Associate Professor Katie Attwell
Started at UWA: 2017
Addressing the pointy end of mandatory vaccination policy
I love the content area that I research and teach, and I love sharing it with students. If I’m excited, then hopefully they are too.Dr Katie Attwell
Dr Katie Attwell is an Associate Professor with the UWA School of Social Sciences. She is a political science and public policy scholar with global expertise in vaccine hesitancy and policies for childhood and COVID-19 vaccines. Katie has led community, policy, and behavioural research in vaccination uptake since 2014, the year of her ground-breaking “I Immunise” campaign to address alternative lifestyle-based vaccine hesitancy in Fremantle.
Katie grew up in the City of Rockingham, Western Australia, as the child of two teachers. Growing up, Katie pursued a career in music in Perth’s underground music scene of the 1990s. During her undergraduate degree, she decided that a career as a lecturer of political science would be a good ‘Plan B’. Katie juggled her passion for music with travel and raising a family, while completing her higher degree studies.
Katie specialises in mandatory vaccination policy across Australia, Europe, and The United States of America, researching the tactics their governments use to motivate people to vaccinate, how policies make it to the agenda, how they are designed, how they differ, and how they work. She recently completed an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA: 2019-2022). She leads a large program of work supporting a collection of researchers working on vaccine uptake and policy issues through her VaxPolLab, and is the Chair of the Collaboration on Immunisation and Social Science (COSSI).
Katie contributed expertise nationally and globally through during the COVID-19 vaccine rollout numerous academic and government forums and via the media. She continues to lead the mixed methods, multidisciplinary project “Coronavax: Preparing Community and Government”.
Katie’s work allows her to travel to amazing places interviewing those who are central to introducing and implementing vaccination policies. The COVID-19 pandemic cemented her key interest in the role of the state in shaping vaccine uptake and acceptance.
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Murdoch University, 2013
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Hons), Murdoch University, 2005
- Bachelor of Arts (BA), Murdoch University, 2001
- Honorary Fellow of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, Telethon Kids Institute
- Visiting Fellow, Vaccines and Society Unit, Oxford University
2018 Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) to research mandatory vaccination internationally
2016 Teaching excellence award for high student satisfaction results – Murdoch University
2014 Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Enhancing Student Learning – Murdoch University
2013 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence – Murdoch University
How other countries get parents to vaccinate their kids (and what Australia can learn)
Countries around the world, including Australia, are using different ways to get parents to vaccinate their children.Read more
Hitting the spot
When you research vaccination policy for a living, it’s no surprise when the topic pops up outside work hours. And so it does when I catch up with friends in Sydney who have recently become parents.Read more
Anti-vaxxer parents? They're just trying to fit in, UWA study says
Parents touting anti-vaccination beliefs may not be so resolute in their conviction – rather, they are likely just trying to fit in with their social group as they enter a new phase of life.Read more
UWA study shows attacking alternative medicines is not the answer to get parents to vaccinate kids
Attacking the alternative medicine industry might not be an effective way of encouraging sceptical parents to get their children vaccinated, according to a University of WA study.Read more
Teaching and PhD opportunities
Katie teaches in the disciplines of political science, public policy and studies in human society and has previously taught the UWA undergraduate Political Science and International Relations unit, POLS3204 The Politics of Gender. She currently teaches one postgraduate unit, POLS5505 Regulation and Governance. Katie feels inspired when she witnesses her students critically analysing a concept or issue and forming connections with interconnected research parts.
Dr Katie Attwell has been supervising UWA Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students since 2017 on topics such as vaccination policy and post-abortion experiences. Katie will be seeking project applications directly or closely related to vaccination, vaccine hesitancy or vaccine mandates until 2022.
Dr Katie Attwell has received financial support from:
- 2019-2022 Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award - $405,751
- 2019-2022 The University of Western Australia, Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education - $70,000
- 2018 Department of Health - $31,686.36
Contact Dr Katie Attwell
Get in touch+61 8 6488 3472
Send an email@example.com
Read more about Dr AttwellResearch repository