Olivia Biermann, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Global Public Health. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

Olivia Biermann

Postdoctoral researcher

About me

I am a health policy and systems researcher with a PhD in Medical Science from Karolinska Institutet and work experience from the World Health Organization. My mission is to do research that is relevant and useful for informing decision-making in health, and to build capacity for research and research use, especially in low- and middle-income countries. I was named an Emerging Voice for Global Health in 2018. 

I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in Transformations for Sustainable Health at the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Health, Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet. I am also a Fellow at the Boston University-Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Health Determinants, Data, and Decision-making and serve as a knowledge translation consultant for the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) at the World Health Organization.

Previously, I worked for three years as a consultant in knowledge translation at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe where I provided technical support to the Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Europe. I worked and studied in Ecuador, India, Nepal, Nicaragua, South Africa and Vietnam. In addition to my academic activities, I serve as President of the non-governmental organization Foundation Human Nature, supporting community-based rural health and development work in Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal and Rwanda. 

Research description

Within the field of health policy and systems research, I conduct qualitative and mixed-methods research, as well as reviews. I am particularly interested in the gaps between evidence and policy, and policy and implementation in low- and middle-income countries.

My PhD thesis was entitled "Global policy to local implementation: experiences from active tuberculosis case-finding in high-burden countries" and is available for download here. The work was part of the Horizon 2020-funded IMPACT TB.

Teaching portfolio

I am serving as Course Director for the "Advanced course in health systems and policy" (4HM010, 5 hp), as part of the Master's Programme in Health Economics, Policy and Management at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics. 

I also teach about health systems and policy in the Master's Programme in Global Health at the Department of Global Public Health.


  • PhD in Medical Science, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2021
  • MSc in Global Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012
  • BSc in Health Communication Sciences, Bielefeld, Germany, 2010