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Post-doctoral Launching Fellowships 2024 – Call for applications

Public health research is entering a phase of transformation following the publication of the Academy of Medical Sciences report ‘Health of the Public 2040’. There is a drive to build on existing strengths to make the UK the world leader in public health prevention research, and to meet the substantial public health challenges we face. We want to see more research that is useful, timely and accessible to those responsible for delivering policies and services that ultimately protect and improve the health of the population. We need research that helps answer the most important questions facing policy makers, Local Authorities and service providers. To do this we need to inspire the next generation of academics into public health research with the option to combine academic research with practice as a career pathway.

Applications are invited from individuals with a strong academic record who wish to develop a career in public health research that is closely connected with public health practice. The ‘NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) post-doctoral launching fellowships in Public Health Research’ will be available for up to 24 months offering those appointed the opportunity to consolidate and build their CV and to prepare funding applications to secure future funding (e.g., an NIHR fellowship).


The NIHR School for Public Health Research aims to increase the evidence base for cost-effective public health practice by:

  • Conducting applied public health research to increase the volume and quality of useful evidence on cost-effective interventions
  • Creating an environment where first class applied public health research, focussed on the needs of the public, can thrive
  • Supporting local public health practitioners and policy makers to engage with research, and actively seek out high quality research evidence to inform their decisions
  • Contributing to ongoing efforts to build research capacity in public health research

SPHR is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

You can find out more about the School, our research and researchers on our website.

You can find information about each of the members and details of the specific research training opportunities available at each member by clicking on the links below;

University of Bristol; University of Cambridge; Fuse, The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities; Imperial College London; the LiLaC collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster; The London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); University of Sheffield; University of Exeter; the PHRESH collaboration between the Universities of Birmingham, Warwick and Keele.

The fellowships may be based at any of the member institutions and will normally be taken up April 2024. The fellowships will equip successful applicants to undertake research that is closely connected to practice, acquire skills in new methodological approaches and provides the opportunity to undertake a practice-based placement.

Applicants must have experience of research in public health or a related field. Applicants will have obtained their research doctorate or submitted their PhD thesis for examination. We are also keen to encourage applicants with a PhD who may also have worked or be working within public health practice but wish to pursue an academic or practice academic career. Potential applicants are encouraged to get in touch to discuss eligibility.

Fellowships are not appropriate for FPH registered Public Health Trainees.  The NIHR Academy have a number of fellowships that you could consider, for example, the ICA or PCAF schemes.  You can view these on the NIHR Academy website here.

Remuneration for fellowships will depend on previous experience but most appointees will receive a salary of £35,000 – £45,000 per annum. The fellowship covers salary and some research and training costs. The host university is awarded a fixed sum for the fellowship.

The fellowship award will not usually be based around a specified single project but will involve attachment to a research group involved in a programme of research. The awards are open to all disciplines relevant to public health research.

Fellowships are available on a part-time basis (usually at a minimum 0.6fte but requests for 0.5fte will be considered on a case by case basis).

Application information and details of the research areas on offer at member institutions follow in this document.

Applications must be received by 12 noon on Monday 23rd October 2023.


The NIHR School for Public Health Research brings together academics from nine leading academic centres with excellence in applied public health research in England. Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors for more information on specific topics of interest.

SPHR Training Pathway

In SPHR we aim to inspire the next generation of academics into public health research with the option to combine academic research with practice as a career pathway. We have developed a training pathway that provides a range of training opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in public health research including summer internships, PhD studentships, and pre and post-doctoral fellowships. You can find out more information about these opportunities and hear from our current students by following the links below:

NIHR Academy

All SPHR post-doctoral launching fellows become members of the NIHR Academy. The purpose of the NIHR Academy is to develop a highly-skilled academic research workforce capable of advancing the best research which improves health, and benefits society and the economy.

NIHR is committed to a supportive, inclusive, caring, and positive community. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to NIHR’s values and success. As NIHR Academy Members, you will be able to access a portfolio of NIHR Academy development and support activities. The NIHR Academy also provide a range of leadership and mentoring programmes, regular networking opportunities, bespoke workshops and events and personal advice and guidance on funding opportunities. This includes an annual NIHR Academy conference.

Development and support opportunities

In addition to activities and training opportunities within NIHR Academy and your host institution, you will also have access to development and support opportunities provided by us in the School and as part of the ‘NIHR School’s’ which is a collaboration between the NIHR Schools for Primary Care Research (SPCR), Public Health Research (SPHR) and Social Care Research (SSCR).

We aim to provide a supportive environment for our trainees in which you can thrive through training, networking, guidance and collaboration between members and your peers.  Examples of past training and development events can be seen by following the link below:

The School is committed to equipping our trainees with the tools to develop and build a research career in public health, by providing options to combine academic research with practice. Most of the School projects will offer links within Local Authority or other public health practice settings, which will provide an opportunity for you to undertake a short placement in a public health practice or policy setting. It is an expectation that our fellows work in practice as part of their award. Carrying out a practice placement helps you to gain an insight into the opportunities and challenges of implementing research in fast moving public health practice and policy environments.

“My SPHR fellowship has provided me with some incredible opportunities to develop my research leadership skills, build an international support network and build an exciting research plan to continue to contribute new and impactful research outputs”. SPHR fellow, Penny Breeze, Sheffield University

The School is committed to providing a positive research culture in which our fellows can flourish. We believe in offering opportunities that will help to develop your research and leadership skills as an early career researcher in public health research. Our fellows can apply to supervise a summer intern within the School through our summer internship programme.

“Many thanks for all the support from the SPHR team, it is really appreciated. I think the summer internship programme is a great scheme to diversify engagement in public health research and give undergraduate students insight into public health research”

“I think having this opportunity is a nice time to start to learn the skills of being a supervisor in a research setting”

SPHR Trainees


The SPHR Researchers’ Network (ResNet) links our researchers working on projects across all the members of the School. As an SPHR post-doctoral launching fellow you would automatically become a member of the ResNet community. It is a forum for communication, peer support and networking to aid the professional development of researchers at any level. We have a dedicated development fund for early career researchers (ECRs) within the School. This funding is for ECR-led pump priming collaborative research and is open to members of ResNet. This provides ECRs with an opportunity to gain experience of developing and leading their own research project, and to build their networks throughout ResNet and across the School. You can find out more about the projects we have funded here.

