Professor Jane South, Professor

Professor Jane South


Jane is Professor of Healthy Communities working in the field of community engagement and public health. Her research focuses on how community life and volunteering contribute to good health.

As an academic leader, Jane has been at the forefront of establishing an evidence base for integrating community-centred approaches into public health. She has published widely on community-based prevention and is an expert on volunteer and peer interventions. From 2014-2023, she worked as a national adviser on communities for Public Health England (later the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities). She authored the PHE & NHS England (2015) Guide to community centred approaches for health and wellbeing, which has had considerable impact in policy and practice.

Passionate about research that makes a difference, Jane established CommUNIty - an innovative community-campus partnership for health initiative aimed at strengthening university links with local communities. She is also a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health.

Current Teaching

Jane teaches on the MSc Public Health - Health Promotion course. She also supervises a number of PhD and Masters students.

Research Interests

Jane leads a research theme on Healthy Communities in the Centre for Health Promotion Research. Highlights from a wide ranging portfolio of research include leading two NIHR funded studies on lay and peer roles, a national evaluation of the Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund, a review on community resilience measurement for WHO Regional Office for Europe and a multi-site study of asset based community development. Her innovative methodological work on practice-based case studies has been incorporated into guidance by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. More recently, she has led research on COVID community champions to support the pandemic response.

Overall, Jane’s track record demonstrates a commitment to public engagement in research, with extensive experience of using qualitative and participatory methods.

Professor Jane South, Professor

Ask Me About

  1. Community
  2. Covid-19
  3. Health
  4. Public health
  5. Volunteering

Selected Outputs

  • South J (2022) Co-production - a public health perspective. In: Co-production Approaches to Improve Public Health’ RSPH and Behavioural Science and Public Health Network (BSPHN) conference, Virtual conference.

  • Stansfield J; MacNally L; McKane G; South J (2022) The role of community champions in emergency response and recovery. In: Communities Prepared National Group Webinar.

  • South J (2022) Community Matters: using community-centred approaches for health equity. In: Health Promotion Conference: “Health Inequity: Action for Change”., NUI Galway, Ireland.

  • South J (2021) Esperienze inglesi di community building. In: Welfare e partecipazione, University of Parma, Italy.

  • South J (2021) COVID: “Provocative ideas” for community resilience. In: The 2021 Community Development Society Virtual Conference, ‘Global challenges, Local resilience, 12 July 2021 - 15 July 2021, Dakota, United States.

  • South J; Woodall J; Kinsella K; Dixey R; Penson B; de Viggiani N (2012) Peers in Prison Settings (PiPS) Expert Symposium.

    View Repository Record

  • South J; Abdallah S; Bagnall A; Curtis S; Newton R; Pennington A; Corcoran R (2017) Building community wellbeing: a theory of change [Online]

    Available from:

  • South J; White J; Gamsu M (2012) People-centred Public Health. Policy Press.

  • Green J; South J (2006) Evaluation. Open University Press.