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Julia Townson

Julia Townson

Senior Research Fellow - Senior Trial Manager in Children and Young People

School of Medicine

Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Senior Research Fellow and Senior Trial Manager in the Centre for Trials Research, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Cardiff University. I am the study lead for trials involving Children and Young People, within the Population Health division in the Centre for Trials Research, with the overall aim to improve the health and well-being of young people and to reduce health inequalities. I conduct and lead research relating to children and young people with Type 1 diabetes, namely to improve outcomes prior to diagnosis.

I have extensive knowledge and experience in trial methodology, research governance and patient and public involvement (PPI) in research.



















Research interests

  • Population Health
  • Type 1 diabetes in childhood
  • Trial Methodology
  • School based studies
  • Obstetrics



  • NIHR HSDR – Clinical and cost-effectiveness of a maternity quality improvement programme to reduce excess bleeding and need for transfusion after childbirth: the Obstetric Bleeding Study UK (OBS UK) Stepped Wedge Cluster Randomised Trial (Co-I, 01/04/2023 – 31/12/2026) £3.4M
  •      NIHR HTA - Diagnostic accuracy of handheld ultrasound at 36 weeks of gestation to determine fetal presentation – SONO-BREECH (Co-I, 01/05/2023 – 31/08/2025) £2.2M


  •      JDRF - T1D-Plus: an adaptive platform clinical trial for combined beta cell preservation therapy. (Co-I, 01/09/2022 – 31/08/2025) £2.1M
  •       NIHR PDG - Screening for pre-clinical Type 1 diabetes to prevent hospital admission and acute illness at diagnosis (“T1Early programme”): determining the evidence for benefit, acceptability and elements relevant to cost evaluation. (Co-I, 01/10/2022 – 31/12/2023) £150K
  •     HDR UK - Addressing high priority methodological questions for routinely-collected healthcare data and trials – PRIMORANT. (Co-I, 01/06/2022 – 31/03/2023) £120K·    


  • Cancer Research Wales - Targeted Intensive Community-based campaign To Optimise Cancer awareness): feasibility of a symptom awareness campaign to support the Multidisciplinary/Rapid Diagnostic Centre referral pathway in a socioeconomically deprived area (TIC-TOC) - £391K


  • UKRI COVID-19 rapid response call - Covid-19 Cancer Attitudes And Behaviour Study (CABs) - (Co-Investigator and CTR study lead), £697K
  • UKRI/MRC COVID-19 rapid response call – A global registry of women affected by COVID-19 in pregnancy, understanding natural history to guide treatment and prevention (PAN-COVID) Principal Investigator and CTR study lead), £300K


  • NIHR HTA - Perinatal and two year neurodevelopmental outcome in late preterm fetal compromise: the TRUFFLE 2Randomised Trial (Principal Investigator and CTR study lead), £2.8M
  • NIHR PHR - A multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of KiVa to reduce bullying in primary schools: The UK KiVa Trial (Principal Investigator and CTR study lead), £1.8M
  • NIHR PHR - Optimisation, feasibility testing and a pilot randomised trial of SaFE: a sexual health and healthy relationships intervention for Further Education (Co-Investigator), £640K
  • Diabetes UK - Developing a predictive Tool using data linkage and machine learning, to promote Earlier Diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in childhood for use in primary care – the TED study (Principal Investigator and CTR study lead), £105K
  • ICO Grants Programme - Developing scalable training for UK researchers in the use of routine public sector data informed by public and professional stakeholders (Co-Investigator), £99K


  • MRC DPFS – HIFU/TTTS: A Non-invasive Ultrasound-guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound system for placental and fetal vascular ablation in women with Twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome - Phase 1 study (Principal Investigator and CTR study lead), £2.2M
  • NIHR PHR - A multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a school-based peer-led drug prevention intervention (The FRANK friends study) (Co-Investigator) £1.5M
  • Health and Care Research Wales (Welsh Govn) – HealthWise Wales: A national longitudinal population study of health behaviours, outcomes and wider social and environmental determinants (Co-Investigator and CTR study lead), £750K


  • Yorkshire Cancer Research - ABACUS: RCT of an online health check to raise awareness of the symptoms of cancer (Co-Investigator and CTR study lead), £621K


  • Novo Nordisk Foundation - Investigating the prodrome of type 1 diabetes in childhood as it presents to Primary Care to predict earlier diagnosis and reduce ketoacidosis at presentation, using pseudoanonymised linked Primary and Secondary Care data (Principal Investigator and CTR study lead), £12K
  • MRC Public Health Intervention Development Scheme - SaFE study; Safe sexual health in Further Education (Co-Investigator), £131K


  • NISCHR RfPPB: Early Detection of type 1 Diabetes in Youth: the EDDY feasibility study (Principal Investigator and CTR study lead) £189K
  • NIHR PHR: An exploratory trial of a multi-level smoking prevention intervention targeting 16-18 year-olds in further education settings (FILTER) (Co-Investigator), £328K
  • NAEDI: Development and pilot evaluation of the Tenovus health check: a targeted cancer awareness intervention for people from deprived communities (Co-Investigator), £287K


I am currently a tutor on the C21 epidemiology module for medical students and also teach on the intercalated BsC course.


2020 PhD -Evaluating the prodrome to diagnosis and the effect of setting in the early management of Type 1 diabetes in childhood (School of Medicine, Cardiff University)

1995 BA - Health Promotion and Social Policy, Bangor University (First Class, Joint Honours)


2020 - present: Senior Research Fellow/Senior Trial Manager, Centre for Trials Research

2014 - 2020: Research Fellow/Senior Trial Manager, SEWTU, Centre for Trials Research

2012 - 2014: Acting Research Fellow/Senior Trial Manager, SEWTU, Centre for Trials Research (Maternity cover)

2009 - 2012: Research Associate/Trial Manager, SEWTU

1999 - 2009: Research Associate, Dept of Surgery, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

1996 - 1999: Research Associate, Dept of Cardiology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University


I am interested in supervising PhD students