Publication & wider dissemination

It is expected that fellows will publish research from their fellowships in good quality, peer-reviewed academic journals and communicate findings at conferences. In addition, we expect the research to generate outputs that are tailored to applied public health research, public health practitioner, and policy making audiences to ensure that they have maximum impact.

Eligibility criteria

  • UK citizen or confirmed right to work in UK
  • You must have a PhD or have submitted your PhD thesis for examination
  • Candidates should also ensure they meet the eligibility criteria of the host institution (please see individual university websites for details).

Application shortlisting criteria

Your application will be assessed using the following criteria as part of the shortlisting process:

  • A PhD or submission of PhD thesis for examination (with confirmed date for viva voce) in public health or related subject.
  • A first or upper second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate subject (qualifications, or a combination of qualifications and experience, which demonstrate equivalent ability and attainment also considered) is essential.
  • Demonstrable academic excellence (e.g., academic prizes or commendations, first class honours degree, excellent module or dissertation marks or grades, merit or distinction in a Masters degree)
  • Knowledge of public health priorities in the UK
  • Evidence of commitment to a research career in public health either in academia or combined with public health practice, including, for example, a Masters degree in Public Health
  • Evidence of potential as a career researcher
  • Peer-reviewed publications
  • Experience of writing and/ or publishing commensurate with a post at this level
  • Experience of presenting at seminars, workshops, conferences or other similar forums
  • Experience of literature review methodology
  • Knowledge of qualitative research methods
  • Knowledge of basic epidemiology and statistics
  • Experience of systematic reviews
  • Experience of conducting basic qualitative research
  • Experience of undertaking basic epidemiological and statistical analyses
  • Experience of primary data collection
  • Experience of using data and statistical analysis software
  • Experience of working in service public health or academic public health
  • Experience of using reference management software
  • Excellent organisational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Highly motivated
  • Able to work both independently and as part as part of a team
  • Able to plan and manage own work

Please note: NIHR SPHR brings together multidisciplinary teams to conduct high quality research to increase the evidence base for public health practice. This requires a wide range of knowledge and skills. Applicants are not expected to meet all of the criteria outlined above but should demonstrate an excellent academic trajectory and a commitment to a career in academic public health.

How to make an application

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the SPHR member they would like to host the award to discuss their application. Contact details for each member are given below.

The application process consists of three stages.

Stage 1  Please complete and submit an application form here.

You are asked to complete a number of application questions and then upload a covering letter (maximum 1 page) and a CV (maximum 2 pages). You should ensure your CV includes detail of your career history (current/most recent post first, including start and end dates, your position and the name of the organisation); and details of your education and training to date (relevant professional qualifications, degrees, diplomas, including dates, qualification, subject, grade and name of the awarding organisation).

Please name your CV and covering letter using the following naming convention:  Surname_letter_POSTD


We also ask that you identify two academic referees or other suitable referees.

Applications must be received by 12 noon on Monday 23rd October 2023

NIHR and DHSC have a duty as a public body to promote equality of opportunity. We will contact all applicants shortly after the application closure date with an Equality Monitoring Form. Monitoring ensures that all applications to NIHR SPHR Programmes are treated equally in terms of gender, ethnicity and/or disability. Information will be anonymised and stored separately from your application, only be used for the purpose of monitoring equal opportunities and be kept securely and in confidence.

Stage 2

Applications will be shortlisted and candidates selected for interview will be contacted and invited to attend an interview week commencing 13th November 2023. Candidates may also be invited to attend a pre-interview assessment prior to interview. At least one of the referees identified by shortlisted candidates will be contacted ahead of interview and asked to provide a statement of support. You should make your referees aware of this in advance.

Unsuccessful applicants will be informed.

Stage 3

Successful candidates may need to meet additional requirements depending on the requirements of the host institution. Detailed guidance will be provided to successful candidates.

Please direct questions to Andi Sull, SPHR Academic Career Development Manager Questions about individual members should be directed to member leads (contact details are provided on member information pages).

Competition Launch Monday 21st August
Applicants to submit application form Noon Monday 23rd October
Shortlisted candidates invited to interview Week commencing 13th November
Interviews Wednesday 13th– Friday 15th December
Announcement of Awards Week of 8th January 2024
Start of fellowships From 1st April 2024


University of Bristol

Bristol has an international reputation for research excellence in applied Public Health Research through its Centre for Public Health Research in Bristol Medical School: Population Health Sciences (PHS). There are strong collaborations with the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences (ENHS) in the School for Policy Studies, as well as relationships with Experimental Psychology and Social Work and Care. The University is, uniquely, a member of all three NIHR Research Schools – Public Health, Primary Care and Social Care Research – providing excellent opportunities for cross-NIHR school collaboration.

The Centre for Public Health, led by Professor Rona Campbell, conducts research into the health of the population with the aim of promoting and protecting health and well-being, preventing ill-health and reducing health inequalities. It includes an NIHR Public Health Responsive Studies Team  and works in close collaboration with the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions and NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West.

We have major strengths in conducting randomised trials of public health interventions, evaluating natural experiments to strengthen the evidence base for public health policy, process evaluation, evidence synthesis and applied public health studies on child and adolescent health, obesity, physical activity, nutrition, smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, sexual health, occupational health, environmental health, infectious diseases, and mental health.

In the latest Shanghai Rankings of academic subjects public health in Bristol is ranked 5th in the UK, 6th in Europe and 9th globally. Our research is highly inter-disciplinary and collaborative, involving public health specialists, social scientists, economists, environmental scientists, psychologists, statisticians, modellers, epidemiologists, geographers and clinicians.

If appointed, you will join a thriving community of multi-disciplinary public health Fellows and researchers. We have a very strong commitment to research career development and have substantial experience of successfully supporting fellows into careers as independent public health researcher as Dr Heide Busse describes here. As a Launching Fellow you will be helped to complete papers from your PhD, be able to collaborate on SPHR projects and publications to widen your experience and build your CV and to work with experienced public health academics to develop a competitive application for an externally funded advanced fellowship or research grant. You will also have opportunities to learn about co-producing research with practitioners and those that the research is intended to benefit, acquire skills in public involvement and engagement in research, and knowledge transfer. All our Fellows have a named member of staff responsible for assisting your development and access to a mentor.

