Strategic areas and themes

We have a strong track record in delivering a wide range of public health applied research.

Community development and public involvement

Community development combines community-based activity and social work, initiated at grassroots level to shape and determine social action and change. Driven by a set of core principles, specific skills and a knowledge base covering human rights, social inclusion, equality and diversity, community development builds capacity and resources.  The aim is to bring community groups, organisations and networks together with institutions and agencies (public, private and non-governmental) in dialogue with the public.

We recognise political, ideological and philosophical dimensions of public health all have relevance to understanding and interpreting the global, national and local contexts

Theme Lead: Mr Matthew Jones

Epidemiology complex intervention and evidence

Analysing large datasets, developing evidence-based tools, health economics and complex evaluation are all areas of demonstrable experience and expertise. Evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions is critical to evidence-based practice, commissioning and policy. Our team brings together epidemiologists and health economists, who have strong links with real world public health. We have experience of conducting trials and working with stakeholders and expertise in all forms of economic analyses. This includes cost-savings, cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and cost-consequences to the NHS, the public sector and to society as a whole (Social Return on Investment).

Theme Lead: Dr Issy Bray

Healthy and sustainable environments

Taking a socio-ecological approach to public health, research in this theme centres on how changes in the social and physical environment change behaviour and impact on health and wellbeing in community populations. We have expertise in the relationship between the built environment and health, particularly issues relating to safety and activity and spatial planning (better consideration of health in the planning process).

Theme Lead: Dr Paul Pilkington

Health and wellbeing

Historically, the study of social science and medicine has been very influential in the development of public health and wellbeing research, policy and practice. Research under this theme considers how inequalities and disadvantage influence health and wellbeing in society. This theme includes the health and wellbeing pathway of the Economic & Social Research Council South West Doctoral Training Programme.

Theme Lead: Dr Stuart McClean

Workforce development

Development of the multidisciplinary public health workforce regionally, nationally and internationally is our priority. We advance knowledge and skills through a suite of programmes to inspire change in the public health workforce and transform futures. David Evans has recently been appointed a director and trustee of the UK Public Health Register, the independent regulator for multidisciplinary public health specialists and practitioners in the UK.

Theme Lead: Professor David Evans


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