Dr James White

Dr James White

Senior Lecturer in Public Health

+44 (0)29 2068 7054
Neuadd Meirionnydd


I am a Senior Lecturer based at DECIPHer (Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Public Health Interventions) a UK CRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence, and the Deputy Director of Population Health Trials in the Centre for Trials Research which are located in Cardiff University. The focus of my research is to understand how social, psychological, biological, behavioural and genetic factors from across the life course, influence behaviours which effect health and chronic diseases of major public health importance: cardiovascular disease and mental illness. The ultimate aim of this body of research is disease prevention.

Over the past five years I have won in excess of £7.5 million in competitive grant funding.

Current projects

Selected past projects

I am a co-investigator on two Cochrane reviews evaluating interventions to reduce multiple risk behaviours during adolescence, and alcohol, tobacco and drug use in adolescence to identify effective methods for population-level public health improvement.

Education and qualifications

  • Higher Education Academy Fellow, Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching and Learning, Cardiff University
  • Leadership and Management Development Programme for Research Team Leaders, Cardiff University.
  • PhD in “Development of Negative Body Image and Disordered Eating during Adolescence”
  • MSc in Social Science Research Methods
  • BSc in Psychology (Hons)

Honours and awards

  • The Seymour Fisher Outstanding Body Image Dissertation Award

External Activities

  • Reviewer for NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme
  • Reviewer for NIHR Public Health Research Programme
  • Reviewer for the MRC Joint Global Health Trials scheme
  • Reviewer for the MRC Population Health Scientist Fellowship scheme
  • Reviewer for the MRC Skills Development Fellowship scheme
  • Reviewer for the ESRC standard grants scheme
  • Reviewer for Cancer Research UK

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Committees and reviewing

  • Invited member of Public Health Wales Obesity, Diet and Nutrition Expert Advisory Group


  • BSc Intercalated Clinical Epidemiology
  • Module leader for Research Methods 2 (Advanced research methods);
  • 5/6 Year MB BCh (Medical undergraduate) curriculum:
  • Health & Society Panel (Epidemiology & Public Health) year 2;
  • Health & Society Panel (Epidemiology & Public Health) year 3;
  • Academic mentor (Year 2 students)


  • Master’s in Public Health (MPH): Assessor on Epidemiology and Statistical Methodology modules;
  • Master’s in Public Health (MPH): Dissertation supervision.

PhD students

I currently have four PhD students:

  • Luke Midgely, "Development of a new school-based intervention to prevent youth alcohol, tobacco and drug use" (ESRC)
  • Rhiannon Yapp, "Peer moderating and mediating effects upon parent-child relationships, school connectedness and adolescent substance use" (MRC)
  • Harriet Quinn Scoggins, "Development and feasibility testing of a school-based programme to prevent childhood burns" (Healing Foundation)
  • Kaiseree Dias, "Increasing physical activity in pre-school aged children: systematic review, individual participant meta-analysis and intervention pilot." (GW4 Studentship)

External courses

  • DECIPHer short course - Evaluating Complex Public Health Interventions.
  • Canadian Institute for Collaborative Learning Institute in Evaluation.
  • Welsh Government training for Assembly Ministers on natural experiments.

Current research interests

  • Epidemiology of risk behaviours
  • Aetiology, prevention of drug use in adolescence
  • Design and evaluation of school-based public health prevention interventions
  • The rigorous evaluation of complex interventions, in particular the use of natural experiments and cluster randomised trials;
  • Mental health as a risk factor for somatic disease
  • Neighbourhood effects on mental health
  • IQ and health
  • Development of cardiovascular risk factors in childhood adolescence
  • Socioeconomic differentials in health
  • Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

External profiles