to alcohol licensing and no and low alcohol products.

Research (1)

Commercial determinants of health; alcohol industry corporate activity; conflicts of interest; alcohol licensing; sociology of risk and uncertainty; qualitative research methods


SPECTRUM: Shaping Public hEalth poliCies To Reduce IneqUalities and harM
PI: Professor Niamh Fitzgerald
Funded by: Medical Research Council

Outputs (25)



Haragirimana E, Mitchell G & Uny I (2024) Evaluating the progress of alcohol policies in Burundi against the WHO ‘best buy’ interventions: implications for public health.. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 12 (S1), p. S57–S70. SPECIAL ISSUE PART 1: ALCOHOL PREVENTION RESEARCH AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT IN LMICS. https://ijadr.org/index.php/ijadr/article/view/467; https://doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.467


Chacon L, Mitchell G & Golder S (2024) The commercial promotion of electronic cigarettes on social media and its influence on positive perceptions of vaping and vaping behaviours in Anglophone countries: A scoping review. Sriram V (Editor) PLOS Global Public Health, 4 (1), Art. No.: e0002736. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgph.0002736

Conference Proceeding

Mitchell G, O'Donnell R, Cook M, Uny I, Maxwell K, Emslie C & Fitzgerald N Later opening hours for alcohol licensed premises in Scotland amidst economic and social instability: local stakeholder experiences based on semi-structured interviews. In: , Johannesburg, South Africa, 05.06.2023-08.06.2023. 48th Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium of the Kettil Bruun Society.

Conference Paper

Mitchell G & McCambridge J (2023) Interactions Between the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Alcohol Industry: Evidence From Email Correspondence 2013–2020. US Alcohol Action Network, Online. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 84 (1). https://doi.org/10.15288/jsad.22-00184

Book Chapter

Mitchell G (2015) Moving from gut feeling to evidence: the case of social work. In: Medicine, Risk, Discourse and Power. 1 ed. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Medicine-Risk-Discourse-and-Power/Chamberlain/p/book/9780367597641

Research programmes