All our Fellows benefit from the first-class facilities available including free access to PHS’s internationally renowned programme of 35 short courses on all aspects of population health science methodology. PHS has a weekly seminar programme in which national and international researcher leaders present on a range of Public Health topics as well as a series of more specialist seminars and special interest group meetings (e.g., evidence synthesis, qualitative research, mental health, addiction, health economics, medical anthropology). These training opportunities are complemented by the University of Bristol’s rich range of staff development courses including grant writing, applying for research fellowships, PhD supervision skills, research leadership, presentation skills and courses targeted specifically at early career researchers.

The Centre for Public Health (CPH) has a strongly collaborative and multi-disciplinary ethos encouraging the participation of all. CPH holds regular meetings for all research staff, Fellows and doctoral students, including a monthly public health reading group, to provide opportunities to share knowledge and experience, discuss issues in public health research and policy and hone research ideas. In CPH we have excellent links with local public health policy and practice including public health staff who are co-located (details below) in PHS and local authorities. We also provide academic support to those undertaking specialist training in public health who are local authority based. We are therefore well positioned to ensure that you have the opportunity for an inspiring practice placement as current Launching Fellow Dr Cheryl McQuire describes and to attend and present your research at local conferences and meetings.

SPHR research areas:

Bristol is engaged across all SPHR research programmes and themes. Examples of current and recent SPHR research projects we are leading or contributing to include:

Children, young people & families programme:

  • Developing a best practice framework for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme
  • Delivering a resilience building programme for parents of secondary school children. Dr David Troy
  • Mapping the landscape of prenatal alcohol prevention in the UK. Dr Cheryl McQuire
  • First Dental Steps Intervention: a feasibility study of a Health Visitor led infant oral health improvement programme. Dr Jo Williams, Dr Ruth Kipping, Dr Patricia Albers

Health Places, Healthy Planet:

  • Local strategies for the control of harmful commodities advertising and sponsorship
  • Improving methodology for place and community-based public health natural experiments and interventions. Prof Frank De Vocht, Prof Russ Jago
  • Evaluating the Digital Health Contact service. Dr Frank de Vocht, Prof Rona Campbell, Dr Katie Brehany, Dr Katrina D’Apice, Dr Patricia Albers

Public Mental Health: 

  • Reducing inequalities by improving the system within which ‘at-risk’ young people access, and engage with, community assets that support mental health
  • Supporting educational and youth organisations to deliver self-harm and suicide prevention and postvention: a mixed methods study and co-produced guidance
  • Qualitative case study examining the links between school culture and student mental health. Dr Judi Kidger, Tricia Jessiman
  • Creating a Health Research Network to improve young people’s mental health and well-being in Schools. Prof Rona Campbell, Prof Russ Jago, Emily Widnall, Dr Patricia Albers
  • A realist evaluation of the Mental Health Foundation’s Peer Education Project (PEP) in Secondary Schools. Dr Judi Kidger, Alice Porter

Potential SPHR research advisors:

Prof Russ Jago                       Prof Rona Campbell               Prof Matt Hickman

Prof Jo Coast                          Prof Frank de Vocht               Dr Ruth Kipping

Dr Judi Kidger                         Dr Deborah Caldwell              Dr Cheryl McQuire

Dr Laura Tinner                      Dr Jo Williams*                       Dr Katrina D’Apice

Dr Georgie MacArthur*           Dr Harriet Fisher                     Dr Lucy Biddle

*Have joint academic posts as Consultant Senior Lecturers and Public Health Consultants in Bristol City Counciland North Somerset Council respectively.

Contact details: 

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is a global leader in public health research, delivering internationally acclaimed research on epidemiology, health protection, public health evaluation and health services research. The University’s returns in the UK Research Evaluation Framework (Public health, health services and primary care) have consistently been ranked in the top 3 nationally.

Our applied public health programmes span boundaries, and enable multidisciplinary research. Programmes in the MRC Epidemiology Unit deliver research on understanding and preventing obesity and diabetes through Population Health Interventions for diet and physical activity, Behavioural Epidemiology and Interventions in Young People, and Prevention of Diabetes in High Risk Groups. Our public mental health research spans the life-course, from research with school communities to prevent ill-health in young people; through epidemiological analyses on autism, substance use disorders; to population evidence increasing dementia understanding and awareness.

We have access to world-class research facilities to enable this work, including population

representative cohort studies such as EPIC Norfolk, Fenland; Cambridge City over 75 Cohort, and the Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies. The MRC Epidemiology Unit leads the National Diet & Nutrition Survey and hosts a biorepository for samples from a wide range of studies. We host two NIHR trials units (in population studies and clinical trials). We have also created open resources to support policy and practice, such as the Food Environment Assessment Tool (FEAT) and Propensity to Cycle Tool, and widely used by LAs nationally.

We develop our research to benefit patients, the public, communities, policy and practice. We have pro-active communication strategies for working with media and appropriate outlets to disseminate findings responsibly, aligning with public health principles. We actively disseminate to local, regional, national and international levels as appropriate.

Cambridge has an exceptionally strong track record of public health research capacity building, including training leaders of the future for research, service, third and fourth sectors, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. We also have a strong track record of success in securing NIHR, MRC, and Wellcome Trust Fellowships at all levels and are keen to work with NIHR launching fellows to secure further doctoral funding.

All fellows will join thriving research groups where they will have the opportunity to work with staff at a range of levels and across multiple disciplines including geography, economics, psychology, political science, data science, epidemiology, public health and social policy.

SPHR fellows will have the ability to sit in on modules from our world-renowned Master’s programme in Population Health Sciences. This includes core modules in epidemiology, biostatistics, public health, applied data analysis and research skills; and student selected modules across the scope of public health, primary care research, global health, epidemiology, infectious diseases, and health data science.

Our university-wide seminar programmes are open to all and include our flagship Bradford-Hill lecture series, regular master-classes and thematic seminar series, and more informal seminar series within departments and research groups.

We provide early career staff, including fellows, opportunities for experiential learning via formal placements and partnership working with organisations such as Local Authorities, NHS trusts and relevant non-governmental organisations, including MIND, Global Challenge Strategic Initiative, The Food Foundation and Obesity Health Alliance.

Cambridge offers high quality departmental and college accommodation, and facilities for fellows, including dedicated rooms for training and desk space; and access to shared services including advanced IT systems, data management, statistical support, fieldwork management, and communications.

SPHR research areas

Public mental health, Children, young people & families, Health inequalities, Healthy places, healthy planet

Potential SPHR supervisors

Each of these potential supervisors has large interdisciplinary networks who they can link fellows with.

