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Research Profile

Ms Rachel Brown 

Position:PhD Student
School:Social Sciences


My name is Rachel Brown. I’m 38 years old and live in Newport with my partner, cat, dog and chickens. I completed my undergraduate degree in 1997 in psychology and I am currently undertaking a PhD within DECIPHer. I worked in drug and alcohol services in Cardiff for many years, both in the voluntary and statutory sectors, and during this time I completed a higher education diploma in Health and Social Care with the Open University.  Prior to returning to full-time study I  worked for NUS Wales on a research project relating to student alcohol consumption. This involved the development of a guidance package, ‘The Alcohol in Higher Education Toolkit’, which has now been disseminated to all HE sites in Wales by Welsh Government. I am also a member of the Healthy HE/FE task and finish group, which is currently working on guidance for all post-16 education sites in Wales on student health and well-being.

Research Interests

My research interests lie in understanding the interaction of people and environments and how settings contribute to health behaviour. I am interested in how different stakeholders within a setting perceive health issues, specifically substance use, and the lack of shared language between those tasked with developing responses and those the responses are aimed at. I want to understand how potential lack of shared goals inhibits behaviour change, with a view to improving implementation of multi-level interventions in the future.

PhD Topic - Alcohol use and new university students: a mixed-methods institutional analysis

Supervisors – Dr Simon Murphy, Dr Adam Fletcher