Featured post

Welcome to PHIRN

The aim of PHIRN is to increase the quantity and quality of public health improvement research that is relevant to policy and practice.

We aim to achieve this by increasing the number of natural experiments within the roll-out of new initiatives; developing high quality collaborative research proposals for research grant funding; developing high quality collaborative research proposals linked to emerging initiatives; and developing a critical mass of specialised methodological capacity in the design and conduct of community based trials of complex interventions.

Supported by: Cardiff University, Welsh Government and National Institute of Social Care and Health Research.


The 1st International Conference on Realist Approaches to Evaluation and Synthesis: Successes, Challenges, and the Road Ahead

Date: 27th – 30th October 2014
Location: Liverpool, UK

Abstract submission: 15th May 2014

The newly established Centre for Advancement of Realist Evaluation and Synthesis (CARES) at the University of Liverpool is pleased to announce the 1st international conference on realist approaches to health and social science research, to be held from October 27th – 30th, 2014 in Liverpool, UK. The CARES conference will be a timely event to support networking, information sharing and training in the burgeoning areas of realist inquiry.

The conference theme “Successes, Challenges and the Road Ahead” reflects the growing interest in realist approaches and the need to advance the methodology and facilitate its application across an expanded array of research areas. As the methodology gains prominence in the health and social sciences, efforts are also needed to maintain clarity about what the aims are, the underlying principles, and the logic of the approach. This is an emergent field that can be greatly advanced through dialogue, discussion, practical examples and insights!

Registration will open shortly for the conference and further information is available here.

The call for abstracts is open and you are invited to share your knowledge, wisdom and experience in putting the methodology into practice. The CARES conference will be an inclusive learning environment where your experiences, challenges, successes and questions are equally valued.

To submit an abstract please click here.

Increasing the impact of health research through policy engagement

Date: Monday 30th June 2014, 2pm-4pm
Venue: E29, Medical science building, University walk, University of Bristol, Bristol

The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research in collaboration with Policy Bristol is partnering with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and the Houses of Parliament Outreach Service to deliver a training event around the best ways to increase the impact of health research through policy engagement. Engaging with parliamentarians and policy makers in an important way of raising awareness of health research findings at the highest level of decision-making.  The session will bring academics, clinicians and patients together with staff from the Houses of Parliament to discuss how research can influence government policies. The session is geared primarily for researchers in health-related fields, but will have relevance beyond medical sciences. Speakers will include staff from a Select CommitteeParliamentary OutreachPOST Biological Sciences and Health and the Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (TARG) at the University of Bristol. The agenda will include practical information on:

  • Engaging with Parliament and pathways to informing health policy (Liz Price, Regional Outreach Officer for South West and Wales, Parliamentary Outreach).
  • The use of research papers in briefing notes and events that inform members of Parliament (Sarah Bunn, Scientific Adviser for Biological Sciences and Health, POST).
  • What Select Committees are and how they are they used in scrutinising the work of Government departments through the use of research and evidence (tbc).
  • How TARG engaged with the Behavioural Insights Team, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health and POST to inform policy on plain packaging for tobacco products (Marcus Munafo, Professor of Biological Psychology and TARG Director).

For more information about the event Contact Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research at the University of Bristol or to register please click here.

Launch event: What Works Centre Wales

Date: Tuesday 15th April 2014
Venue: Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay

Public Policy Institute for Wales are delighted to announce the launch event for the What Works Centre Wales in Cardiff on 15th April.

The What Works Centre Wales is a part of the Public Policy Institute for Wales and has two roles:

1.  It provides a direct a link between Wales and the UK wide What Works initiative – advising What Works Centres on Welsh policy priorities and ensuring that findings from their research are fed back to Welsh policy makers and practitioners.

2.  It will coordinate a programme of research on what works in tackling poverty – funded by the ESRC, the research will help inform policy and practice in Wales and across the UK as a whole.

Speakers at the launch include:

  • Julia Unwin (Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation) who will address the importance of learning across the UK
  • A member of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission
  • Maureen Howell (Deputy Director of the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Division)

To book a place RSVP to Suzanne Morse (MorseS2@cardiff.ac.uk) or call 029 2087 5345

Funding Call and briefing session: What Works in Tackling Poverty

Briefing session: 9.30am-12pm, 8th April 2014
Deadline for applications: 4pm, 24th April 2014

The ESRC and the Public Policy Institute for Wales invite proposals for research on what works in tackling poverty from eligible research organisations across the UK.

