Dr Cobus Olivier is a Public Health Research Manager at the University of Bristol in the Centre for Public Health. He manages the programmes of work associated with PHIRST and the School of Public Health Research at the University of Bristol. He brings expertise in years of managing Public Health programmes as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in South Africa.
Charis Bontoft is a Senior Research Assistant at PHIRST Connect. She has an Undergraduate degree in Psychology. Previously, Charis has been employed as a Research Assistant with Northumbria University and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, conducting investigating remote management during COVID-19, and scholarly activity respectively. She has also worked as a support worker at a forensic mental health hospital. Her key areas of interest include: public health, chronic health conditions, physical and mental wellbeing.
Imogen Freethy is a Senior Research Assistant at PHIRST Connect. She has an Undergraduate degree in Psychology and has worked as honorary Assistant Psychologist in at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. She has authored work in the Clinical Psychology forum on the effectiveness of an adapted Dialectical Behavioural Therapy program for mothers with emotional dysregulation. Her key areas of interest include: public health, physical and mental wellbeing, preventative health strategies, and early intervention services.
Dr Olujoke Fakoya is a Research Fellow at PHIRST Connect. Her research interests centre upon improving the mental health and wellbeing of the population. She graduated with a first-class undergraduate degree in Public Health at Anglia Ruskin University and recently completed a PhD in Public Health which was obtained at Queen’s University Belfast. Her PhD thesis explored community-based interventions aimed at alleviating loneliness and social isolation among older people. Her key areas of expertise include: Realist evaluation methodology, theory-based evaluations of community-based initiatives, qualitative research, behaviour change, mental health and wellbeing, loneliness and social isolation.
Nigel Lloyd is a Senior Research Fellow for PHIRST Connect. For the past 20 years he has specialised in conducting community-focused research and evaluation with initiatives that aim to bring about positive outcomes for marginalised communities. He has worked as a researcher in academia and industry, and as a consultant has conducted more than 60 different research projects. He has worked as a National Coordinator for the National Evaluation of Sure Start and has been an Analytical Associate with the UK Department for Education. His key areas of expertise include: Impact and outcomes measurement; evaluation capacity building; evaluating community-based initiatives; and impact measurement for services for children and families, health promotion and improvement programmes, and community-focused, multi-agency initiatives.
Amander Wellings is the Public and Patient Involvement Co-applicant at PHIRST Connect. She is a neuro-diverse, lifelong family carer/service user, with wide experience of health and social care. She holds an MA in Medical Sociology from the University of East Anglia and is a founding member of the Patient and Public Involvement in Research (PPIRes) Norfolk PPI group and alumni of the NIHR INVOLVE advisory group writing national PRI guidance and advising on PPI strategies. She has commented on numerous study designs, creating and co facilitating training, management, and steering groups she has accumulated vast experience in patient and public involvement. Her key areas of expertise include: Patient and Public involvement in research.
Dr Adam Wagner is a health economist based at the University of East Anglia (UEA), working as a Senior Research Fellow in the Norwich Medical School (within the Health Economics Group). He works across a range of different projects, leading and supporting the delivery of health economics within them, along with contributing statistical input as appropriate (previously he has also worked as an applied medical statistician). His work focuses non-exclusively on economic evaluations, including within trials (such as INHALE and FluCare), but also in other settings (such as investigating the implementation of remote monitoring). He is also heavily involved in the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East of England as (interim) lead of its Health Economics and Prioritisation in Health and Social Care theme.
Julia Jones is Professor of Public Involvement and Health at the University of Hertfordshire and Co-Chief Investigator for the NIHR-funded PHIRST Connect. Julia is an experienced health researcher with a strong record of conducting international and interdisciplinary research in the fields of patient and public involvement (PPI), mental health and kidney care. In her role at the University of Hertfordshire, Julia leads the Patient Experience and Public Involvement Research Unit in the Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care (CRIPACC) in the School of Health and Social Work. Working collaboratively with service users and carers in research is central to her research practice, which includes chairing the Public Involvement in Research group (PIRg) based in CRIPACC. Her key areas of expertise include: Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in health and social care research; mental health of children and young people; and; conducting research on sensitive topics.
Dr Gavin Breslin is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology, Queens’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist, and Registered Practitioner of the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). Gavin has published extensively in the area of mental health and well-being. He has published two books. He led on systematic reviews, cross sectional, prospective, and case studies on mental health, and has designed RCT interventions using psychological behaviour change theory to enhance health and well-being for children and adults in schools, sports clubs, prisons, secure hospitals and workplace settings. His key areas of expertise include: health behaviour change, intervention design to improve health and wellbeing.
Dr Katie Newby is Associate Professor in Health Behaviour Change at the University of Hertfordshire. She is a Co-Investigator, leading on the Welsh National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) Evaluation, at PHIRST Connect. Her research focus is on the development and evaluation of complex health behaviour change interventions. She has worked on a diverse range of public health projects focussing on, for example, sexual health, vaccination uptake, smoking, and physical activity. Her key areas of expertise include: Interventions to change health-related behaviour; Digital technology and methods; co-design; risk appraisal; sexually transmitted infections and sexual behaviour.
Dr Suzanne Bartington is Clinical Research Fellow at the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham and Honorary Consultant in Public Health (UK Health Security Agency). Suzanne has cross-cutting interests in development of new methods for monitoring, analysing and modelling impacts of air quality interventions Key areas of expertise: sustainable transport; environmental public policies; active travel.
Dr David Wellsted is Reader of Health Research Methods. He has worked for more than 15 years in health research, having previously completed a Doctorate in the Psychology of attention and hearing. He has led the Hertfordshire site of the National Institute for Health Research, East of England Research Design Service since 2008. He has been an active member of teams delivering more than 15 funded clinical studies, including 8 clinical trials, and is currently working on 6 funded studies. His areas of expertise include: Health Research Methods, quality of life, depression and distress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder