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Jemma Hawkins

Dr Jemma Hawkins

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

+44 29208 75184
sbarc|spark, Room Room 2.04, 1-3 Museum Place, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Media commentator


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.


















Research funding: 

  1. 2023 - 2023. Hawkins, J (PI), Morgan, K., & Long, S. Healthy Working Wales Survey Tools Benchmarking Project. Public Health Wales. £29,749.

  2. 2021 - 2022. Morgan, K., Hawkins, J (Principal Co-I), Moore, G., Hallingberg, B., van Sluijs, E., Charles, J., Pickles, T., Roberts, J. CHoosing Active Role Models to INspire Girls (CHARMING): cluster randomised feasibility study of a school-based, community-linked programme to increase physical activity levels in 9-11 year old girls. Health and Care Research Wales, Health Research Award. £249,830

  3. 2020 – 2025. Collishaw, S & Rice, F. (co-PI’s), Thapar, A., John, A., Hall, J., Owen, M., Murphy, S., Moore, G., Hawkins J. (co-I), Young, H. Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health. Wolfson Foundation. £10,000,000.

  4. 2020 – 2025. Murphy, S., Bishop, J., Evans, R., Hawkins, J. (co-I), Moore, G., Roberts, J., Robinson, A., Robling, M., Segrott, J., White, J., Young. H. Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement [DECIPHer]. Health and Care Research Wales, Research Development Infrastructure Funding. £2,488,488.

  5. 2019 – 2020. Hawkins, J. (PI), Melendez-Torres, G.J. & Murphy, S. Healthy Working Wales Evaluation Partner. Public Health Wales Partnership Funding. £38,096

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 2016-2016. Fletcher, A., Hawkins, J.L. (co-I) & Morgan, K. “School Holiday Enrichment Project (SHEP) Evaluation.” Welsh Local Government Association. £112,000

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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 am also a collaborator on a research study in Finland titled "SOLDEX: Old-age social exclusion in home care - prevalence, meanings & intervention" led by Elisa Tiilikainen at the University of Eastern Finland.


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:

  • 2020-present   Introduction to Social and Public Policy (Level 4) [as module co-convenor](BSc Social Policy, BSc Social Analytics, BSc Social Sciences, BSc Sociology, BSc Education, BSc Criminology)

  • 2020-present   Citizenship and Social Policy (Level 7)
    (MSc Social and Public Policy)

  • 2019-present   Developing and evaluating interventions in complex social systems (Level 7)
    (MSc Social and Public Policy)

  • 2019-present   Social Policy Analysis (Level 5) [as module convenor](BSc Social Policy, BSc Social Analytics, BSc Social Sciences, BSc Sociology, BSc Education, BSc Criminology)

  • 2019-present   Evaluating Social Practices, Policy and Innovation (Level 5)
    (BSc Social Policy, BSc Social Analytics, BSc Social Sciences, BSc Sociology, BSc Education, BSc Criminology)

  • 2017-present   Experiments in Knowing (Level 6)
    (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 and Evaluating Complex Interventions [course lead]
  • 2018-present   Feasibility studies for public health interventions


Karolinska Institute:

  • 2020-present   Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions (Doctoral Course)

University of Limerick:

  • 2020-present   Public Health Intervention (Level 7)
    (MSc Public Health)

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)


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 currently supervise 2 PhD students and 3 Professional Doctorate students, 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
  • health policy evaluation