Ilja is a post-doctoral fellow in Mc Master’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact (HEI), working with the Humanitarian Health Ethics research group. Her research interests include illness narratives, participatory research, humanitarian health response, disease outbreaks in disaster settings and health promotion. She has experience in setting up and conducting participatory research in humanitarian disease outbreak responses, evaluating the implementation of participatory health promotion strategies as well as using applied social science research to understand patent and staff experiences.
She co-founded the Health Experiences Research Canada (HERC) group (www.healthexperiences.ca). This initiative is part of a large international network with researchers who collect health and illness experiences and apply the learning to improve health care.
In her PhD she piloted a participatory research approach in the humanitarian response to the cholera outbreak in Haiti. Her post-doctoral fellowship is focused on participatory practices in clinical COVID-19 vaccine trials as well as conducting an evaluation of on online humanitarian ethics toolkit.