Dr Maria Romeo-Velilla is the Research Coordinator at EuroHealthNet. Her main tasks include developing the research platform as an innovative knowledge centre, working on the translation of evidence into policy, and in particular coordinating the INHERIT Horizon 2020 research project. INHERIT (Inter-sectoral Health and Environment Research for Innovation) aims to improve the health and well-being of European citizens by identifying, implementing and studying the impacts of policies and interventions that address environmental stressors and support healthy and sustainable behaviours.
Prior to her position at EuroHealthNet, Maria completed a PhD in Health Promotion from Staffordshire University (UK) in February 2017. Her PhD aimed to study how individual- (a ‘top-down’ behavioural change programme) and community- (a ‘bottom-up’ community engagement programme) ‘real world’ health promotion programmes can complement each other to empower participants and help tackle health inequalities. The main research question – how is empowerment experienced (if at all) by individuals attending the above programmes – was addressed by applying the Grounded Theory Method, a qualitative methodological approach. Maria also acted then as the research lead of the evaluation study of the ‘bottom-up’ community engagement programme.
Maria also worked in the research area of physical activity and health promotion for over 7 years in several UK organisations (e.g., Liverpool John Moores University). She has a background in Sport Sciences (Physical Education teacher (Two Bachelor's Degrees: Primary School and Secondary School) and Sport Management (Master's degree).