Dr Gemma Blackledge-Foughali (MA (Hons), MA, PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the Queen Margaret Business School.

Gemma joined QMU in September 2013 after leaving Heriot-Watt University where she was based for 8 years. Gemma first worked at Heriot-Watt as a research assistant in the Social Enterprise Institute. This was followed by a brief spell at Edinburgh Napier University within the Employment Research Institute (ERI) before securing ESRC funding for a PhD.

Gemma was based within the School of Management and Languages (SML) at Heriot-Watt and completed her PhD there whilst tutoring first and second year undergraduates in economics and was the Year 1 coordinator for Accountancy, Finance and Economics programmes.  Gemma’s PhD examined the relationship between health and income in Malawi and the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa.

Gemma has previously worked as a consultant within the Governance, Economic and Financial Reforms department at the African Development Bank (ADB) in Tunis together with colleagues from DFID. The evaluation report reviewed the success of direct budget support for recipient countries in contrast to project based aid and was presented to the ADB Board.  Gemma returned to the ERI for a further two years whilst continuing to work for as a tutor within SML at Heriot-Watt and as the lead examiner in economics for external programmes. Gemma has been an assistant examiner in Business Economics for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) since 2006 and the lead examiner since 2012.

Gemma is an associate of the Economics Network and has delivered workshop training for new Scottish graduate teaching assistants on several occasions. Gemma has more recently developed online test bank materials for two core undergraduate economics texts for Oxford University Press. Gemma is the Joint ADSC for BEaM (alongside Bryan Cruden) and is a member of the BEaMethics panel. Gemma is also the Academic Link Person (ALP) for BEaM programmes in Nepal.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Lead Examiner (CT7 Business Economics) - Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Associate - Economics Network

Gemma’s main area of research interest is in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular interest in health outcomes and the relationship between health and household well-being.

Active research interests:

  • Food security
  • Child mortality
  • Labour markets
  • Measurement of health outcomes

Research Methods:

  • OLS estimation
  • IV estimation
  • Propensity score matching

Gemma’s primary teaching area is economics at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The modules are introductory to give an overview of the key principles of the discipline. At the end of the course, students should not only have an understanding of how economics can inform us about how markets operate but also question the theoretical models and appropriate alternatives. Gemma is also the module coordinator for the honours dissertation.