Professor Renata Kokanovic

Renata combines empirical research with interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological scholarship while collaborating with industry partners and health care users to facilitate greater understanding of lived experiences of health and illness.

Renata’s research examines some of Australia’s most pressing contemporary health issues, including experiences diagnosed as mental illness, disability, cancer, and addiction. She explores these topics with an emphasis on understanding lived experience, facilitating greater equity in illness and health experiences, and contributing towards more inclusive health and social care practices. She is a Professor of Sociology of Health and Illness and a Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow.

Renata brings to her research a commitment to collaborative research participation and community engagement by including participants in study co-design, data analysis, and dissemination via online resources. This approach ensures that findings are translated in ways that are directly relevant for people to improve their experiences of health and health care and, through this and other avenues, drive health service provision and health policy improvement.

Renata has published over 40 book chapters and peer reviewed journal articles, including in Social Science & MedicineSociology of Health & Illness and Qualitative Health Research. She is the co-editor (with Paula Michaels, Monash, and Kate Johnston-Ataata) of the interdisciplinary collection Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Parenting (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Renata actively supports and mentors Early Career Researchers through involving them in research opportunities and through co-publishing.

In 2012 Renata co-founded Healthtalk Australia, a unique online repository of health and illness narrative accounts designed to support people experiencing ill health, and inform health and social care delivery and policy.

Expert commentary on...

Narrative research in health and illness experiences, Mental illness, Phenomenology of illness, Therapeutic cultures, Digital media in health communication.