Dr Jean Adams                                                           Dr Joanna Anderson

Prof Carol Brayne                                                       Dr Tom Burgoine

Dr Anne-Marie Burn                                                    Prof Tamsin Ford

Dr Ben Hawkins                                                          Dr Kathryn Hesketh

Dr Louise Lafortune                                                    Dr Anna Moore

Dr Jenna Panter                                                          Dr Jenny Saxton

Dr Esther van Sluijs                                                    Prof Martin White

Prof James Woodcock

Contact details

Dr Jean Adams (

Prof Carol Brayne (

Further information Cambridge Public Health 

University of Exeter

The School for Public Health Environments Research at Exeter (SPHERE) leads the University of Exeter’s membership in the School for Public Health Research. Based in the Faculty of Health and Life Science, SPHERE is an interdisciplinary hub for expertise in public health research that spans each of the University’s three Faculties. The Faculty of Health and Life Science has world-leading public health research strengths in child health, evaluation (including public health trials) and evidence synthesis, environment and human health, and social environments of health, as well as a university-wide reputation for data science. Community and public engagement and involvement are at the core of our work, and we hold several long-running NIHR investments focused on providing responsive, timely and policy-relevant research to shape national decision-making in health.

Located in Devon and Cornwall, the University of Exeter has a strong and vibrant research community with a wide range of early career trainees funded by NIHR and other research bodies. While the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences is primarily based at the St Luke’s campus in Exeter (Devon), the European Centre for Environment and Human Health is based in Truro (Cornwall). SPHERE also draws on a range of major investments in public health research at the University, including the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. Our unique geographical location provides an excellent opportunity for fellows who are interested in, for example, the health challenges facing rural populations and coastal communities, while our broad-based research excellence in public health provides opportunities for fellows across the range of SPHR research areas. Fellows can expect to benefit from supportive and collaborative supervision and careful attention to skills and methodological development.

Major strengths at Exeter of specific interest to pre-doctoral fellows include: environment and human health, child health, public mental health, ageing, nutrition and food systems, social science of health, and community and public engagement. Exeter has a stimulating mix of expertise in a range of methods, including key experts in data science, the analysis of cluster randomised trials, social science of health, and innovative qualitative methods to inform policy and practice. The successful candidate can expect to join both SPHERE and a specific academic unit aligning to their supervisor’s expertise (for example, the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health ; Children and Young People’s Mental Health (ChYMe) Research Collaboration; the Wellcome Centre for Environments and Cultures of Health. This will provide a fertile environment for cross-fertilisation of expertise and rounded development.

Fellows will also have access to the university’s award-winning programme in research development, including the opportunity to apply for funding through researcher-led initiatives awards.

SPHR research areas

Work at the University of Exeter cuts across all SPHR research areas: Public mental health draws on a major research strength of research in child mental health and mental health in older adults, including a strong focus on population health randomised trials and evidence synthesis to support evaluation. This work is underpinned by expertise in psychology and social epidemiology. Children, young people and families, as above, is reflected in our major profile in child health generally, as well as expertise in health inequalities and ageing. We have particular strength in schools and health. Health inequalities is the focus of major work in community safety and family violence, as well as social epidemiology focusing on environment and human health and the impact of food systems and nutrition on health inequalities and their remediation. Our work on health inequalities also integrates a critical commitment to involvement and engagement, including as well as a focus on coastal and rural communities. Healthy places, healthy planet includes our signal strength in environment and human health, as well as transport and food systems and sustainable development over local to national levels. We have a particularly strong record of engagement with local authorities to support public health action in relation to the climate and other environmental change. In addition, we work extensively across both methodological innovation cores, including both Innovative methods in public health research and Economic evaluation/efficient and equitable public health systems. This is especially notable in our record of macroeconomic research on food systems and expertise in economics of health inequalities.

Potential SPHR supervisors;

Prof Vashti Berry Dr Kerry Ann Brown, Prof Helen Dodd Prof Judith Green, Dr Conny Guell, Prof Katrina Wyatt, Dr Abby Russell Prof Rich Smith, Prof Natalia Lawrence, Prof G.J. Melendez-Torres, Prof Ben Wheeler, Prof Obi Ukoumunne Dr. Tamsin Newlove Delgado, Dr. Jenny LLoyd

Contact details

Candidates should contact one or more potential supervisors before completing their application to discuss their research ideas and ensure that they fit within both SPHR and SPHERE research strategies. For any other research related inquiries, please contact Prof G.J. Melendez-Torres (

Fuse – The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health

Fuse ( offers SPHR a portfolio of high-quality applied public health research from five universities in North East England (Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside), spanning health, social and natural sciences.

As a UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Translational Research in Public Health (2008-2018), Fuse has built significant research capacity and created a unique environment for public health researchers’, practitioners and policy-makers to co-produce world class research with a focus on translational public health research. NE England has high levels of deprivation, social inequality and concomitantly poor health outcomes including above average COVID-19 mortality rates ( 101120-.pdf). Fuse’ aim is to achieve better, fairer health across the life course and tackle ‘the fundamental challenges of inequalities and prevention’ as set out in the NHS Phase Three Response to COVID (https:\\coronavirus\publication\third-phase- response\).

We also aim to support the key health and social care priorities regionally and nationally to improve health, and reduce health inequalities. Fuse’s excellence in applied public health research includes: co-production and intervention development, plus evaluation in terms of efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency and implementation. Fuse hosts a community of academics, researchers and practitioners across North East England who share a common interest in addressing health and social inequalities. AskFuse is an innovative responsive research and evaluation service, which develops collaborative research projects with our policy and practice partners in the region. The mission and work of Fuse is closely linked with NIHR Applied Research Collaboration in North East & North Cumbria (NENC) which extends collaboration across the health and social care sector.

