National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre

Safina Islam

Safina Islam
Manchester Biomedical Research Centre

Communities and Inclusion Specialist

Safina is the Communities and Inclusion Specialist, a role through which she seeks to involve and engage “seldom listened to” and “underserved communities” to have a voice in health/biomedical research.

Safina has a strong research background. After obtaining a PhD from Manchester University in Vascular Cell Biology, she moved into Public Health/Health Inequalities focused research and policy development regionally and then nationally. This led her to tackle the challenges of the evolving Public Sector Equality Duties initially in the NHS and then later in the Civil Service. She was responsible for leading the first National Review of Race Equality in Health and Social Care, where she led a team focused on standardising the approach across all Inspectorates in England and Wales to improve how they addressed Equality and drove tangible improvement across organisations. After a family career break, she chose to work in the Community and Voluntary sector and focused her passion for working to reduce social inequality by leading a small grass roots BAMER organisation that worked to empower marginalised and vulnerable women and girls.

Safina has been described as a positive disruptor, community activist and creative thinker. She currently channels her activism through serving on three very different organisations as a Trustee/Board Member.