The Great Leap - Multidisciplinary approaches to health inequalities, 1800-2022

Network description

To this day and age, deep-routed, structural inequalities in health have been one of the most consistent and pressing challenges society has faced. Recent events, such as the COVID19 pandemic highlight the urgent need for new research, insights and action to tackle this challenge for future generations. Embracing the COST Mission, the Great Leap takes a unique, multidisciplinary approach from a historical perspective to gain a greater understanding of the roots and drivers of health inequalities across regions and countries in Europe and beyond. To achieve this mission, the Great Leap creates an international, multidisciplinary network that will bundle expertise, techniques, insights and data to create (1) the first international comparable dataset of individual-level historical cause of death data, (2) innovative analytical tools to analyse it, and (3) insights into how this information can be used in current public health policy and practice.

The network includes a wide range of academic expertise in history, social sciences, life sciences and epidemiology and involves university-, research-, government- and (international) health institutes and organizations, including statistical offices and national archives. The network has deliberately chosen for a balanced gender (52.5% male, 45.5% female, 2% non-binary), ITC (52%) and YRI (51%) representation, and aims to maintain this while expanding its network internationally. By fostering the strengths of this unique, multidisciplinary and diverse network, the Great Leap aims to generate ground-breaking insights into the historical roots and drivers of health inequalities across regions and countries in Europe and beyond.

Management committee members

  • Prof Gentiana Kera (Albania)
  • Prof Enriketa Pandelejmoni (Albania)
  • Prof Isabelle Devos (Belgium)
  • Dr Matea Zajc Petranović (Croatia)
  • Dr Maarten van Wijhe (Denmark)
  • Ms Liili Abuladze (Estonia)
  • Dr Hannaliis Jaadla (Estonia)
  • Dr Jarmo Peltola (Finland)
  • Prof Sakari Saaritsa (Finland)
  • Dr Florian Bonnet (France)
  • Mr Lionel Kesztenbaum (France)
  • Dr Michael Muehlichen (Germany)
  • Dr Kai P. Willführ (Germany)
  • Dr Pavlos Baltas (Greece)
  • Dr Vasilis Gavalas (Greece)
  • Dr Peter Ori (Hungary)
  • Dr Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir (Iceland)
  • Prof Ciara Breathnach (Ireland)
  • Dr Monica O'Mullane (Ireland)
  • Dr Sarit Rashkovits (Israel)
  • Dr Allon Vishkin (Israel)
  • Prof Lucia Pozzi (Italy)
  • Prof Francesco Scalone (Italy)
  • Dr Ieva Libiete (Latvia)
  • Dr Aistis Žalnora (Lithuania)
  • Ms Tatiana Spataru (Moldova)
  • Dr Tim Riswick (Netherlands)
  • Dr Evelien Walhout (Netherlands)
  • Prof Dragan Tevdovski (North Macedonia)
  • Mr Emre Sari (Norway)
  • Prof Hilde Leikny Sommerseth (Norway)
  • Dr Grazyna Liczbinska (Poland)
  • Dr Bartosz Ogórek (Poland)
  • Dr Paulo Teodoro de Matos (Portugal)
  • Dr Isabel Tiago de Oliveira (Portugal)
  • Ms Damjan Bakic (Serbia)
  • Dr Ján Golian (Slovakia)
  • Dr Diego Ramiro-Fariñas (Spain)
  • Dr Elisabeth Engberg (Sweden)
  • Dr Ingrid van Dijk (Sweden)
  • Dr Joel Floris (Switzerland)
  • Dr Kaspar Staub (Switzerland)
  • Prof Gülhan Balsoy (Turkey)
  • Prof Murat Guvenc (Turkey)
  • Mr Hampton Gaddy (United Kingdom)
  • Prof Alice Reid (United Kingdom)


The Great Leap is funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST). It is a funding organisation for the creation of research networks, called COST Actions