The duration of the ESRC’s core support for individual grants will be 24 months. The maximum amount available for individual grants is £250,000 at 100 per cent of full economic cost (fEC), of which the ESRC will pay up to 80 per cent. It is expected that between three and five projects will be funded.

Application process

Applications must be submitted via the Research Council Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System, no later than 16.00, 24 April 2014.

Further information

The Public Policy Institute for Wales will host a briefing for prospective applicants and other stakeholders 9.30-12.00, 8 April 2014. The purpose of the meeting will be to provide information on this call and the wider What Works initiative, to address any questions that prospective applicants may have, and to provide a networking opportunity for interested parties from the research, policy and practice communities. Speakers include Ian Farnden (ESRC), Steve Martin (Public Policy Institute for Wales) and Dr. Beverley Morgan (Director, Tackling Poverty Division, Welsh Government).  Participation in the meeting is not mandatory for the submission of proposals to this call.  Presentations and a summary of questions and answers will be published on the ESRC website following the meeting.

The meeting will be held at:

Cardiff University
Committee Room 1
Glamorgan Building
King Edward VII Avenue
CF10 3WT

It will be necessary to register to attend the meeting.  For details please contact:

Suzanne Morse
Telephone: 029 2087 5345
Email: morses2@cardiff.ac.uk

For further information about the call, contact:

Professor Steve Martin
Telephone: 029 2087 5345
Email:  martinsj@cardiff.ac.uk

Smokefree Hospitals Seminar

Date: 16th April 2014, 9am-1pm
Venue: Village Hotel, Cardiff

As part of the ‘Live Well, Work Well’ project in partnership with Sustrans Cymru, BHF Cymru and MIND Cymru, ASH Wales is organising a free seminar on smokefree hospitals.

All hospitals in Wales have voluntary smoking bans on their premises however these bans are not always easy to enforce. Recent NICE guidance on Smoking Cessation and Secondary care emphasises the importance of smokefree hospital premises and the need for national level support.

This seminar will look at solutions to the problem of enforcing voluntary bans on NHS Wales premises and look at where the support is most needed. We will have expert speakers from other parts of the UK on best practice, and on supporting staff to enforce these bans.

Please see the draft programme.

If you want to attend this event please contact ASH Wales.

Call now open – Applications for ESRC Festival of Science

Event date: 1st-8th November 2014
Submission deadlines: 9th & 16th May 2014

The call for applications to hold events as part of the 2014 ESRC Festival of Social Science is now open.  This year the Festival will run from 1-8 November across the UK.

The ESRC are encouraging investments with ESRC funding to apply to hold an event. The application deadlines are:

  • Sponsorship applications – 16.00 on Friday 9th May
  • Non-sponsored applications – 16.00 on Friday 16th May

Applications for events which target a non-academic audience including young people, third sector, the public, business or government are welcomed.  Organisations external to the ESRC are welcome to apply for support and to participate in the Festival.

Full details of the call, including applicant guidelines, online application forms and event organiser terms and conditions are available on the Festival website.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the team at esrcfestival@esrc.ac.uk.

Abstract call for Public Health Science: A National Conference Dedicated to New Research in UK Public Health

Event Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014
Abstract submission deadline: Friday 27th June 2014

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London, the European Public Health Association, and The Lancet invite abstract submissions for Public Health Science: A National Conference Dedicated to New Research in UK Public Health.

Now in its third year, this multidisciplinary event showcases exceptional talent in the UK public health research community from early career researchers through to senior academics. This year the event will be held in association with the European Public Health Association in Glasgow, UK. Work completed outside the UK can be submitted to the conference; however, abstracts relevant to UK public health science will be prioritised.

The core of the event will consist of submitted papers, and will conclude with keynote presentations from leaders in public health. The peer-reviewed abstracts will be published by The Lancet, online and in a conference booklet. Abstracts can be submitted under any of the following three themes:

  • creativity and innovation in public health science;
  • new methodological approaches to public health science;
  • and implementing public health science in policy and practice.

Further details on the programme for the day and topics can be found on the conference website.

