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Nicola Innes

Professor Nicola Innes

Head of the School of Dentistry, Interim Head of the School of Healthcare Sciences

School of Healthcare Sciences

Available for postgraduate supervision


Nicola Innes is a Professor of Paediatric Dentistry, Honorary Consultant and Head of Cardiff Dental School. She obtained a PhD, a BDS(hons), and a BMSc in Molecular and Cellular Pathology from the University of Dundee as well as a BSc in Life Sciences from Napier University, Edinburgh. She has passed membership exams with the Royal College of Surgeons of England for the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners and the Faculty of Dental Surgery.

With over £8M grant capture, and 150 publications in peer reviewed journals, Professor Innes' research is internationally recognised within cariology (minimally invasive dentistry), paediatric (Child Friendly) dentistry, marginalised communities and evidence based dentistry and she has led NIHR funded UK-wide child dental health research projects, practice-based research, participated in other UK-wide trials as well as ones based in Germany, Lithuania, Australia, Brazil, US and New Zealand, co-authored several Cochrane reviews related to cariology and sat on national guideline development groups. Her expertise is in primary research through clinical trials/ observational studies and secondary systematic reviews/ data syntheses.

She took up the position of Dean and Head of School at Cardiff University, School of Dentistry in 2020 and also Interim Head of School of Healthcare Sciences in 2024. She established the Improving Dentistry Research Group in 2021 at Cardiff University. 


























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Nicola Innes is Dean and Head of the School of Dentistry and Interim Dean and Head of the School of Healthcare Sciences. She is a Professor of Paediatric Dentistry, Honorary Consultant. She is Research Lead of the Improving Dentistry Group.

Having initially qualified as a Registered General Nurse, gaining a BSc in Life Sciences (1991) from Napier University, Edinburgh followed by an intercalated BMSc in Cellular/Molecular Pathology (1995) and BDS(hons) in 1998 from the University of Dundee, she passed membership exams with the Royal College of Surgeons of England for the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (2004) and the Faculty of Dental Surgery (2005) and was admitted to the General Dental Council Specialist List for Paediatric Dentistry in 2011.

Professor Innes spent seven years as a General Dentist in Scotland and was awarded a PhD based on a randomised control trial investigating the Hall Technique whilst part-time in practice and part-time at the University of Dundee (2011). She began her academic career as a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Dundee in 2005 and took up the position of Head of Cardiff Dental School in August. 2020.

With research interests driven by a desire to improve patient care and make the most efficient and ethical use of resources, Professor Innes has mainly focussed on national and international collaborations in clinical trials and offshoots of these. She has led two UK-wide NIHR-funded child dental research projects, participated in Germany, Lithuania, Australia, Brazil, US and New Zealand based trials, co-authored Cochrane reviews related to cariology and she sits on several guidance development groups. 

The specific areas she focusses on are:

  • clinical trials in cariology, restorative, preventive and paediatric dentistry (development of a modern scientific evidence base for prevention and management of dental caries)
  • patient (especially children’s) perceptions of dental care (making dentistry more patient/child friendly)
  • translational research and related educational research  (practitioner implementation of evidence-based practice and moving research into practice for public benefit)

These research areas underpin her teaching commitments in children’s dentistry, cariology and evidence based practice. In Dundee she co-led implementation of a new undergraduate curriculum.

Honours and awards


  • IADR Educational Research Group Faculty Award (2014)
  • British Council Workshop; Fluoride Metabolism and Public Health Award - International Collaboration meeting in Bauru, Brazil (2014)
  • First Prize Senior Clinical Research Category of Hatton Awards: International Association for Dental Research (2011)


  • First Prize Senior Colgate Award: British Society for Oral and Dental Research (2010)
  • Chief Scientist's Office, PhD Research Training Fellowship (2000)
  • Royal Odonto-Chirurgical Society of Scotland Undergraduate Award (1998)
  • First Prize Unilever Award (pre & post-doc.) British Society for Dental Research (1996)


Current supervision

Ali Barzabadi Farahani

Ali Barzabadi Farahani

Research student

Idris Busaily Busaily

Idris Busaily Busaily

Research student

Louay Hanafi

Louay Hanafi

Research student

Past projects

PhDs (current)

Ali Farahani - Assessment of the Index of Orthognathic Functional Treatment Need (IOFTN); systematic review and 4 retrospective studies (Cardiff University, PhD by publication)

Idris Busailly – Investigation of, and strategies for, improving the implementation of research evidence in general dental practice using radiography and fluoride varnish as two case studies. Year 1 (full-time, Cardiff University)

Louay Hanafi – The use of PEEK as an aesthetic and minimally invasive material for preformed crowns for children with compromised primary molars. Year 1 (full-time, Cardiff University)

Alexander Gormley - £398,971.00 NIHR Doctoral Fellowship NIHR302605 HARMONY – HeAlthieR sMiles fOr childreN with cleft bY improving tooth decay prevention and management. Year 1 (full-time, Bristol University)

Heather Lundbeck – Addressing the barriers to, and facilitators of, behaviours associated with general dental practitioners’ use of Minimally Invasive Dentistry for the management of carious lesions. Year 2 (part-time, Cardiff University)

Mark Robertson – CHANGE: Stakeholders’ experiences of dental management of CHildren with disabilities, And developmeNt and evaluation of an educational intervention for underGraduate dEntal students; a mixed methods study. Year 3 (part-time, University of Dundee)

MPhil (current)

Saarah Juman - Epidemiology Of Orofacial Clefts And Craniofacial Anomalies In A Multi-Ethnic Population (full-time)

PhD (awarded)

·      Melis Alkyildiz – Evaluation of the Occlusal Effects of the Hall Technique and Investigation of Children's Satisfaction (part-time, Aydin Adnan Menderes University, Turkey) 2024

Greig Taylor – Pathways for the management of molar incisor hypomineralisation in the UK. A cost-effectiveness analysis. 2023

Dalia Bajabir – Behavioural changes and modification of known environmental factors as part in reducing the occurrence of cleft lip and palate. 2021

Waraf Al-Yaseen – Mind the gap; what influences the changes in clinical care decision making from undergraduate to qualified dentist. 2020

Nassar Seifo – Silver diamine fluoride as a caries preventive treatment. 2020

Mariana Araujo – The Hall Technique and ART in a school setting; a randomised control clinical trial. Joint with University of Sao Paolo, Brazil.  2020

Heba Sabbagh – Investigation into the prevalence and aetiology of orofacial clefts in Saudi Arabia; a gene-environment interaction study. Post-graduate College of MDN presentations 2013 1st prize.  2015

MSc (awarded)

Hal Esler – Radiographs of children in primary dental care; quality of FiCTION Trial radiographs.    2020

Sam Rollings – Establishing the limitations of digital subtraction radiography to investigate progression/regression of caries lesions after ‘sealing-in’ in a clinical environment. 2017

Mark Robertson – The Hall Technique in learning disabled children; an observational study and systematic review with clinical recommendations.  2018