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Dr Jemma Hawkins

Dr Jemma Hawkins

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

+44 (0)29 2087 5184
2.04, 1-3 Museum Place
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Senior Lecturer in Cardiff School of Social Sciences within the Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer). I am also lead for the Centre’s methods research programme for public health intervention science. 

After obtaining my BSc degree in Psychology at Cardiff University I worked as a primary care mental health practitioner in the NHS for three years before returning to Cardiff to complete a PhD in Health Psychology. After this I obtained funding for a post-doctoral position from the Welsh Government’s Social Care Research funding stream (Social Care Research Award). I then joined DECIPHer in 2013, working as a Research Associate for the Public Health Improvement Research Network for two years, before being promoted to Research Fellow in 2015.

My research interests centre around methods for development and evaluation of complex population health interventions, including process evaluation methodology and co-production approaches. Linked to this, I lead the DECIPHer short course programme on evaluating complex interventions. I have a particular interest in school and community-based interventions for health improvement, with a focus on physical activity and mental health promotion.

I have expertise and experience in mixed methods evaluations of complex public health interventions including trial methods, process evaluation methods and collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to intervention design with key stakeholders.


Education and qualifications:

  • 2013    PGCert Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • 2012    PhD Health Psychology & Health Sciences, University of Wales
  • 2011    Welsh for Adults [Mynediad/Entry] Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • 2007    PGCert Integrated Mental Health Care, University of Birmingham
  • 2005    BSc (hons) Psychology, 2:1, Cardiff University

Career overview:

  • 2020 - Present    Senior Lecturer, Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement [DECIPHer], Cardiff School of Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2011 – Present    Guest Lecturer, Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • 2015 – 2019        Research Fellow, DECIPHer, Cardiff University
  • 2017 – 2019.       Senior Researcher (0.2 FTE secondment), Central South Consortium Joint Education Service
  • 2013 – 2015        Research Associate, Public Health Improvement Research Network, Cardiff University
  • 2013 – 2014        Honorary Public Health Practitioner, Public Health Wales NHS Trust
  • 2012 – 2013        Research Officer, Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • 2008 – 2012        Research Assistant, University of Wales Institute Cardiff
  • 2005 – 2008        Primary Care Mental Health Practitioner, Walsall Primary Care Trust, NHS

Professional memberships

British Psychological Society Chartered Health Psychologist [2005 - present],

Academic positions

Research Officer [Cardiff Metropolitan University]











I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching across a range of areas.

Cardiff University School of Social Sciences:

  • 2017-present   Experiments in Knowing
    (BSc Social Analytics, BSc Social Sciences, BSc Sociology, BSc Social Policy, BSc Education, BSc Criminology)

Cardiff University School of Medicine:

  • 2015-present   Health Improvement [as module convenor 2015-2018]
    (MSc Public Health)

DECIPHer Methodology Short Course Programme:

  • 2015-present   Developing complex interventions 2017-present   Evaluating complex interventions [course lead]
  • 2018-present   Feasibility studies for public health interventions


Cardiff Metropolitan University School of Health Sciences:

  • 2008-present   Research Methods and Design
    (MSc Applied Public Health / MSc Health Psychology / MSc Advanced Dietetic Practice)
  • 2013-present   Practical Research Techniques in Psychology and Health
    (MRes Psychology and Health)
  • 2010-2013       Chronic Illness, Stress and Pain
    (MSc Health Psychology)
  • 2010-2013       Health Sociology [as module convenor]
    (BSc Podiatry/BSc Nutrition and Dietetics/BSc Public Health Nutrition / MSc Dietetics)
  • 2009-2011       Introduction to Statistics
    (BSc Psychology)
  • 2013-2014       Social Psychology
    (BSc Psychology)

Research funding: 

  1. 2018-22 White, J. Hawkins, J. (co-I), Madden, K., Cannings-John, R., Townson, J., Murphy, S., Campbell, R., Hickman, M., Bonell, C., Parrott, S. & Moore, L. A multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a school-based peer-led drig prevention intervention (The FRANK friends study). National Institute for Health Research, Public Health Research fund. £1,831,321
  2. 2017-2017 Morgan, K., McConnon, L., Hawkins, J.L. (co-I), Littlecott, H., Long, S. & Moore, G.F. “An evaluability assessment of the Food & Fun School Holiday Enrichment Programme in Wales.” Welsh Local Government Association. £49,718
  3. 2016-2016 Fletcher, A., Hawkins, J.L. (co-I) & Morgan, K. “School Holiday Enrichment Project (SHEP) Evaluation.” Welsh Local Government Association. £112,000
  4. 2015-2017 Hawkins, J.L (PI), Murphy, S., Simpson, S., Oliver, E., Kelson, M., Jago, R., Tudor-Edwards, R & Moore, G. “The use of accelorometry-based activity monitors and linked web portal to enhance long-term maintenance of physical activity in adults: A pilot trial in an exercise referral setting.” Health and Care Research Wales, Health Research Award. £307,494
  5. 2015-2017 Murphy, S., Hawkins, J.L. (co-I), Gobat, N., Hickman, M., Wagner, C & Rollnick, S. “GMI_ALC: Developing a teacher training programme for a Group Motivational Interviewing intervention to prevent alcohol misuse in secondary schools” Medical Research Council, Public Health Intervention Development Fund. £143,951
  6. 2014-2016 Hawkins, J.L. (PI), Milbourne, P., Fletcher, A., & Morgan, K. “Growing Healthy Diets: Investigating links between school gardening activity and fruit and vegetable intake in primary school children” Cardiff University Research Seedcorn Fund. £4912
  7. 2012-2013 Clayton, D, Thirlaway, K, Hawkins, J (co-I), Webb, R, Thom, J, Clare, L, Wyatt-Williams, J, & Little, G. “Outdoor Activities and Healthy Ageing Research Development Group; An Wales-wide inter-disciplinary collaboration to develop research funding proposals related to gardening and walking” Older People and Ageing Research and Development Network (OPAN). £1700
  8. 2011-2013 Clayton D, Mercer J, Hawkins J (co-I), Backx K, & Thirlaway K. “Growing a healthy older population in Wales project” National Institute for Social Care and Health Research, Social Care Research Award. £188,031


I currently supervise 1 PhD student and am personal tutee for 1 Professional Doctorate student, and have supervised a number of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in the Schools of Medicine and Social Sciences, and previously in the Department of Psychology / School of Health Sciences at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

I am interested in supervising research projects in areas including:

  • school-based health improvement intervention;
  • interventions to promote physical activity / reduce sedentary behaviour across the lifecourse;
  • associations between, and common determinants in, health and educational outcomes of school pupils;
  • intervention development/evaluation methods

External profiles