Khalifa Elmusharaf


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I have supervised a number of PhD students on a wide range of public health topics. I welcome applications from PhD students in any of my current areas of interest:
1. Maternal health
2. Economics of non-communicable diseases

My previous PhD and MD students include:
• Robert Smyth (University of Limerick, awarded 2018). Addressing the Harms Related to Youth Substance Use: Treatment of Individuals and Population Focused Legislative Responses.
• Lisa Moran (University of Limerick, awarded 2019). The Lived Experience of 'Opioid Use Disorder' in Ireland in The 21st Century.
• Patrick O’Donnell (University of Limerick, awarded 2022). Measuring and operationalising social exclusion in the context of primary healthcare in Ireland.

Current PhD students:
• Aisha Shalash (University of Limerick, expected 2024). Assessing the Adolescent Health Information System in Humanitarian Settings.
• Sébastien poix (University of Limerick, expected 2025). Assessing the cost-effectiveness of a package of preconception care interventions in low and middle countries.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Dr. Khalifa Elmusharaf is an accomplished public health expert with an impressive track record of achievements in academia and international organisations across Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. He is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Public Health Programme at the University of Birmingham Dubai.

Dr. Elmusharaf's expertise is highly sought after by various organisations globally, including the World Health Organization (WHO), where he is a member of the technical advisory group on The Mother and Newborn Information for Tracking Outcomes and Results (MONITOR), the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Irish Global Health Network (IGHN), and a member of the Board of Directors of the Women and Health Together for the Future organisation (WHTF) in South Africa.

Dr. Elmusharaf has an impressive list of publications covering a range of topics, including maternal health, social exclusion, and health inequalities. His work has been featured in numerous reputable journals and books. His contributions to the field of public health research have been recognised globally, and his research has helped inform policies and practices aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of communities worldwide.

Dr Elmusharaf's vast experience in academia is highlighted by his appointment as a Founding Director of the Public Health Master's Programme at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Prior to this, he held various education and research positions, including serving as a Lecturer in Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine and Population at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland in Bahrain. Additionally, he served as a Middle East Coordinator for the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER) and was the Director of the Reproductive & Child Health Research Unit (RCRU) at the UMST University in Sudan.

Dr. Elmusharaf has a remarkable educational journey that began with his MBBS degree from the UMST University in Sudan in 2002. He then earned a PG Diploma in Research Methodology & Biostatistics from UMST in 2007. In 2015, he obtained his PhD in public health from the University of Galway in Ireland, where his innovative research in South Sudan identified access determinants and delays and engaged marginalized women with stakeholders to ensure integrated knowledge translation. Dr. Elmusharaf also earned a PG Certificate in Health Professionals Education from the RCSI in 2015, where he was trained to use technology-enhanced learning to support teaching and learning. He was elected a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom (FPH) through distinction in 2020 and completed a Diploma in Strategic Project & Program Management from the Institute of Project Management in 2021.

Throughout his career, Dr. Elmusharaf has demonstrated a commitment to public health and has worked on several projects in different areas, including women's health and community development. He has received several awards and honors for his contributions to the field, including the Conference Ambassador Recognition Award from the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, the Tamas Fülöp Award from The Network: Towards Unity for Health, and the Excellence Leadership Award from the University of Limerick. Dr. Elmusharaf continues to advocate for public health and works to advance the field through his research, teaching, and community engagement.


  • Certificate in Strategic Project Management, Technological University Dublin (TUD), Ireland, 2021
  • IPMA®C Certified Project Manager, International Project Management Association, 2021
  • Diploma in Strategic Project and Program Management, Institute of Project Management - Ireland, 2021
  • Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health (FFPH), Royal College of Physicians, UK, 2020
  • PhD in Public Health, the National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland, 2015
  • PG Certificate in Health Professional Education, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Ireland, 2015
  • Fellowship of the Royal Society of Public Health (FRSPH), London, UK, 2011
  • PG Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research, Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2011
  • PG Diploma in Research Methodology & Biostatistics, UMST University Khartoum, Sudan, 2007
  • MBBS Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, UMST University Khartoum, Sudan, 2002

Research interests

Research interests

Maternal health and economics of non-communicable diseases. 


 Current projects

Dr. Khalifa Elmusharaf has contributed to various areas of research in public health, ranging from substance abuse and social exclusion to healthcare policy and ethics. His research has been published in numerous reputable journals and books, and his contributions to the field have been recognized globally. Here are some highlights of his research activities.


Social Exclusion:

Dr. Elmusharaf has conducted research on the health and social impacts of crack cocaine use in Limerick City and the barriers to progress through a methadone maintenance treatment program. He has also developed tools for measuring social exclusion in healthcare settings and has studied the impact of community cohesion on violence against women in Ghana, Pakistan, and South Sudan. His research in this area sheds light on the complex detrminants of different forms of social exclusion and highlights the needed interventions.


Healthcare Policy and Ethics:

Dr. Elmusharaf has evaluated the economic benefits of investing in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and has advocated for the standardization of data collection and sharing in humanitarian settings. He has also studied the inclusion of equity stratifiers for the measurement of health inequalities within health and social care data collections in Ireland and has developed a national undergraduate curriculum for health professionals on health behavior change. Dr. Elmusharaf's research in this area provides insights into the policy and ethical considerations that underlie public health interventions and the importance of evidence-based decision-making in healthcare.


Maternal Health:

Dr. Elmusharaf has conducted research on the determinants of pathways to reach comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care in South Sudan and has used participatory ethnographic evaluation and research to understand the complexity of maternal health issues in the region. He has also studied the impact of social and traditional practices on family planning in Renk, South Sudan. Dr. Elmusharaf's research in this area highlights the importance of understanding cultural context in the development of maternal health interventions and the need for community involvement in the design and implementation of such programs.


Overall, Dr. Elmusharaf's research activities demonstrate his commitment to advancing the field of public health through rigorous and innovative research that addresses pressing global health challenges.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Irish Global Health Network

1 May 2021 → …

World Health Organization

1 Nov 2016 → …


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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