Ruth Gilbert is a clinical epidemiologist, who trained in paediatrics. Much of her research uses de-identified, administrative data to address clinical and policy questions related to the health of children and families. Her research uses record linkage to consider health, social and educational trajectories of children from birth to adulthood and to incorporate information from parents and siblings.

Ruth co-directs the NIHR Children and Families Policy Research which conducts research to inform the Department of Health and Social Care and related government bodies. She also co-directs the Health Data Research UK driver programme on Social and Environmental Determinants of Health.

With others, she established the ECHILD database (Education and Child Health Insights from Linked Data) and her research assesses health-related determinants and outcomes across the life course and from mother to child(ren). She leads the NIHR-funded HOPE programme which uses ECHILD to evaluate the impact of special educational needs provision on health outcomes.

Most recently, she established a novel database linking de-identified health data to public law, family court administrative records on women involved in court proceedings. The Nuffield Foundation funded study aims to understand health needs and opportunities for earlier health intervention.