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Lakshmi Neelakantan

BA LLB(Hons) MSc PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychiatry. My current research focuses on exploring the feasibility of developing a user-controlled mental health databank that provides insights to youth around the world. 

As part of the Global Mental Health Databank Project, I am researching how data on active ingredients of interventions that prevent anxiety and depression in 14–24-year-olds may be collected, stored, and shared. The project aims to understand how we could meaningfully create data governance structures that gives voice to young people globally, especially those with lived experience of mental health problems. A key goal is to ensure ongoing engagement from a diverse group of young people and generate data governance practices that feed into developing and structuring a culturally appropriate mental health databank. I am lucky to work with a wonderful team of collaborators in India, South Africa, the UK, and USA at the University of Cambridge, University of Washington, Walter Sisulu University, Higher Health, and the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy at the Indian Law Society.

Prior to joining the University of Oxford, I worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Edinburgh. I have previously also worked as a Research Associate with Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and as a lawyer in India practicing international trade law. I completed a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2020, during which I explored adolescents’ perceptions of a self-report measure on violence against children, in Romania, South Africa, and the Philippines. I hold an MSc in Evidence-based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation at the University of Oxford (2016), during which I was a Chevening scholar, and BA LLB (Hons) in Law and Liberal Arts from National Law University Jodhpur (2013).