SPHR post-doctoral launching fellows in Fuse will join a thriving group of post-doctoral researchers within Fuse and across other SPHR members. Post-doctoral Fellows at Fuse will be embedded within the research programmes of Fuse with opportunities to develop their own research areas. Fellows will be supported in developing their own research areas with a view to prepare for further externally funded post-doctoral Fellowships. To enable this, Fellows will have exposure to a range of research programmes and mentoring to support generating and developing research plans. With well-established links of Fuse with organisations across the health, social care and voluntary sector, Fellows will be very well-placed to engage and build collaborations with public health practice and policy partners. Fellows will have the opportunity to publish papers and apply for grants, such as ResNet awards. Fuse Fellows are also linked with community of Fellows in the Applied Research Collaboration in North East & North Cumbria (NENC), providing a vibrant and supportive network of peers. Apart from a multi- disciplinary supervision team, Fellows will benefit from mentorship from senior researchers. A variety of training programmes will be available through Fuse, ARC NENC, and the host Fuse organisation as well as through SPHR. In terms of research areas, Post-doctoral Fellows will have opportunities to get involved in research around the development and evaluation of public health interventions. Research areas include mental health, food systems and nutrition and physical activity, and improving health outcomes in populations with the greatest need. Fellows will have opportunity to engage in a broad range of research methods and to develop research interests and experience in methodological approaches including in quantitative, qualitative methods and data science and intervention development. Engagement with public members and people with lived experience will be core to the research areas, as well as co- producing research with practice partners in Local Authorities and/or voluntary sector.

SPHR research areas

Public mental health; Health inequalities; Healthy places, healthy planets; Children, young people & families

Potential SPHR supervisors

Supervision will depend on area of interest and include one of the Fuse leads:

Ashley Adamson, Director of Fuse

Eileen Kaner, Public Mental Health

Sheena Ramsay, Public Mental Health

Emily Oliver, Public Mental Health

Clare Bambra, Health Inequalities

Monique Lhussier, Health Inequalities

Steph Scott, Health Inequalities and Children Young People and Families

Carolyn Summerbell, Children Young People and Families

Ruth McGovern, Children Young People and Families

Nicola Heslehurst, Children Young People and Families

Amelia Lake, Healthy Places, Healthy Planet

Peter van der Graaf, Knowledge Translation

Contact details Please contact Fuse School for Public Health Research Administrator in the first instance who will direct your query to academic supervisors

Imperial College London

Imperial College London has a greater proportion of world-leading research than any other UK university, and a reputation for excellence in public health teaching and research. Imperial ranks first in the UK for research outputs, first in the UK for research environment and first for research impact among Russell Group universities. The Imperial College School of Public Health mission is to improve health in the population and reduce inequalities through strengthening the public health science base, training the next generation of public health leaders and influencing health policies and programmes in England and around the world. It combines world-class research at the local, national and international level with translation of evidence into health policy, health education and primary care. Together with its research, teaching and evidence-led policy work, the School of Public Health aims to address the major public health challenges of the 21st century. The School was rated first in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), in the “Public Health, Health Services & Primary Care” Unit of Assessment, with the highest proportion of 4* world-leading research. Further information is available at:

Imperial offers training that will be tailored to the specific training needs of the Fellow. Short courses in a range of areas are offered including statistics, epidemiology, meta-research, qualitative research, GIS for Public Health and specialist short courses for public health and medical professionals, public involvement and engagement, amongst others. Training is also available for the Fellow through the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre (PFDC) with a focus on academic skills development including applications and interviews, curriculum vitae, enterprise and entrepreneurship, influence and impact, teaching and supervision, professional development, personal development and wellbeing, and writing for publication and grant applications. Besides the Imperial short courses, there are regular seminars, lectures, group meetings, and other educational opportunities within the College, Imperial College London School of Public Health, the Department that the Fellow will be able to attend. There will be an emphasis on improving the Fellow’s skills to successfully apply for a fellowship or grant. The Imperial College London School of Public Health has close links with local authorities in Central and Northwest London with members of Imperial College London School of Public Health working across local authority and academia. The Fellow will have the opportunity for a public health placement in local authority and contribute to ongoing joint working in the various areas including transport and food systems, child health and mental health.

Examples of currently ongoing research projects include assessing the impacts of road user charging on health outcomes and inequalities, understanding the nature and extent of local authority interactions with harmful commodity industries, evaluating system-based approaches to improve the health of children and young people and community interventions to improve the mental health of older adults, amongst others.

SPHR research areas

The fellowship at Imperial will align closely with SPHR research programmes and Imperial College’s aim to transform applied public health research in England to make it world leading by protecting health against the threat of global environmental change and improving child health, as set out in the ‘2019 Prevention Green paper’. These areas of research include, but are not limited to:

  • Dual health and environmental benefit of food and transport system interventions
  • Early years and child health
  • Public Mental Health
  • Health Inequalities

Within the ‘dual health and environmental benefit of food and transport system interventions’, led at Imperial by Professor Christopher Millett, Dr Sean Beevers, Dr Eszter Vamos, and Dr Anthony Laverty, the Fellow will have opportunities to be involved in a range of research projects including research on ultra-processed food consumption, mechanisms and dynamics of food insecurity, commercial determinants of health and transport interventions. The projects draw on Imperial College London’s expertise in using routine data sources and innovative methodological advances to assess the mechanisms, dynamics and impacts of food and transport system interventions.

Dr Dougal Hargreaves and Sonia Saxena are leading on ‘Early years and child health’ projects. There will be an opportunity to be involved in research projects that are quantifying environmental exposures linked to individual health outcomes, a range of options to build on the work that has been carried out to utilise routine data sources to create digital dashboards linking on school and area-level identifiers and accessing the impact of public policies on poor nutrition, physical inactivity, alcohol and tobacco use and health inequalities. Planned research projects will be linked to work within the Business School being led by Professor Franco Sassi who has extensive expertise in fiscal incentives for behavioural change and modelling long term health impacts of policy options. All projects available will link to the cross-cutting themes of health inequalities, cost effectiveness and methodological innovation.

Potential SPHR supervisors

Professor Christopher Millett                          Professor Sonia Saxena

Professor Franco Sassi                                  Dr Eszter Vamos

Dr Anthony Laverty                                         Dr Felix Greaves

Dr Sean Beevers                                            Dr Dougal Hargreaves

Dr Bethan Davies                                           Dr Filippos Filippidis

Prof Laure de Preux                                       Dr Shamini Gnani

Contact details: Catherine Jackson (

LiLaC (Liverpool and Lancaster Universities Collaboration)

Liverpool and Lancaster Universities Collaboration for Public Health LiLaC
LiLaC – The Liverpool and Lancaster Universities Collaboration for Public Health Research – combines the complementary strengths of these two Universities, creating the critical mass of internationally recognised researchers focusing on producing evidence for action to reduce health inequalities needed to deliver the SPHR’s objectives. Established in 2011 when it became a member of SPHR, LiLaC consolidated a decade of cooperation directed at building public health research infrastructure in the North West (NW) region. We now constitute the largest group in the region providing high quality research evidence aimed at improving the social determinants of population health and reducing health inequalities. Our inter-disciplinary expertise spans public/community involvement, public health economics, modelling and statistics, social and clinical epidemiology, anthropology, sociology, social marketing, policy analysis, health protection and health promotion, primary care and the history of health and social policy.

