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Kelly Morgan

Dr Kelly Morgan

Senior Research Fellow, DECIPHer

School of Social Sciences

+44 29208 70296
sbarc|spark, Room 1.17, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Social Sciences within the Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer).

The substantive focus of my research is the improvement of the health and well-being of children and young people. I am particularly interested in the development and evaluation of complex interventions aimed at increasing physical activity among both children and adults.

I am co-investigator of the NIHR funded PHIRST Insight team working with local authorities to co-produce research on the public health impacts of initiatives. I am theme lead for Health and Wellbeing in the Cardiff University Strategic Partnership with the Office for National Statistics. I am theme lead for Population Level Change at the Welsh Institute of Physical Activity, Health and Sport (WIPAHS). 

Methodologcally, I have substantial experience of leading routine data linkage projects and conducting mixed-methods studies, including feasibility trials. I co-lead several of DECIPHer's Methodolgical Innovation in Public Health Intervention Science courses, delivering a series of established methodology short courses

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Alumni Member of the Health and Care Research Wales Faculty. 
















Current grants:

2020-2023 Campbell R, Jago R, Murphy S, Kidger J, de Vocht F, Hawkins J, Morgan K (co-I) and Gray C. Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Team (PHIRST) National Institute for Health, Public Health Research Programme, £1,499,680

2020-2024 Moore G, Hawkins J, Morgan K (co-I), Murphy S, Roberts, J et al. Expansion of the School Health Research Network into primary schools. Welsh Government £1,500,000

Past grants:

2021-2022 Morgan K (PI), Hawkins J, Moore G, van Sluijs E, Hallingberg B, Roberts J, Charles J and Cannings-John R. 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 & Care Research Wales, Health Grant Award, £249,830

2020-2021 Pulsford R, Foster C, Rouse P, Morgan K (co-I), Salmon V, Rodgers L and Williams O. Moving through Motherhood. GW4 Building Communities Programme, Generator Fund, £14,948.85

2016-2019 Morgan K (PI) (Mentor Moore G) Health & Care Research Wales Post-doctoral Fellowship. £279,000

2017-2017 Morgan K (PI), Moore G (co-PI), Hawkins J, Littlecott H, Long S and McConnon L. An evaluability assessment of the Food & Fitness School Holiday Enrichment Programme in Wales. WLGA. £49,718

2016-2017 Fletcher A, Morgan, K (co-I) and Hawkins, J. A formative evaluation of a School-Holiday Enrichment Programme. WLGA. £50,000

2015-2016 Morgan K (PI), Fildes A and Darwent K. The CHARMING study: Choosing Active Role Models to INspire Girls. Cancer Research UK - Innovation Grant Application. £20,000

2010-2014 Morgan K (Supervisors Professor Sinead Brophy and Dr Rebecca Hill) Centre for Health Information and Evaluation Research (CHIRAL) PhD studentship. £42,000

Research Interests

With an overarching focus on public health research, my research interests fall into three broad themes:

The development and evaluation of complex public health interventions:

  • Principle investigator on the development of a school-based physical activity intervention (CHARMING study)
  • Principle investigator on the long-term evaluation of a National policy (National Exercise Referral Scheme in Wales)
  • Involved in the evaluation of two school-based interventions (School Holiday Enrichment Programme (Co-App) and The Activity Knowledge Circuit (Research Assistant))

Utilising expertise of quantitative techniques and routine data linkage:

  • Lead author on high-impact papers using a well-established health-informatics platform
  • Lead researcher examining environmental influences on health and wellbeing with a particular focus on obesity prevention
  • Experienced in using routine data to evaluate healthcare provision and existing primary care interventions, at both the community and population level

Improving child health and wellbeing:

  • Involved in the establishment of a prenatally recruited birth cohort study: Growing Up in Wales
  • Produced robust evidence for school, regional and national stakeholders (School Health Research Network)
  • Appreciation of the complexities involved in the measurement of physical activity (during pregnancy, infancy, childhood and adulthood)


My contributions to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching span a range of areas as follows:

Cardiff University (School of Medicine)

  • 2020 - Present Health Improvement module of the Masters in Public Health (Lecturer)
  • 2017 - 2020 Health Improvement module of the Masters in Public Health (Module lead and lecturer)

University of Bristol (School for Policy Studies)

  • 2019 - 2020 Physical activity and Nutritional Interventions (Guest lecturer)
  • 2018 - 2019 Practical Research Methods, MSc Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health (Module lead)
  • 2018 - 2019 Guided Independent Study

Cardiff Metropolitan University (School of Sport)

  • 2008 - 2010 Applied Sports Principles and Techniques (Levels 1-3)
  • 2008 - 2010 Games Applications  (Levels 1-3)

DECIPHer Methodology Short Course Programme

  • 2019 - present Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions


Education and qualifications:

  • 2014 PhD Public Health, School of Medicine, Swansea University
  • 2010 MSc (with distinction): Physical Activity and Health, University of Wales Institute Cardiff
  • 2008 BSc (First class Hons): Sport and Physical Education, University of Wales Institute Cardiff

Career overview:

  • 2021 - present  Senior Research Fellow, DECIPHer, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2016 - 2021      Research Fellow, DECIPHer, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2019 - 2019      Lecturer, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol (Part time)
  • 2016-2016        Research Fellow, Y Lab (Secondment), Cardiff University
  • 2015-2016        Research Associate, DECIPHer, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2010-2015        Research Assistant, School of Medicine, Swansea University
  • 2008 -2010       Hourly Paid lecturer. University of Wales Institute Cardiff

Honours and awards

  • Womenspire Finalist- Sport award, Chwarae Teg (2018)
  • Commonwealth Games Athlete (2014, 2018)

Professional memberships

  • Sedentary lead for developing the Active Healthy Kids Wales 2018/2020 Report Cards

  • International Society for Physical Activity and Health

Committees and reviewing

  • Editorial Board, International Journal for Environmental Research and Public Health
  • Journal reviewer


I have supervised one PhD student to completion alongside a number of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in the Schools of Medicine and Social Sciences. I have also provided postgraduate supervision to students at the University of Bristol and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

I am currently supervising two Professional Doctorate students. 

I am interested in supervising research projects in areas including:

  • intervention development/evaluation methods;
  • routine data linkage studies;
  • school-based studies;
  • obesity prevention methods;
  • child and adolescent health;
  • pregnancy and the early years.