Nigel Smeeton is a Social Statistician at the Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care, University of Hertfordshire. Most of his research has involved the application of statistical methods to psychiatry, asthma, and stroke. He has published an introductory book on dental statistics and is co-author of a text on nonparametric statistical methods. Nigel has an interest in the influence of ethnicity in medical and social issues and is currently engaged in an education intervention for bowel cancer screening in Asian communities. His key areas of expertise include: adolescence; cohort studies; ethnicity; observer agreement; patient and public involvement; statistics; stroke, pollution and climate.
Dr Neil Howlett conducts research in the area of physical activity and behaviour change, and is a Co-Investigator at PHIRST Connect. Neil has expertise in behaviour change methodology including: designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to help individuals, communities, and populations change a range of health behaviours; evidence synthesis such as systematic reviews and meta-analyses; broad knowledge of behaviour change theories; training a range of health professionals in behaviour change and communication skills; input into national behavioural science strategies. He is principal investigator on Department of Health, Lottery, and Local Enterprise Partnership-funded grants with the charity HENRY, both evaluating volunteer-delivered parenting programmes and developing a new teenage programme focused on physical activity and eating behaviours. Additionally, Neil helped in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the Sport England-funded Active Herts project. Neil has been a successful lead or co-applicant on nearly £5 million of grants. Key current projects include the large NIHR-funded READY and PHIRST grants. Neil is also a Trustee for the Behavioural Science and Public Health Network charity.
Ben Barr is Professor in Applied Public Health at Liverpool University and joint-Chief Investigator for PHIRST LiLaC. His research focuses on using natural experiments to evaluate the health inequalities impact of local and national social, welfare, economic and health policies. He has a particular interest in research that enables local government to promote health equity by addressing the social determinants of health. He previously worked in roles in applied public health in the UK for the NHS and Health Protection Agency before taking up an academic post.
Emma Halliday is a Senior Research Fellow based at Lancaster University and joint-Chief Investigator for PHIRST LiLaC. She spent four years working with NHS Health Scotland’s policy evaluation team and has worked closely with local authorities and community organisations to deliver evaluations of place-based interventions including regeneration, air quality, physical activity and community engagement initiatives. Her areas of expertise include: qualitative methods, public involvement and social determinants of health.
Professor Wendy Wills is Director of the NIHR ARC East of England and Director of the Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care (CRIPACC). Wendy is an Associate Dean of Research for the School of Health and Social Work at the University of Hertfordshire, and was Co-Chief Investigator for the NIHR-funded PHIRST Connect until July 2022. She is the lead for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East of England for the Prevention and Early Detection in Health and Social Care research theme. Her key areas of expertise include: food and eating practices; public health nutrition, malnutrition and obesity; children, young people, families and older people; and social inequalities
Professor Katherine Brown is Chair in Behaviour Change in Health and Chief Investigator for the NIHR-funded PHIRST Connect. She spent more than eight years embedded within a local authority public health department alongside leadership of research teams focussed on the application of behavioural science to changing preventive health behaviours and addressing major public health challenges. Her key areas of expertise include: Intervention development and evaluation, engagement of multiple stakeholders in the co-production of research, behaviour change, public health, digital health.
Dr Jaime Garcia-Iglesias is a Research Fellow for the PHIRST and sociologist with expertise in sexuality and the sociology of health and illness. He has led research on sexual fantasies, HIV prevention, and online wellbeing. He has an interdisciplinary interest in literary studies and has published in the field of medical humanities. He has received funding from the Sociology of Health and Illness Foundation, AHRC and ESRC. His key areas of expertise include: sexuality, internet, sexual fantasies and memories, sexual health.
Dr Hayley Reed is a Research Associate at DECIPHer in Cardiff University. She has expertise in co-producing and evaluating school and family-based health interventions, with a particular focus on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Dr Elinor Coulman is a Trial Manager in the Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University and PHIRST Research Associate in DECIPHer, Cardiff University. She has extensive experience of managing public health evaluations involving behaviour change and complex interventions.
Dr Vicky Carlisle is a Mixed Methods Senior Research Associate in Public Health at the University of Bristol. She has a background in working with stakeholders to develop and evaluate complex public health interventions and has an interest in child health, stigma, addiction and trauma.
Dr China Harrison is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol. She is a psychologist with extensive experience of conducting qualitative and quantitative research and has a particular interest in women’s health, specifically reproductive health and fertility.
Tricia Jessiman is a Senior Research Associate in Qualitative Public Health at the University of Bristol. She has extensive experience of conducting evaluations in collaboration with local authority partners and has a particular interest in children and young people’s health and wellbeing.