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“It is invaluable to see first-hand the power of education to transform the world”

Sol Juárez is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Public Health Sciences. Her research revolves around health inequities, with a special focus on the migrant population, and on the effect of social policies on health.

She is convinced that being a teacher makes her a much better researcher. 

What do you get out of being both a teacher and a researcher?

“Teaching at SU is exciting and deeply rewarding. I really enjoy working with my colleagues at the Department of Public Health Sciences. It is inspiring to see the passion, dedication and commitment that everyone shows in offering our students a high-quality education.

I have the privilege of accompanying our students on a two-year journey

One aspect that I find particularly stimulating when I teach is being able to use my own research to illustrate the importance of anchoring empirical research in a theoretical foundation. As a coordinator of the master’s programme, I have the privilege of accompanying our students on a two-year journey and can observe how they develop new perspectives on public health issues. It is invaluable to see first-hand the power of education to transform the world.”

Portrait photo of Sol Juárez
Sol Juárez Photo: Rickard Kihlström

How does teaching affect your research?

“I am convinced that I am a much better researcher since I became a teacher. As researchers, we tend to concentrate on specific methodological discussions that, although important to produce high quality research, might sometimes distract us from answering the big questions.

Teaching helps me step back and see the bigger picture

Teaching helps me step back and see the bigger picture. Students ask the formative questions that help me stay on track: why and how?”

What impact can your research have on society?

“Public Health Science addresses issues of critical societal relevance. Concerns related to poverty, inequality or climate change are some of the intersecting areas covered in our field. As I say to my students, all areas of life can be examined from a public health perspective. Health is conditioned by, and conditions, people’s social experiences.”

Tell us your views on having an international study environment!

“Excellence in academia is achieved through exchange and collaboration, and this necessarily implies an international dimension. This is particularly relevant in my field for at least two reasons.

First, as public health problems vary across different parts of the world, keeping a global perspective is necessary.

Second, different public interventions are adopted to tackle similar problems in different countries. This creates the opportunity to evaluate their effectiveness. Stockholm University brings a unique international context to the study of public health sciences with both international teachers and students.”

What would you say to a student considering studying Public Health at Stockholm University?

“Stockholm University offers a unique curriculum and environment to study Public Health Sciences. Inspired by our own research profile, our educational programmes are oriented toward enhancing the understanding of how the social world influences our biology, thus giving rise to a social distribution of health and health risks across the population.

Stockholm University offers a unique curriculum and environment

Although social perspectives are growing within the field of public health worldwide, our department is one of the few that is part of a social science faculty. This benefits us through close collaboration with other fields in the Social Sciences. 

Another reason to study Public Health Science at Stockholm University is that you will learn how to use population data to study public health issues. Most countries in the world have the ambition to develop data systems similar to the ones that already exist in the Nordic countries. Here you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Swedish registers and to conduct research under the supervision of experienced researchers in the field.”

Tell us something memorable from your work as a teacher/researcher at SU!

“In 2014, I joined the Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), which has recently merged with the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD) to form the Department of Public Health Sciences. I feel honoured to have been part of this process and to be able to contribute to the definition of our scientific vision.”

More about Sol

Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor (docent) in Public Health Sciences

“I hold a PhD in Sociology from Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) and the Spanish National Research Council. Before I joined SU in 2014, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Economic Demography (School of Economics and Management) and at the Unit of Social Epidemiology (Faculty of Medicine) at Lund University. I have been a guest researcher at leading international institutions such as the Centre for Population Studies at Michigan University (USA), the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Germany), and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK).”

What are you teaching at SU?

“I am currently coordinator of the Master’s programme in Public Health Sciences, where I am also responsible for two courses: ‘Introduction to public health sciences’ and  ‘Master’s thesis course in public health’ . I also supervise master’s and PhD students.” 

What is your field of research and your current project? 

“My main research line revolves around health inequities, with a special focus on the migrant population. More recently, I also have been investigating the effect of social policies on health. I am currently coordinator of the FORTE-programme ‘Social determinants of health among individuals with a foreign background’ as well as project leader of a subproject on social policies (PI: Mikael Rostila).

I am also the principal investigator of a project on ‘the unintended consequences of Swedish parental leave policy: A health equity perspective’ funded by the Swedish Research Council.” 

Apart from teaching and researching…

“I like swimming, travelling and spending time with my family and friends.”

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