The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) is a collaborative effort, with members spanning the United Kingdom and beyond, and featuring a mix of SCPHRP employees, academics, policy makers, practitioners, and volunteers/professionals from the third sector.

The core team is based in the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and is administratively housed within the School of Health in Social Science.


Ruth Jepson (Director)

Ruth is Director of SCPHRP and a Professor of Public Health in the School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh. Ruth has been involved in many different aspects of public health research for over 20 years.  After completing her MSc in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, she spent over 10 years in the Cochrane Collaboration as a Review Group Co-ordinator,  as a reviewer and on many of the Committees. She also worked at the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination in York University. She returned to the University of Edinburgh to undertake her PhD on developing a measure of informed choice in cancer screening.  Prior her role in SCPHRP, she was at the of Stirling University where she was Co-Director of the Centre for Population and Public Health and Lead for the Physical Activity and Diet Research Programme. Her methodological expertise is in systematic reviews, and developing and evaluating complex public health interventions. Her current research interests are broad, but has a specific interest in promoting health and wellbeing in the outdoor environment.  She is particularly interested in undertaking research in partnership with service providers and users. She is currently Principal Investigator on an NIHR funded grant to evaluate 20mph speed limits in Edinburgh and Belfast.


Larry Doi (Deputy Director)

Larry is a Lecturer in Applied Public Health in the School of Health in Social Sciences. He received his PhD in Public Health from the University of Stirling. He holds a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Edinburgh and an honours degree in Biology from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He also holds a postgraduate certificate in Academic Practice from the University of Edinburgh and he is a Fellow at the Higher Education Academy. His methodological expertise is in systematic reviews, developing and evaluating complex public health interventions, evaluability assessment and realist evaluation. In line with SCPHRP’s mandate, he is interested in undertaking research in collaboration with decision makers and service users. His research interest is in maternal and child health. Larry has been involved in several research projects and he is currently Principal Investigator on a Scottish Government funded grant to evaluate the universal health visiting pathway in Scotland. He is a course organiser for understanding and investigation: methods for health research, which is part of the MA Health, Science and Society programme. Larry supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students’ dissertations as well as PhDs.


Jillian Manner

Jillian joined SCPHRP in 2017. She is a Research Fellow and second-year PhD student. She is supervised by Ruth Jepson and Graham Baker (Moray House School of Education & Sport). Her PhD explores how organisational and cultural factors impact on the long-term implementation and sustainability of workplace health interventions. She previously worked on an NIHR-funded evaluation of Stand Up for Health, an intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour in contact (call) centres. Jillian has a BSc in Kinesiology and Health Science (York University, Canada), a Masters in Public Health (University of Waterloo, Canada), and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). Prior to working at SCPHRP she worked as an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, and workplace disability case manager. She also worked for NHS Lothian as a Falls Assistant Practitioner, developing an educational intervention to reduce falls in care home residents across Edinburgh.



Ana Sofia Alvarado

Sofia is from Mexico and she moved to Scotland in January 2019 to start her PhD in Health in Social Science with SCPHRPs Ruth Jepson and Larry Doi as her supervisors. Her main interests, and topic of her PhD, are food and nutrition security, human right to adequate food, and food citizenship. She has a BSc in Dietetics (in Mexico), and a MSc in Global Health and Management by the University of Aberdeen (2015-2016). Her current PhD is funded by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) in Mexico, which is an entity in charge of the promotion of scientific and technological activities. Sofia has previously worked in the clinical practice, lecturing, and in the last two years in the development of an Observatory of the Right to Food in the city where she used to live. She also has experience with quantitative research approaches, but she is interested in learning about qualitative and participatory approaches.


Divya Sivaramakrishnan

Divya is a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy. She has recently completed her PhD at the Physical Activity for Health Centre, University of Edinburgh on developing a yoga intervention for older adults. She is a mixed methods researcher with experience in intervention development. Her research interests include development and evaluation of public health interventions and physical activity and sedentary behaviour across varied populations. Divya is currently working on the Stand Up for Health project. She is also a yoga teacher.



Kathleen Morrison

Kathleen joined SCPHRP in 2017 and is a Research Associate and PhD student supervised by Professor Ruth Jepson, Dr Larry Doi and Dr Julia Egan (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde).  Her PhD aims to investigate the rapid implementation of digital health in the Universal Health Visiting Pathway during COVID-19. Kathleen recently co-led a national-level evaluation investigating the impact of telehealth in the Family Nurse Partnership during COVID-19. She is also a member of the research team commissioned by the Scottish Government to evaluate the Universal Health Visiting Pathway (Principal Investigator –  Dr Larry Doi). Kathleen is interested in evaluation research and exploring knowledge gaps between research, policy and practice in public health. Kathleen is course organiser for the MSc module Evaluating Global Health and Development programmes at the University. Kathleen holds an honours degree in Neuroscience from the University of Dundee and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Edinburgh.


Glenna Nightingale

Glenna is interested in applying statistical principles to real-world problems in public health, ecology, and demography.  I enjoy data visualization, building R Shiny apps, and teaching statistics through data storyboarding.  Glenna specializes in the use of  Point process models, Bayesian inference, Spatial epidemiology, Natural experiment evaluation, and time series modeling. Some of her work can be found here:




Mengying Zhang

Mengying joined SCPHRP in 2021. She is a second-year PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, supervised by Dr. Larry Doi and Dr. Maria Wolters. She gained her Master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh (2018-2019) and her Bachelor’s degree at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China (2013-2018). She is a registered nurse in China. Her research interest is developing mobile applications for smoking cessation and evaluating existing smoking cessation apps using realist evaluation methodology.



Sidra Ishfaq

Sidra is a PhD scholar from Pakistan. She is in her last year and pursuing her degree in Economics. She joined SCPHRP as a research scholar in 2020, under the supervision of Professor Ruth Jepson. Her main interests are gender studies, social issues, food and nutrition security, and measuring risks towards household food security. The topic of her PhD is “Unveiling Women Empowerment and Its Impacts on Household Food Insecurity and Food Vulnerability in Rural Areas of Pakistan”. Currently, she is working on developing research articles with Ruth Jepson and Glenna Nightingale. She did her M.Sc (Hons.) and B.Sc. (Hons.) in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad and her PhD is from the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad. Her visit to the University of Edinburgh is funded by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan under the scholarship “International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP)”. Her ambition is to make remarkable achievements in her academic career and serve the industry with integrity and morality.

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Craig McDougall

Craig is a part-time research assistant working on the GroundsWell project. He is also a final year PhD student at the University of Stirling. Craig’s PhD research explores the effects of spending time in and around natural environments on physical and mental health, with a specific focus on freshwater environments (or blue spaces). He is particularly interested in health geography and environmental justice and frequently uses GIS-based methods to investigate urban health and health inequality. Before joining SCPHRP, Craig obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) in Environmental Management from Glasgow Caledonian University, where he conducted research on inequalities in green space accessibility in West Glasgow.


Judith Fynn

Judith joined SCPHRP to work on the evaluation of the No-One Left Behind employability services in Fife. Judith completed her PhD in Public Health Evaluation at the University of East Anglia. Since then, she has worked within a local authority, at Public Health England, and currently splits her time between SCHRP and the Eastern Academic Health Science Network to support programme evaluation. Her research interests focus on using qualitative and mixed methods for evaluation of public health interventions and exploring ways to build evaluation capacity and research practice partnerships. Prior to moving to a more research focused career, Judith worked as a lecturer in England and Switzerland. She has a Masters degree in Public Health Nutrition, is an Associate Registered Nutritionist and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.



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