The two universities have world-leading reputations for policy-relevant health inequalities research. We link into policy and practice locally and regionally through civic engagement and NIHR initiatives such as the North West Coast Applied Research Collaboration; nationally through Public Health England and the DHSC’s Policy Research Units, and globally through our WHO Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on the Determinants of Health Equity. We support a novel network of residents of neighbourhoods bearing the brunt of social inequalities, whose involvement brings invaluable practical wisdom and lived experience to our research.

LiLaC’s methodological strategy is to combine qualitative with quantitative approaches creatively and to exploit the potential of evidence-synthesis and comparative analysis across countries, regions and neighbourhoods to address major policy-relevant research questions. Members of LiLaC have particular methodological strengths in: mixed-method intervention research and evaluation of the equity impact of natural policy experiments; engagement with policy and practice to ensure policy relevance; and active involvement of the public.

The SPHR post-doctoral launching fellow will be based at either Lancaster or Liverpool University, depending on the research area and their interests, and have opportunities to collaborate across the two universities and with the other SPHR members. They will join a community of PhD students and post-doctoral researchers working on SPHR programmes.

Examples include:

  • Evaluating community empowerment approaches and place-based interventions to tackle socioeconomic inequalities in health;
  • Evaluating the equity impact of natural policy experiments at local authority level (e.g., comparing different LA investment strategies) and national policies implemented locally (e.g., welfare reforms, income and employment);
  • Designing better systems to improve child health and reduce inequalities at a local level;
    • Examining the drivers of inequalities in mental health and life experiences for young people and exploring the implications for preventive interventions to improve their life chances;
    • Economic and epidemiological modelling of the effects of structural policies, such as food taxes and regulations, on the behaviour of the food industry and the public;
    • Co-production with residents of disadvantaged areas of the evidence/learning generated in
    LiLaC’s research to support policy and practice approaches aiming to increase the control that communities have over decisions that affect them.

While attached to one or more SPHR projects led by LiLaC, the post-doctoral fellow will be offered support to publish papers from their PhD and to develop an externally-funded fellowship or grant application in applied public health research. Specific training will be available around co-production of research with the public, policy-makers and practitioners and the range of novel methodological approaches that LiLaC specialises in.

SPHR research areas

All four of SPHR programmes: Children, young people & families; Healthy Places Healthy Planet, Public mental Health and Health Inequalities as well as cross-cutting themes around COVID recovery.

Potential SPHR supervisors

In Lancaster:
Professor Bruce Hollingsworth, Professor Ceu Mateus, Professor Heather Brown, Dr Katharina Janke (health economics)

Professor Jennie Popay, Dr Emma Halliday (place based interventions, Spatial stigma, community participation, collective action)

Dr Mark Limmer, Dr Alex Kaley & Dr Laura Goodwin Public mental health

Professor Karen Broadhurst Children and families, social justice

Professor Leon Cruickshank (place and health, design and health, community participation)

In Liverpool:
Dr Ciara Kierans (ethnography place-based interventions)
Dr Chris Kypridemos (modelling)
Professor Sarah Rodgers & Professor Ben Barr (natural policy experiments)
Professor David Taylor-Robinson, Dr Rebecca Geary, Dr Rachel Loopstra, Dr Sophie Wickham (child health inequalities)

Professor Rhiannon Corcoran (public mental health and well-being)

Dr Daniela Schlueter (longitudinal statistics investigating child health inequalities, observational routine data)

Contact details

For Lancaster: Professor Jennie Popay on
For Liverpool: Professor David Taylor-Robinson on

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is renowned for its research, postgraduate studies and continuing education in public and global health. Our mission is to improve health and health equity in the UK and worldwide; working in partnership to achieve excellence in public and global health research, education and translation of knowledge into policy and practice.

In the US News Best Global Universities Ranking 2021, we ranked 3rd in the world for public, environmental & occupational health. LSHTM was named University of the Year 2016 by Times Higher Education and awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2017 and 2021 in recognition of our response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.

Our SPHR3@LSHTM programme builds on our internationally recognised scientific track-record and expertise in the application of place-based environmental and systems approaches to the prevention of poor health. In SPHR 3 our strategic focus will be on Healthy Places & Sustainable Systems. Under this theme we will initially work in four priority areas (i) Healthy & Sustainable Food Systems, (ii) Place-based Policies & Interventions (iii) Commercial Influences on Health (iv) Evidence Cultures, Policy & Practice.

We seek to foster and sustain a creative and supportive working environment based upon an ethos of respect and rigorous scientific enquiry. We embrace and value the diversity of our staff and student population and seek to promote equality as an essential element in contribution to improving health worldwide.

Candidates appointed to LSHTM through this scheme would sit within LSHTM’s Faculty of Public Health and Policy. We are looking for excellent candidates with knowledge of, and interest in, applied public health research.

Successful post-doctoral fellows would become part of our friendly and supportive SPHR team that includes world leading public health researchers. Fellows are invited to develop a research plan that fits their interest, in collaboration with supervisors as well as our public and practice partners. The plan should link into the research areas listed below and could build on existing work being conducted at LSHTM as part of SPHR. Fellows will be encouraged to widen their skill base through access to training provided by LSHTM, SPHR and other sources. Fellows will also be supported to develop one or more proposals to form the basis of future funding applications.

SPHR research areas

As mentioned above, in SPHR 3 our strategic focus will be on Healthy Places & Sustainable Systems. We are likely to focus on local-level public health (outside the health sector) affecting social determinants of population health and health inequalities. We work with practitioners and public to generate evidence to inform local and national level decision-making.

Specific topic areas we would consider include (not an exhaustive list) include: food, alcohol, transport, housing, commercial determinants of health, environment, sustainability, evidence-use and local strategies to reduce health inequalities. We are interested in public health evaluation more broadly.

Methodological areas of interests include incorporating systems thinking and complexity science into public health evaluation. We would be interested in applicants with qualitative, quantitative and modelling skills. We would actively consider applicants from non-public health disciplines, or people working in practice, or people already working or studying within a public health research field.

Potential SPHR supervisors

Professor Steven Cummins is Professor of Population Health and has expertise in the social, economic and environmental system drivers of population health. He has expertise in diet and physical activity, obesity prevention, and the evaluation of social and environmental interventions.