Abstracts should be a maximum of 300 words, be written in English, and contain no references, tables, or figures. Submissions should include the following sections: background (including context and aim); methods; findings; and interpretation. Please also include a non-declamatory title (including a study descriptor—eg, randomised controlled trial); names, titles, highest degrees, and affiliations of authors; postal and email addresses for the corresponding author; any funding received (if none, please state this); and a brief summary of the contributions of each author and any competing interests. Guidelines are available on The Lancet’s website. Reports of randomised trials should follow the CONSORT extension for abstracts.Please submit your abstract as a Microsoft Word document to The Lancet’s online submission system, stating in your covering letter that the submission is for the Public Health Science conference, no later than 27th June, 2014. After the Lancet peer-review process, participants will be informed of acceptance of abstracts for oral or poster presentation by 27th August, 2014.

Teach Quantitative Research Methods? Attend this 2 day event

Date: Wednesday 30th April- Thursday 1st May 2014
Venue: Cardiff

The Nuffield/ESRC/HEFCE funded Q-step initiative aims to raise the profile of quantitative methods and analysis in the social sciences, throughout the UK, via 15 newly created Q step centres.  The School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University hosts the only Q-step centre for Wales, which will play a vital role in launching several new initiatives aimed at both post 16 education and HE.

30 April 2014 -  The first day will showcase New Zealand’s statistics curriculum and assessment design at Year 12 and 13 with some teaching approaches to the Year 13 statistical literacy standard and the Year 12 topic on risk.  Our speakers will discuss ways of embedding statistics within real-world scenarios and increase curriculum relevance as perceived by students.

1 May 2014 – Day two will focus on The University of Auckland’s first year ‘Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics’ course with university lecturers.  Our speakers will discuss ways of embedding statistics within real-world scenarios and increase curriculum relevance as perceived by students.

We are delighted to have two guest speakers Prof. Maxine Pfannkuch and Dr Stephanie Budgett (Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland, New Zealand) who will discuss ways of embedding statistics with real-world scenarios, using content specific examples as a form of extrinsic motivation.  Maxine was a secondary mathematics teacher before completing her PhD in statistics education on characterising statistical thinking.  She continues her research within this field at the secondary and undergraduate levels.  Stephanie completed a PhD in Statistics and Cardiology at Glasgow.  After moving to Auckland she took a position as a lecturer in statistics.  She has recently changed her research interests towards embedding and contextualising statistics, to explain sociological phenomena.

For more information please see the booking form.

If you are interested in attending this FREE two day event, please complete the attached booking form and return it to qstep@cardiff.ac.uk.

Evening seminar – ‘Some underground business selling junk food’: The unintended consequences of school food reforms.

Date: Tuesday 8th April
Location: Cardiff

‘Some underground business selling junk food’: The unintended consequences of school food reforms.

Dr. Adam Fletcher of Cardiff University School of Social Sciences presents evidence from two qualitative studies on the pervasive black markets in ‘junk’ food and energy drinks in English secondary schools. Ironically these emerged, in part, as an unintended consequence of policy decisions designed to improve children’s nutrition in schools.

To book your place please visit the SRA website

Call for abstracts – 5th EUSPR Conference

Event Date: 16-18 October 2014
Abstract Deadline: Friday 1st August 2014

The call for Abstracts for the Fifth EUSPR Conference and Members’ Meeting has just been announced. The conference is to be held in Palma, Majorca and will be focused on ‘Is an ounce of prevention still worth a pound of cure? The economics and value of prevention’.

Please visit http://euspr.org/fifth-euspr-conference/ to find out more, and to download the abstract submission form. Then registration and bookings for the conference and pre-conference workshops will open in June, but in the meantime please complete and submit your abstract forms.

The deadline for abstract submission is 1st August 2014.

A number of parallel sessions have been scheduled along with, a structured poster session, and a special session for Doctoral students and Early Career Researchers. There will also be three pre-conference workshops on 15 October 2014, which will first be opened to EUSPR and SPAN members at a reduced fee, and then to open registration. These workshops are convened in collaboration with the pan-EU Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN).

The workshop topics are:
1. Prevention economics – cost effectiveness, using economic data in decision making, methodologies;
2. Implementing evidence based policy and practice – implementing systems, resources, researcher/practitioner dialogues;
3. Optimising behavioural interventions, the MOST model https://methodology.psu.edu/ra/most

High quality proposals for workshops or themed parallel sessions to take place in the main conference programme are welcomed and if you wish to informally discuss your ideas then please click here to contact the ECSPR team.