Current Work

Dr Sara Burke is Research Assistant Professor of Health Policy in Trinity College Dublin. She teaches and researches health systems and policy analysis. She is the PI on a HRB funded project researching how the COVID-19 response can inform the implementation of Sláintecare – Ireland’s ten-year health reform plan.

Personal Hero

Ines McCormack, human rights activist

Words of Strength

Persuading others change is good


By researching and understanding how health policies are made and implemented by health systems we can better plan, prevent and provide care thereby reducing the prevalence of dementia and providing better care for those who need it.


I currently research and teach health systems and policy analysis, situating Ireland in an International comparative context, learning how best to reduce inequalities in access to and outcomes from health care and how to provide universal healthcare in Ireland.


All my research and academic work is about analysing and gaining an increased understanding of the politics of health policy making and implementing health system change, with a particular focus on exposing inequalities and delivering universal healthcare.

Education & Experience

Sara Burke studied history as an undergraduate in University College Dublin. Her first job was working for an NGO - Focus Ireland - as an outreach worker with homeless young people. She then worked in the Department of Health as a Youth Health Promotion Officer before going to the London School of Economics to do a MSc in Social Policy and Planning, majoring in health policy and research methods. After that Sara worked for four years in the Institute of Public Health in Ireland, before working in journalism for two years. Sara got a scholarship to do her PhD in Trinity. Her PhD was an in-depth analysis of policy making processes in Ireland. Since 2012, she has moved into full time academic work. She currently is the module lead on Health Systems and Policy on a MSc in Health Services Management and the PhD SPHeRE programme. She is the PI on a project researching the potential of the COVID-19 health system response on the implementation of Sláintecare - Ireland's ten-year plan for health reform.

Trinity College Dublin
In-depth analysis of policy making processes in Ireland
London School of Economics
Social Policy and Planning (Major in Health Policy and Research Methods)

Awards & Honors

I won a range of awards when working as a journalist in both print and radio between 2005-2015