Professor Matt Egan brings experience in social science, stakeholder engagement and public involvement to the team. He will also lead on mixed methods evaluations including process and systems evaluations.

Professor Karen Lock holds an honorary public health consultant post at OHID and provides links to the public health infrastructure locally, regionally and nationally. Her research interests focus on evaluation of local policies that influence social, political and commercial determinants of health, in particular evaluation of local government place-based public health policies.

Professor Mark Petticrew has expertise in evidence synthesis in public health, and the evaluation of complex public health and social interventions. He has led research on the application of systems thinking to public health evaluations, including commercial determinants of health.

Dr Laura Cornelsen is Associate Professor of Public Health Economics, bringing expertise in health economics. She has a long track record in analysing consumer behaviour and its effects on public health and uses econometric methods applied to large scale commercial data on food and beverage purchases to analyse unhealthy diets and understand effects of fiscal policies.

Professor Annette Boaz is Professor of Health & Social Care Policy with expertise in evidence and translation, stakeholder involvement and partnerships in research.

Professor Chris Bonell is Professor of Public Health Sociology. His work is focused on improving adolescent health, social and emotional wellbeing in young people, sexual health, realist evaluation methodology and trials, especially in educational settings.

Professor Antonio Gasparrini is Professor of Biostatics and Epidemiology and he provides expertise in the development of time series methods, quasi-experimental studies. Current research focuses on development of novel study designs for individual and small-area analyses, spatio-temporal modelling of environmental exposures, and health impacts of air pollution and climate change.

Professor Cecile Knai is Professor of Public Health Policy with a background in public health nutrition. She has a research focus on the commercial determinants of health and voluntary agreements in public health policy.

Dr Dalya Marks is Associate Professor of Public Health and has extensive experience of working with the public health infrastructure in London. She has a particular interest in integrating public health research into practice and ensuring that research is of relevance to policy makers.

Dr Kathryn Oliver is Associate Professor of Sociology & Public Health. Interests include how scientific knowledge and expertise are constructed and used in public health, structure and function of policy networks, adverse effects of social interventions, research impact and science policy.

Dr Rosemary Green is Associate Professor of Sustainability, Nutrition & Health with interests in the relationships between diets, the environment and health.

Supporting researchers: Dr Nason Maani (commercial influences), Dr Emilie Courtin (social/educational interventions, quasi-experiments), Dr Rebecca Glover (mixed methods, AMR), Dr Pauline Scheelbeek (food systems, climate change).

Contact details

Professor Steven Cummins:

Programme manager: Mirela Andreeva –

PHRESH (Universities of Birmingham, Warwick and Keele collaboration)

The PHRESH Consortium is a new member of SPHR, bringing together a unique interdisciplinary group of leading researchers from three major universities in the West Midlands (Birmingham, Warwick and Keele) to address public health research challenges and support training for a new cadre of public health academics. Our consortium has membership with all three NIHR Research Schools (Public Health, Primary Care and Social Care Research) and has close links with the West Midlands ARC – providing excellent opportunities for cross-NIHR collaboration. We work in a region with a relatively highly deprived, superdiverse and high ethnic mix population, and geographic diversity, containing the largest UK urban conurbation after Greater London. This, together with our links with community, practice and policy groups, allows us to undertake transformative public health research, informed by, and with our local communities.

Our network of researchers represent a range of professional and disciplinary backgrounds spanning sciences, economics, education, geography and business, and are each linked to wider teams actively engaged in applied public health research and capacity building. We have a strong track record of conducting primary, secondary and methodological research using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, to understand and address pressing public health issues and contribute to reducing health inequalities.

Launching fellows will be based at one of our universities and will have the opportunity to develop their research interests by collaborating with researchers across the consortium, and within SPHR. Each university has established facilities and infrastructure to support flexible and blended training. Our fellows will be part of a vibrant research environment, with access to a range of research training modules and practical skills courses tailored to their needs and their specific area of research. They will be encouraged to attend and contribute to departmental seminars and journal club meetings. In addition to informal training through supervision by a team of leading academics, our fellows will be offered academic mentorship and are able to attend formal courses to support grant writing, PhD supervision skills and research leadership. There will also be opportunities for generic training and skills development, networking and academic presentation, training on public and stakeholder involvement, as well as careers, employability and wellbeing advice.

SPHR research areas

Fellows will have the opportunity to develop their own research training programme, aligned with the SPHR research themes. Although projects have not yet started, PHRESH is likely to contribute to all themes. Examples of relevant research and potential advisors include:

Public Mental Health

  • School based interventions to promote child wellbeing (digital interventions: Dr Victoria Goodyear, mental health promotion: Professor Hareth Al-Janabi, intellectual and developmental disabilities: Professors Richard Hastings, Kylie Gray), school interventions to prevent bullying (Professor Matthew Broome)
  • Violence and abuse prevention (Professor Julie Taylor, Dr Joht Chandan)
  • Public mental health in adults (smoking and addictive behaviours: Dr Amanda Farley, early detection: Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham, early detection and prevention of psychosis: Professor Matthew Broome)

Children, young people and families

  • Obesity prevention and nutrition (school food, school policy interventions & early years: Professor Miranda Pallan, school-based diet and physical activity interventions: Professor Peymane Adab, evidence review methods: Dr Lena Al-Khudairy)
  • Community based breastfeeding promotion interventions (Professor Kate Jolly)
  • Economics of obesity (Professor Emma Frew, lead for Centre for Economics of Obesity)
  • Promoting safer, healthier, accessible environments for children (Professor Peter Kraftl)

Health inequalities

  • Promoting physical activity in diverse/deprived UK communities (Professor Afroditi Stathi)
  • Interventions targeting underserved groups (children with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Professors Richard Hastings, Kylie Gray; minority ethnic groups: Professor Miranda Pallan, Professor Kate Jolly)
  • Multidisciplinary abuse prevention interventions (Dr Joht Chandan)
  • Community-based interventions to maintain physical and mental health in older people (Professor Afroditi Stathi)

Healthy planet, healthy places

  • Workforce health promotion interventions (disability prevention: Dr Gwenllian Wynne-Jones, behaviour change support in workplace wellbeing: Dr Laura Kudrna, Dr Ross Wilkie, healthy lifestyle for the ageing workforce: Professor Afroditi Stathi)
  • Food systems research (Professor Emma Frew, Professor Thijs Van Rens)
  • Air quality improvement and carbon reduction interventions (Dr Suzanne Bartington)

Theory and methodological research:

Predictive prevention research (Professor Kelvin Jordan)

Health economics (Professor Emma Frew)

Economist (Professor Thijs Van Rens)

Biostatistics research methods (Professor Karla Hemming, Dr Alice Sitch)

Phenomenology, lived experience, co-production (Professor Matthew Broome)

Potential supervisors and contact

We welcome any potential applicants who would like to pursue a public health research career and have interests aligned broadly with the above themes, to contact us.

