Research themes

An overview of our key research interests.

We have a strong track record of methodological expertise in social science research applied to health and delivering research with impact on health, wellness and wellbeing in community populations. 

Community development

Community development, community-based activity and social work, brings community groups, organisations and networks together with institutions and agencies (public, private and non-governmental) to shape social action and social change in dialogue with the public.

Theme lead: Dr Matthew Jones

Evaluation and evidence

The Centre has methodological expertise and skills in evaluation of health services and healthcare interventions, realist evaluation, participatory approaches, co-design, public involvement and engagement, conceptualising evidence for change in social and physical environments, developing evidence-based tools for application in practice, evidence synthesis, meta-ethnography, accessing, analysing and interpreting data and economic analysis.

Theme lead: Dr Issy Bray

Global health research

Research in this theme applies social science health and implementation research for impact on population health globally. To date, research funded by the NIHR Global Health Research Programme has been conducted in partnership with the Nepal Injury Prevention Centre at Kathmandu Medical College. There are two components: interdisciplinary learning for road danger reduction and exploring cultural and sociological factors that influence injury risk and prevention in Nepal.

Theme lead: Professor Julie Mytton

Healthy and sustainable environments

Research on how changes in the design of places modify risk, change behaviour and impact on health and wellbeing in community populations. Research takes a socio-ecological approach to place-making and prevention strategies in road danger reduction, community safety and integrating health in 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, wellness and wellbeing in society and how community enterprise and repurposed buildings might contribute to community, social and economic life.

Theme lead: Dr Stuart McClean

Public involvement and engagement

The Centre leads People in Health West of England, a UWE Bristol-led collaborative initiative on Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in research. It has strategic partnerships across the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) infrastructure, the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC West), the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), the Clinical Research Network West of England (CRN), the Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU), Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (BBRC) and Bristol Health Partners (BHP).

Theme lead: Dr Andy Gibson

Workforce development

Development of the multidisciplinary public health workforce regionally, nationally and internationally is our priority. We innovate and inspire change in the multidisciplinary public health workforce, widen participation and transform futures. We have strong links with the Faculty of Public Health, the School of Population Health and Transformation, Health Education England and 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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