Population Sciences Research at the University of Leicester


The Population Sciences Research Theme aims to provide a rich interdisciplinary platform to support an  internationally competitive programme  of collaborative research - and the strategy to drive forward that research - focusing on the design, conduct and analysis of observational and experimental studies in populations and societies.

Scientific structure and strategy

The overarching Research Programme of the Population Sciences Research Theme embodies two fundamental challenges in translational science. These reflect the College’s central focus on research with a translational impact. The first challenge is to create meaningful bioclinical and social knowledge and understanding from raw data. This may be designated the Evidence-to-Knowledge (E2K) Challenge. We achieve this through the development and application of technical, mathematical and social science approaches to managing, analysing and interpreting data/information. The second challenge is to convert new and pre-existing knowledge into clinical and public health practice. This may be called the Knowledge-to-Practice (K2P) Challenge. This involves the development of effective, novel, ways to implement new interventions, ideas and structures in the health system and broader community, and their formal evaluation and consequent revision over time. Research in the Population Sciences research theme is founded on a methodologically innovative programme of observational (qualitative and quantitative) and experimental studies aimed at generating the extensive knowledge and understanding that we need if we are to improve the population’s health.  

Our research programme entails a distinctive focus on understanding and optimising research. For example: What are the most effective and most acceptable ways to collect, store, distribute, analyse and interpret the extensive population-based evidence that is needed if we are to properly understand the cause, progression and consequences of the common complex diseases? How can we best ensure that future clinical and policy decisions take full and rational account of the research evidence that already exists? How can we best study the impact, acceptability and costs of interventions aimed at enhancing health, combating disease and at improving the efficacy and efficiency of the health system?

Our research is at the cutting edge of the changing face of contemporary bio-medical science with an increasing focus on “big science” and extensive multidisciplinary collaboration within the University and with other institutions across the UK and internationally. Our overall scientific portfolio (see figure) is divided into four complementary Research Domains, or Sub-Themes. These are: (1) Synthesis Creation Harmonization Exploration and Management of Evidence in Society (SCHEMES); (2) Life-Course, Systems and Health Services Research; (3) Social science APPlied to Healthcare Improvement REsearch (SAPPHIRE); and (4) Health Care Systems. The research being undertaken in each of these domains is described in greater detail below. The programmes of work within, and across, these sub-themes incorporate the conception, design, conduct, analysis, meta-analysis and interpretation of research studies (both quantitative and qualitative), coupled with a mixture of methodological development, tool construction, and ‘research on research’. Across the theme as a whole, the joint research programme depends critically on specialist input from a number of research groups with expertise in fundamental methods that span right across the spectrum of human health and disease (upward arrows in figure) and research groups with a particular systems focus (downward arrows). Individual researchers associated with the theme are listed in the table below. These scientists and their associated research groups receive extensive funding from UK Research Councils, the European Union, UK Government, NIHR, the Wellcome Trust, other charitable agencies, and major funding agencies overseas.

Please see Theme Affiliates page for the principal research scientists who contribute to work in the theme.

For further information please contact: Professor Graham Martin, Theme Lead, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

Email: Lisa Boulton on Lmb24@le.ac.uk

Tel: Lisa Boulton on 0116 2525601

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Contact Details

College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology
University of Leicester
Maurice Shock Building
University Road
PO Box 138
LE1 9HN 

LE1 7RH (for Sat-nav use)