Professor Sarah Harper

Clore Professor of Gerontology

Sarah is Clore Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford, a Fellow at University College, and the Founding Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.

Sarah served on the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, which advises the Prime Minister on the scientific evidence for strategic policies and frameworks. In 2017 she served as the Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Sarah is a Director and Trustee of the UK Research Integrity Office and a member of the Board of Health Data Research UK. Sarah was appointed a CBE in 2018 for services to Demography.

She chaired the UK government’s Foresight Review on Ageing Populations (2014-2016) and has chaired the Evaluation board of the Active Ageing Index for the EC/UNECE Population Board since 2015. She is a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute. She is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropology Institute. Sarah’s research was recognized by the 2011 Royal Society for Public Health: Arts and Health Research Award.

Her current research on demographic change addresses the impact of falling fertility and increasing life expectancy, with a particular interest in Asia and Africa. Recent research has focused on women’s education and empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa and the impact of this on desired family size, older women's health in Africa, and European life course trajectories and late life female health. She currently directs two research projects looking at the ageing of farmers in Vietnam and Myanmar. Sarah has just completed a monograph How Population Change will Transform our World, Oxford University Press (2016), and is working on her next book for Cambridge University Press on Population, Technology and Environmental Change. Sarah is the founding editor of the Journal of Population Ageing and editor of the Handbook of Ageing and Public Policy (Elgar 2014).