Davara’s Career journey

Davara is a mixed methods public health researcher based at the University of Liverpool. Her research addresses inequalities in children entering care, taking in the wider determinants of health and wellbeing. Her ambition is to do research responsive to the needs of children and families. It has been a long and winding road. Davara started off as a humanities student; a love of stories led her to read English at the University of Cambridge, where she achieved a double first-class honours degree. She then worked at The Wylie Agency, a literary agency, for three years, before growing restless. This was the restlessness born of an international childhood, spent in Papua New Guinea, Canada, Vanuatu, France, Slovakia, China, the UK – every year a different country – and fed by a wish for a greater sense of purpose in work. To quell it, she undertook an MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, then a health research internship at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, based in Jordan. She also spent some time as a Science Writer for the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics in Geneva, turning operational data into papers.

A growing interest in social inequalities and a desire for street-level experience drew Davara back to the UK. She took a job as a keyworker in supported accommodation for young women in Camden – the role that defined her research interests. An opportunity then arose to do child welfare inequalities research, as part of a PhD funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR). She did not let it pass. During the PhD, Davara used longitudinal modelling approaches, and qualitative methods, to investigate the mechanisms of inequalities in children entering care in England in recent years. Her research lays out a policy roadmap for tackling socioeconomic inequalities in care entry. Since completing her PhD in 2023, Davara has worked as a postdoctoral research associate and member of the Health Inequalities and Policy Research (HIP-R) group in Liverpool. She has contributed to a range of research and policy engagement activities relating to children in care, including Child of the North Reports, and an Expert Report for the UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry. Davara continues to harbour mixed disciplinary allegiances, and, as a LiLaC SPHR postdoctoral fellow, plans to use a range of methods to extend our understanding of the urgent policy problems in children’s social care and our capacity to effectively respond to them. She aims to strengthen her knowledge and practice of co-production methodologies, and make use of the rapidly expanding UK data infrastructure on children’s interactions with public services, while remaining focussed on policy impact.


  • BA English. University of Cambridge.
  • Assistant to Senior Literary Agent. The Wylie Agency, London.
  • Literary Agent. The Wylie Agency, London.
  • MSc Public Health. LSHTM.
  • Health Research Intern. UNRWA, Amman.
  • Consultant (Science Writer). FIND, Geneva.
  • Supported Housing Officer. Centrepoint, London
  • Research Ethics Committee Lay Member. Health Research Authority, Liverpool Central.
  • Researcher on policy placement. Liverpool City Council, Children’s Services.
  • Research Assistant. University of Liverpool.
  • PhD Public Health. NIHR SPHR (LiLaC).
  • Research Associate. University of Liverpool.
  • Post-doctoral launching fellow. NIHR SPHR (LiLaC)

Davara Lee Bennett Post-doctoral launching fellow Children, young people & families, Health inequalities LiLaC, University of Liverpool Davara2@liverpool.ac.uk @davara_bennett