Professor Adam Fletcher
Y Lab Academic Director
I'm a Professor in the School of Social Sciences and Academic Director of Y Lab, the Public Services Innovation Lab for Wales created by Cardiff University and Nesta in 2015. I lead Y Lab's research programme, which draws on a range of disciplines, including sociology, psychology and epidemiology, to study the patterns, causes and effects of innovation in public services. I'm also involved in the teaching and supervision of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students in the School of Social Sciences.
I joined the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University in October 2012 having previously worked at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (2005-2012) and in the Institute of Education’s Social Science Research Unit (2004-5). I’m an interdisciplinary social scientist with training in sociology and public health (PhD LSHTM), evaluation and social epidemiology (MSc Oxon), and social policy and political science (BSc LSE).
At undergraduate level, I'm involved in teaching social research methods, social policy, and the sociology of health and illness, as well as supervising and assessing final-year dissertations. I'm a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
My main research interests are public health improvement, public services innovation and how to increase the use of experimental designs in the social sciences. I have an international profile for my research on the social determinants of young people’s health and wellbeing, particularly the effects of schools on health outcomes. I currently lead Y Lab's research programme, which aims to support innovation and address complex social problems in Wales by studying the patterns, causes and effects of innovation in public services. I've also had a major influence on methodological debates about the use of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the social sciences, including through developing the concept of, and guidance on, ‘Realist RCTs’. I have been funded to undertake research by the UK Medical Research Council, the National Institute of Health Research, the Wellcome Trust, Harm Reduction International, Open Society Foundations, NICE, Welsh Government, and the City of Cardiff Council.