Maria Kristiansen

Maria Kristiansen


Member of:

  • Web: Center for Healthy Aging

  • Web Track 2: Retirement and transitions

Current research

I am Professor of Participatory Health Services Research, and Research Group Leader at Department of Public Health & Section for Health Services Research. 

Furthermore, I am the Deputy Director of Center for Healthy Aging (CEHA), and I hold a Research Collaborator Appointment at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota.

As a Professor of Participatory Health Services Research, I am fortunate to be heading a research group that works collaboratively with creating societal impact in wide and diverse partnerships. We focus on how to ensure person-centered, diversity-sensitive healthcare, in particular for underserved and deprived people, across the life-course.

The research is challenge-driven, impact-oriented, interdisciplinary and participatory, spanning across a range of societal partners including patient/interest organizations, public partners (hospitals, municipalities, regions), industry, entrepreneurs and international organizations. Identifying innovative approaches to ensure diversity-sensitive health care within sustainable healthcare systems is our key mission.

We focus on unlocking the diverse values, needs and resources among citizens, patients and relatives, understand complex health care encounters including perspectives of professionals, and to transform healthcare to make it equitable and reflective of the varieties of experiences, situations and goals of people, often living with multi-morbidity. This will contribute towards addressing societal challenges as well as opportunities caused by population aging, complex morbidity patterns and diversity that has implications for healthcare policy and practice.

In order to identify innovative approaches to ensuring healthcare services that are person-centered and of high quality, I work within an overall frame of interdisciplinary and multi-methods participatory research with patient and public involvement along the research cycle. Methodologies used include systematic reviews, register-based studies, surveys, and qualitative methods (interviews, observations, photovoice) in addition to co-creation approaches of particular importance when engaging underserved groups in research.

We aim to enhance relevance, transferability and ultimately societal impact of research. Science communication and engagement of the wider public using multiple channels including radio, blogs, public events, graphic methods, and social media is an important part of our work. For a description of my research group, please see

I run courses in stakeholder engagement/participatory methods, supervise dissertations and PhDs, and mentor younger researchers. 

I have a background in Public Health Sciences, and a PhD in multi-methods Health Services Research from University of Copenhagen. In 2013, I was awarded an Honorary Research Fellowship at the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and I have been key in the initiation of the academic public health program in Qatar. In 2020, I was granted a Research Collaborator Appointment at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, US. I am a member of the Board of Directors at the EGV Foundation (nominated 2020), the Borad of Directors of the Danish Institute in Damascus (nominated 2021) and the Steering Committee of the University Hospitals Center of Health Research, UCSF (nominated 2022).

I hold a number of grants, and I am involved in assessment of grant applications and academic work nationally and internationally, e.g. under the Research Committee of the Danish Heart Foundation, the Grant Committee and the Training Committee of the Danish Cardiovascular Academy, the Scientific Committee in the Danish Cancer Society, Horizon2020, the European Research Council (ERC), the Research Council of Norway, Forte (the Swedish Research Council), the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Programme, the Dutch Research Council, and the Baltic Research Programme.

In addition to reviewer functions for various journals, I am Associate Editor for the BMC Health Services Research journal, and I serve as a speaker and an advisor for amongst others Danish municipalities and WHO Europe.


Fields of interest

Participatory science; patient and user engagement/involvement; shared decision-making; personcentred care; diversity; social inequality; aging; migration; health services research; co-created science; outreach; impact; mixed-methods studies; intervention studies; implementation; innovation.


Teaching: A range of different academic programs including the BA and MA in Public Health Sciences, the Master of Public Health (MPH) program, the MA in Global Health, MA in Health Sciences; and PhD courses.

Examination: At a range of programs including the BA and MA in Public Health Sciences, Global Health and MPH at University of Copenhagen. I am involved in assessment of PhD students and a member of the External Assessment Board in Public Health.

Supervision: PhD students, students from different academic programs at University of Copenhagen and abroad.

Primary fields of research

Public Health, Health Services Research, Participatory Science.

ID: 544024