Please contact potential advisors (those named above against themes) prior to completing your application to discuss suitability and fit of your research ideas within SPHR. For other research related queries, including advice on potential advisors, please contact:

Professor Sian Taylor-Phillips (training lead) –

Professor Peymane Adab (PHRESH lead) –

Further information

Research projects are still in development and not all researchers named above may be involved in SPHR projects. Similarly, other researchers within PHRESH who are not named above can also act as advisors.

University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield was established with the aim of improving the wellbeing of our local population. Our Sheffield Centre for Health & Related Research (SCHARR) is based in the Division of Population Health, a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of of over 300 staff involved in public health and health service research and over 100 postgraduate research students , within the School of Medicine & Population Health.

We work collaboratively to conduct world-class research, training and knowledge translation across a range of public health and related issues. Our core mission is to work with policy-makers and practitioners to deliver research which improves the health of the population and tackles inequality. ScHARR is renowned for its wealth of methodological and topic expertise, with a track record of major research programmes in health inequalities, evidence synthesis and knowledge mobilisation, economic modelling and evaluation, alcohol, diet and physical activity, and mental health. We bring a unique perspective from working in a city with diverse communities and stark health inequalities. Regionally, our work extends across both the Yorkshire and Humber and the East Midlands, covering a wide spectrum of urban and rural populations, from the affluent to the very deprived.

As a diverse and friendly department, we also offer an excellent training environment, with access to a wide range of both generic and individualised research skills training and career development opportunities, depending on the needs and career aspirations of our staff. Much of our research is undertaken in collaboration with practitioner and community partners. We have well established collaborations with public health practice colleagues across local government, the NHS, third sector and Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. Professor Liddy Goyder is both the Sheffield lead for SPHR and academic lead for the Yorkshire & Humber Practice & Research Collaborative (PaRC) which supports collaborative research programmes and knowledge mobilisation across the region. We are a partner in the City of Doncaster Council. Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC), and work closely with local authorities regionally and nationally on co-produced research and evaluation projects.

These fellowships offer a unique opportunity for a post-doctoral researcher to develop their own programme and develop high quality applications for future funding through fellowship and grant applications during the course of their fellowship. Training and support will be available from SPHR partners and the NIHR Academy, as well as through access to all the training and support provided for Early Career Researchers at the University of Sheffield. We encourage all our staff to take advantage our strong cross-faculty and cross-institution links to build their own collaborations and research networks.

Fellows will be supported to undertake the preparatory and pilot work needed for future grant and fellowship applications, and will have access to support and training specifically for public involvement and knowledge mobilisation. As well as having opportunities to collaborate on research projects and proposals with SPHR colleagues and other public health researchers, fellows will be encouraged develop their writing for publication and acquire skills in new and innovative methodological approaches, as well as in knowledge translation and public engagement skills.

Training and experience will be provided in coproduction of research with practitioners and communities. Fellows will be able to negotiate a relevant practice-based placement to support their research development plans and develop collaborations with a relevant organisation. We have experience from a wide range of successful and productive placements in diverse settings which range from local authorities and community organisations to other organisations with a public health role (e.g., providers of leisure facilities, transport or housing, police and fire and rescue services, or third sector community-based organisations).

 SPHR research areas

We are able to offer fellowships related to all the School’s programmes and themes and we would particularly welcome applications in the areas of:

Public mental health: Applicants with an interest in the design, evaluation and systematic appraisal of interventions to improve the mental health and wellbeing of populations are welcomed. We welcome applicants with an interest in developing and evaluating interventions to prevent mental illness or to reduce its impact at the population level, particularly in ways that address complex interactions between people, places or wider health-related behaviours.

Children, young people and families: Applications demonstrating a commitment to coproducing research that ensures diversity and inclusion and addresses inequalities are encouraged. Applicants are welcomed who might be working to mobilise participatory methods with diverse stakeholders to tackle complex social challenges that particularly affect children, young people and families. We also welcome applicants interested in using quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods to explore changes in young people’s health-related practices and the intersections between these practices.

Health inequalities: Applicants working to extend current formulations of health inequalities through an intersectionality lens – particularly in relation to gender, ethnicity and class – are encouraged, as are those working to understand the multidimensionality and/or life-course nature of inequality and health inequalities through the application of novel conceptual and methodological tools. Applicants with interests in the application of social theory, mixed methods and participatory approaches to the design and evaluation of policies and initiatives to address health inequalities, particularly in the context of Covid-19 recovery, are also welcomed.

Healthy places, healthy planet: Applicants with an interest in exploring commercial determinants of health at a local level using detailed market research data are welcomed. This includes applicants interested in exploring the impact of policies and interventions on the interactions between multiple (healthy and unhealthy behaviours), and the related impacts on health inequalities. We also welcome applicants interested in community engagement and participatory research, who would have opportunities to work with the diverse local communities with which we have ongoing collaborative research partnerships.

Innovative methods in public health research: We welcome applicants interested in community-based participatory approaches and creative methods for engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders

Economic evaluation and Equitable & efficient public health systems: Applicants with a background or interest in economics and public health modelling are encouraged. They would have the opportunity to benefit from the bespoke training and research opportunities in the area of public health economic modelling applied to all of the topics above.

Interested candidates are strongly urged to contact theme leads and/or proposed supervisors to discuss their proposed programme of research before submitting an application.

Potential SPHR supervisors

If you are interested in working with our SPHR research teams, please do feel free to make informal enquiries with contacts in your areas of interest:

Lead contact: Prof Liddy Goyder

Children, young people & families: Dr Hannah Fairbrother
Public mental health: Professor Scott Weich
Healthy Place, Healthy Planet: Professor John Holmes
Health Inequalities: Professor Sarah Salway.

Contact details

For general enquiries, or to identify the most appropriate contacts to discuss specific research interests, please contact the Sheffield lead for SPHR: Prof Liddy Goyder (

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