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We are one of the leading academic institutions for health promotion research in the UK, commissioned to conduct research and evaluation by organisations such as NICE, Public Health England, NHS Health Scotland, Department of Health, Department for Transport and the NIHR as well as third sector organisations, like Hamara and the Jigsaw Visitors' Centre at HMP Leeds. As a discipline, health promotion is inherently broad and multi-disciplinary and staff research reflects this spectrum of activity.  Although not an exhaustive list, members of the team have a wide range of expertise in areas such as: community health and well-being; empowerment; gender and health promotion; workplace health and well-being; healthy schools; physical activity; the health promotion workforce; global health and health inequalities.  Moreover, staff have experience in supporting research that uses a wide range of methodological approaches, including participatory methods.

The Health Promotion team work closely with Health Together and CommUNIty, with both projects complementing the work of the Centre for Health Promotion Research 

Professor Rachael Dixey
Professor Jane South
Dr Louise Warwick-Booth
Dr James Woodall
Dr Anne-Marie Bagnall

Research Degrees
We offer a range of postgraduate research degrees, if you are interested in a research degree in this area please contact Dr James Woodall.  Some of our areas of expertise in which research degrees can be supervised in, include: 

Healthy Communities

One of the most important challenges for public health and health promotion is how to actively engage individuals and communities to give people greater control over their health and lives.  We have a programme of research, postgraduate education and public engagement on the themes of community health, active citizenship and volunteering which focuses on what communities can contribute to health and how participation can be stimulated and sustained.  Staff have expertise on topics including: volunteering in health and social care; peer education and peer support; community health workers, health trainers and health champions; asset-based approaches; models of citizen involvement in governance, planning, service delivery and evaluation and participatory research.


Research Degrees
We offer a range of postgraduate research degrees, if you are interested in a research degree in this area please contact Professor Jane South.  

Prisoners and Offender Health

Those within the criminal justice system face a disproportionate rate of ill health and because of this offender health has become a key priority for national and international agencies.  Staff in the Institute for Health and Wellbeing have established a portfolio of research and evaluation activity focussing on the offender population and have supervised both MRes and PhDs in this area.  Staff have particular expertise in peer interventions in prison settings; the policy drive toward a ‘healthy criminal justice system’; prison health from an international perspective; and the needs and support for offender’s families, including children.


Research Degrees
We offer a range of postgraduate research degrees, if you are interested in a research degree in this area please contact Dr James Woodall.  

Evidence synthesis methodology

Evidence synthesis can take many forms, from Cochrane-style systematic reviews and meta-analyses, to more flexible approaches such as mixed-methods systematic reviews, meta-ethnography, realist synthesis, reviews of reviews (meta-reviews), rapid reviews, and systematic mapping reviews.  Evidence synthesis is not limited to secondary “desk-based” research but can also involve primary research with a range of stakeholders. In the field of public health, existing synthesis methodology is rapidly evolving to include methods for evaluating complex interventions, process evaluations and effects on health inequalities (for example). We have a programme of research utilising different synthesis approaches to evaluate complex issues in health promotion and health inequalities. Staff have expertise in systematic reviews, meta-analysis, mixed-methods reviews, reviews of reviews and systematic mapping reviews.


Research Degrees
We offer a range of postgraduate research degrees, if you are interested in a research degree in this area please contact Dr Anne-Marie Bagnall.  

Women's Health

Gender matters because structural inequalities that girls are born into influences health outcomes and associated health inequalities. Staff within the Centre have expertise of research with vulnerable females including young women and adults, co-producing data to illustrate their experiences and subjective views in relation to the complexity of their lives and experiences. Staff have evaluated a range of gender-specific interventions that aim to improve the lives of women and promote improved health and well-being.