Dr Claudia Slimings

BSc., PGDipHlthSci., PGCertHBE., PhD., FHEA
Senior Lecturer in Population Health/ Fellow Rural Clinical School
College of Health & Medicine

Areas of expertise

  • Epidemiology 111706
  • Public Health And Health Services 1117
  • Infectious Diseases 110309
  • Applied Statistics 010401
  • Medicine, Nursing And Health Curriculum And Pedagogy 130209

Research interests

I have 20 years applied epidemiological research experience and have been involved in a range of studies – from understanding the epidemiology of hospital-acquired C.difficile infection; examining life-course influences on adult health, particularly employment characteristics and mental and cardiovascular health, and long term influences of perinatal and early life determinants; to rural health. I have co-authored 35 publications in peer-reviewed journals which have been cited more than 1600 times (h-index 20), and co-edited one book on spatial and social disparities in health.

A full list of publications can be viewed from the following site:



Proud recipient of the ANU Medical School Director's Excellence in Teaching Award 2019

Claudia Slimings (formerly Thomas) is an experienced epidemiologist, health researcher and educator with a demonstrated history of working in higher education. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Claudia originally trained as a microbiologist and epidemiologist, receiving a PhD in Population Health from the University of Western Australia in 2003 on the epidemiology of hospital-associated Clostridium difficile infection.

She then held post-doctoral academic positions in the UK, at Queen Mary University of London and the UCL Institute of Child Health where she undertook research into life-course and socio-economic determinants of health using data from the British Household Panel Survey, and the 1946 and 1958 British Birth Cohorts, obtaining a Mid-Career Fellowship from the Economic & Social Research Council in 2007.

She joined St George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, as Lecturer in Epidemiology in 2009 where she contributed to the teaching and research programme of the Division of Population Health and received formal training in Medical Education. She returned to Australia in 2012 working in various roles at the University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute before joining ANU Medical School in 2017.

Fun fact: I was the 100,000th Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Researcher's projects

Current projects

Slimings C. The impact of COVID-19 on rural communities: a systematic scoping review. Open Science Framework registration: https://osf.io/7jz62

Slimings C & Riley TV. Antibiotics and hospital-associated Clostridium difficile infection: systematic review update 2020. PROSPERO registration CRD42020181817.

Slimings C, Bowles D & Hussain R. Development and evaluation of climate change and health learning resources in medical education.

Lal A, Slimings C. To what extent is environmental and climate change embedded in public health and medical curricula?

Pre-prints and in press

Zhang X, Slimings CDoes food-related cultural capital contribute to diet inequality in rural Australia? A pilot cross-sectional study. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.10.22.20218040

Forcadela V, Bagheri N, Slimings C. The prevalence of psychological distress and relationships with social fragmentation and isolation: a geospatial study and survey in rural Australia. medRxiv 2020.11.12.20230771;  doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.12.20230771

Slimings C, Moore M. Geographic variation in health system performance in rural areas of New South Wales, Australia. Australian Journal of Rural Health 2020. In press.

Current grant funding

2019 ANU Global Research Partnership Scheme ($25000). Indonesia-ANU Rural Health Initiative. M. Moore, A. Sawitri, A. Sari, A. Wirawan, A. Astuti, S. Nyoman, C. Philips, C. Slimings, S. Hall, S. Bain-Donohue

2019 ANU Vice-Chancellor's Linkage for Learning and Teaching Grant ($15040). Adaptive doctors: preparing tomorrow's doctors for practice in a world destabilising by declining planetary health. C. Slimings, D. Bowles, R. Hussain.

Previous grant funding

2019 CHM Dean's Strategic Funding Initiative ($10000). Health Policy: the nuts and bolts of policy development. R.  Hussain, C. Slimings, D. Bowles (ANUMS), B. Polkinghorne (RSPH)

2018 ANU Medical School Teaching & Learning Enhancement ($4000). Make Population Health Fun! Enhancing Population Health Phase 1 Curriculum with online resources. R. Hussain, C. Slimings.

Medical Research Council, GDP400k. UK (2011-2013)

Novel cardiovascular risk markers: associations with early outcomes and life course determinants in the National Survey of Health and Development (1946 British Birth Cohort). Whincup P (PI), Deanfield J, Hardy R, Hughes A, Kuh D, Sattar N, Thomas C.

Economic and Social Research Council, GDP98k, UK (2007-2009)

Mid-Career Fellowship under the initiative Understanding Population Trends and Processes (UPTAP). Project title: How does employment affect cardiovascular risk? A life-course approach in the 1958 cohort.


Available student projects

PhD opportunities

Retinopathy of prematurity in the Asia Pacific Region: burden, risk factors and outcomes

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a leading cause of blindness in premature and low birth weight infants, characterised by abnormal retinal vascular development at the boundary of the vascular and avascular peripheral retina.

This project will focus on gaining a greater understanding of the epidemiology of ROP in the Asia Pacific region. The student will develop skills in conducting a systematic review of the evidence base, and secondary data analysis of existing data held in national and international neonatal registers and databases.

This project would be suitable for a student wishing to undertake a PhD in epidemiology or public health. Some experience with research methods and data analysis would be an advantage. 


MChD projects 2021-22

Two main methodological areas of projects are available for supervision:

1. Systematic reviews (see examples below)

2. Secondary data analysis using Australian National Health Survey data.

I am happy to work with students to develop a research question within these two domains.

I am also happy to co-supervise projects where epidemiological and/or statistical guidance is needed.

Examples of potential Covid-19 systematic review projects include:

  • effects of lockdown on various health outcomes, such as mental health, domestic violence, food security;
  • impact and changes to healthcare during the pandemic, such as diabetes care, antenatal care, ophthalmology etc.; hospital admission trends for specific conditions.
  • access to healthcare in rural areas during the pandemic;
  • nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2;
  • risk of healthcare-associated infections in Covid-19 patients.


Current student projects

MChD projects 2020-21

Developing a causal framework for Covid-19 infection: a systematic review of epidemiological studies.

Student: Olivia Dill

The AirBnB effect: a systematic review of the impact of short-term rental properties on the social determinants of health

Student: Nour Al-Akra

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on hospital-acquired infection rates: systematic review

Student: Hareesha Rangarajan

Past student projects

MChD projects Completed 2020:

A comparative analysis of the provision of mental health care in rural areas using a systems perspective.

Project location: Rural Clinical School (Dr Claudia Slimings) and Centre for Mental Health Research (Prof. Luis Salvador-Carulla; Dr Nasser Bagheri)

Student: Cian Brinkman (MChD)

The prevalence of mental health disorders in rural SE NSW and associations with neighbourhood-level social fragmentation.

Project location: Rural Clinical School (Dr Claudia Slimings) and Centre for Mental Health Research (Dr. Nasser Bagheri; Prof. Luis Salvador-Carulla).

Student: Victor Forcadela (MChD)

Social relationships, food-related cultural capital and healthy food consumption in rural Australia

Project location: Rural Clinical School (Dr Claudia Slimings)

Student: Michelle Zhang (MChD)



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  23 January 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers