I am interested in supervising DPhil (PhD) students on projects which focus on communication in clinical settings. Potential project titles are advertised here:
I am also happy for potential students to get in touch to discuss other project ideas.
In 2023 I received the University of Oxford's 'Excellent Supervisor' Award recognising my supportive and inclusive supervisory approach.
Media, Podcasts, and Blogs
How doctors communicate with patients with obesity can have a significant impact on their weight loss success - BBC World Service 'Health Check', Interview
Researchers find GPs mostly tell patients to 'eat less and do more' - Daily Mail, Interview
Why didn’t people follow the government’s advice on COVID-19? Research on Language and Social Interaction, Guest Blog
Talking Meds: Finding the words to communicate Covid-19 travel risk. Somerville College, Guest Blog
Teaching Conversation analysis to clinicians. Research on Language and Social Interaction, Guest Blog
BA, MSc, AFHEA, PGCert, D.Phil
THIS Institute Fellow in Clinical Communication and Health Behaviours
- Senior qualitative researcher
- Academic Clinical Lecturer, Somerville College
I am a medical anthropologist specialising in qualitative research methods, particularly conversation analysis. I am interested in using qualitative methods to explore how communication in clinical settings supports changes to health behaviours.
My research mostly focuses on understanding relationships between clinical communication and behaviour change, including weight loss, smoking cessation, and treatment adherence. I currently hold a Themed Fellowship, from the THIS Institute, and lead a series of externally funded projects to explore communication about weight loss in primary care.
My research has contributed to national guidelines, and I have advised government and policy makers. I am a member of the NICE Adoption and Impact Reference Panel, and an honorary member of the University of Oxford's Faculty of Linguistics. In 2022 I was the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Principal Investigator of the Year.
I currently lead a 3-year British Heart Foundation funded project developing evidence and training in communication about weight loss in primary care; and a 2 year NHIR PrP project to understand communication between people living with obesity and healthy weight coaches. In my THIS institute EDI-themed I fellowship I am examining how to improve prevention discussions between primary care staff and people with multiple long term conditions.
I also lead substantive qualitative work-packages on large programmes of work, including NewDawn, an NIHR funded programme of research exploring diabetes remission, and SLIM-CARD a British Heart Foundation-funded trial, looking at relationships between weight loss and surgery outcomes.
I am qualitative research lead for the Health behaviours Research Group, and design and lead research using a range of qualitative methods to better understand behaviour change in clinical settings, clinical trial processes, and implementation.
Behaviour change communication in clinical settings
Qualitative methods in clinical trials
I hold a postgraduate certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCert Teaching and Learning in HE), awarded with Distinction.
From 2018-2022 I was course Director for Oxford Qualitative courses. I currently teach qualitative methods on a range of courses across the University, as well as offering bespoke training.
- Course Co-lead: Introduction to NVivo (IT Services, Oxford)
- Course Lead: Introduction to Qualitative Interviewing (Oxford Qualitative Courses)
- Tutor: Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (Oxford Qualitative Courses)
- Tutor: Introduction to Analysing Qualitative Interviews (Oxford Qualitative Courses)