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Dr Rebecca Cannings-John

Dr Rebecca Cannings-John

Principal Research Fellow - Statistics

+44 (0)29 2068 7248
506, Neuadd Meirionnydd, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4YS
Welsh speaking
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Trials Research in Cardiff University.

My background is in Medical Statistics. I have extensive expertise in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of randomised trials and other well-designed studies. My research to date is focussed on the areas of child and maternal health, and also surrounding the use of antibiotics in primary care. I completed my PhD in 2013 on "Examining the inter-relationships between antibiotic prescribing, complications and resistance in acute respiratory tract infections".

At the national level, I lead the first randomised controlled trial conducted with homeless people in the UK, examining the effect of the housing of rough sleepers on COVID-19. I am also leading a “big data” study linking Social Care Wales data to Health datasets within the SAIL Databank to examine the health impacts of COVID-19 on domiciliary care workers. I am the statistical lead for two COVID-19 rapid response study examining the impact of the UK governments pandemic response to COVID-19 on cancer related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours. These studies on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are important in understanding the impact of the virus and governments pandemic response. They will help inform the national response to recovering from the pandemic and planning for additional waves of infection and new pandemics.

Using routine data, I lead an evaluation examining the health impacts of nurse visits to teenage mothers (Family Nurse Partnership Programme in Scotland), and am co-investigator on several routine data based studies to examine the impact of UTIs on cardiac events and on prophylactic antibiotic use for recurrent urinary tract infection.


Education and qualifications:

2006 - 2013: Cardiff University: PhD Examining the inter-relationship between antibiotic prescribing, complications and resistance in acute respiratory tract infections.

1996 - 1997: Southampton University: MSc. Statistics with Applications in Medicine. Dissertation “Time Trends in Cancer Mortality in England and Wales 1950-94”.

1993 - 1996: University of Wales College Cardiff: BSc.(hons) Pure Mathematics – Upper 2nd class honours

Career overview: 

Aug 2020 – July 22: Principal Research Fellow in Statistics, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University

Aug 2020 – July 21: Senior Research Fellow in Statistics, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University

Jan 2011 – July 19: Research Fellow in Statistics, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University

Jan 2006 – Mar 13: PhD Fellowship, Centre for Health Sciences Research, Cardiff University

Oct 2002 – Jan 06: Statistician, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University

Apr 2001 – Oct 02: Assistant Statistician, Local Government Data Unit – Wales, Cardiff.

Jan 1999 - Apr 01:  Statistician, Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit and Wales Cancer Trials Network
























I currently supervising three PhD projects:

  • Alice James, "An exploration of the experiences of cancer for people with pre-existing
    physical disabilities in Wales" (KESS2 project)
  • Sharon Norman, "Is there a correlation between diagnosis of mental health disorders following critical care survivorship from sepsis and socioeconomic circumstances in adult patients of a working age [18-67 years] in Wales."
  • Leigh Sanyaolu, "IMproving Prophylactic Antibiotic use for Recurrent urinary Tract infection (IMPART):
    mixed-methods study to address evidence gaps and develop a decision aid." (NIHR Fellowship)

Past projects

Past PhD supervisor:

  • Co supervisor for Dunla Cassidy - Healthy Eating and Lifestyle in Pregnancy (HELP) Study: Two year follow-up (awarded 2018)
  • Co-supervisor for Gwenllian Moody - MINIMAL: Measuring child Maltreatment in community-based trials (awarded 2019)
  • Co-supervisor for Julia Townson - Primary care involvement during the prodrome of type 1 diabetes in childhood: a case-control study using record linkage (awarded 2020)

Past Masters in Health Care Sciences co-supervisor:

  • Hearing loss and quality of life in children with otitis media with effusion (OME)

Past BSc intercalated in clinical epidemiology co-supervisor:

  • Validating the NICE Traffic Light System for febrile children aged under five (2021)
  • Prevalence, management and prognosis of individuals with resolved asthma (awarded 2020)
  • Risk factors for UTIs in children diagnosed in general practice (awarded 2019)
  • Care for coughs and colds module (awarded 2019)
  • Predictors of acceptable hearing return in children with OME: secondary analysis from a randomised controlled trial (awarded 2018)
  • The influence of demographic and social factors on infant feeding practices amongst teenage mothers in England - an observational study (awarded 2017)
  • Impact of the Family Nurse Partnership and other factors on infections in infants born to teenage mothers, presenting in both a General Practice and hospital setting (awarded 2016)