Leading health researcher becomes a Professor

A researcher who is regarded as a leading expert in rural health has been awarded a professorship from the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Professor Sarah-Anne Munoz, Acting Head of the university’s division of rural health and wellbeing in Inverness, has been given the title in recognition of her outstanding research activity, leadership skills and contribution to education.

Professor Munoz joined the university in 2007 as a Post-Doctoral Researcher. Since then, she has helped to secure over £800,000 of grant income for research in areas including rural health, health services and COVID-19. She has published over 27 peer-reviewed articles in academic journals, organised and contributed to numerous international conferences and helped to supervise seven PhD students. Professor Munoz has also contributed to national policy through her work with the Scottish Rural Health Partnership and NHS Highland and has supported international collaborations as co-founder of the Global Collaboration for Rural Mental Health.

Speaking about her new title, Professor Munoz said: “It’s such an honour to be awarded a professorship in rural health, which is a subject I care about very deeply. I’m doubly proud to receive this from the University of the Highlands and Islands - an institute that has such strong ties to rural communities. As a professor of rural health, my role will not only be to lead research and education, but also to be an advocate for the rights and needs of rural communities and rural healthcare professionals, and to enable their voices to be heard within academia and policy arenas.”

Professor Todd Walker, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “The title of professor is the highest level of academic achievement which can be awarded. It is reserved for individuals who are recognised as leaders in their field and who have demonstrated excellence in their work. Professor Munoz is a deserving recipient. She has made important contributions to rural health, is an advocate for rural communities and has developed an international reputation for her work. She is a credit to our university and I look forward to seeing how her career continues to progress.”

The university also announced that Dr Antonia Pritchard and Dr Holger Husi from the university’s biomedical sciences team in Inverness have both been award the title of Reader.

Following the announcement of her new title, Professor Munoz will give a free, public seminar on Thursday 17 June. The online talk will explore how connections to land, landscape and community can help to shape wellbeing.

For more information and to book, visit www.uhi.ac.uk/en/media/events