Dr. Francine Darroch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University. She is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in qualitative health research, public health, inequities in pregnancy and physical activity, maternal health, and the intersections of racism, gender-based violence, substance abuse, trauma, and structural violence. As founder of the Health and Wellness Equity Research Group at Carleton University, Dr. Darroch leads feminist participatory action research that focuses on leveraging physical activity to improve the quality of life of self-identified women and their families. Her current work aims to address inequities in physical activity for pregnant and parenting individuals and families through trauma- and violence-informed approaches to physical activity. While Dr. Darroch’s research is predominantly focused on self-identified women and children, her work also extends to explore and advocate for gender-sensitive programming for fathers living in marginalizing circumstances. Dr. Darroch’s main overarching goal is to co-create programs and resources to increase access to physical activity, enhance social cohesion, community connections, and improve overall health by way of addressing individual, systemic, and structural barriers to health and well-being.

Dr. Darroch’s current research as Principal Investigator is supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Preventing and Addressing Family Violence: The Health Perspective investment as well as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant.

Dr. Darroch has additional research interests in gender equity and elite sport and is Principal Investigator on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Development Grant in this realm. Through community-based participatory research with a team of Parenting Track and Field Olympians and interdisciplinary colleagues, she has examined issues of importance to the athletic community such as training during pregnancy (advocacy for sport specific guidelines) and gender equity in athletic governance and sponsorship.

Overall, Dr. Darroch’s multi-faceted research efforts are a reflection of her passionate commitment to social justice, health equity, and challenging power differentials in research practices as an advocate for populations that experience systemic marginalization.