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David French, PhD CPsychol FEHPS


Personal profile


Professor of Health Psychology

MRC/ NIHR Complex Intervention Framework update (for third version of Framework), Scientific Advisory Group member and author (Nov 2017 – Sept 2021)

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, sub-panel 2: Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care, Panel Member in the assessment phase (2020 to 2022)

Member of several research funding panels, including, NIHR Public Health Research programme (2015-2019), MRC Methodology Research Programme (2014-2018), and NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (2009-2014)

British Journal of Health Psychology (official journal of British Psychological Society): Editor (Jan 2013-Dec 2017);




After studying at the Universities of Hull and Cardiff, David French worked as a research assistant at the University of Leicester, before completed his PhD at Guys, Kings and St Thomas Medical School, University of London in 1999. This was followed by a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship in Health Services Research at the Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge.  He then worked as a Lecturer at the University of Birmingham and as Reader and then Professor at Coventry University.  In October 2012 he moved to the University of Manchester as Professor of Health Psychology.

Research interests

Current external research funding

  • S Lamb, D Altman, N Arden, K Barker, J Bruce, G Collins, J Fairbanks, J Fitch, DP French, F Griffiths, Z Hansen, C Hutchinson, C Mallen, S Petrou & E Williamson.  Better outcomes for older people with spinal trouble (BOOST).  NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research (Apr 2015 to Dec 2021) £1 999 934. 
  • A Farmer, DP French, D Hughes, L Locock, L Tarassenko, LM Yu, P Bower, R Horne, V Williams, J Mc Sharry, C Velardo, B Shields, R Rea, B Gudgin, & P Van Den Berg. Supporting people with type 2 diabetes in effective use of their medicine through a system comprising mobile health technology integrated with clinical care. NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research (Apr 2017-Dec 2022) £2 580 075.
  • M Sutton, P Bower, T Chandola, W Whittaker, C Sanders, P Wilson, D French, S Cotterill, D Reeves, E Kontopatelis, R Meacock.  Evaluating the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP): the DIPLOMA research programme (Diabetes Prevention – Long term Multimethod Assessment).  NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (Apr 2017 to Sept 2022).  £ £2,052,127.
  • I Bruce, and others including (Cancer Prevention and Early Detection theme) DG Evans, A Renehan, E Woodward, M Harvie, E Crosbie, S Howell, T Howell, H Kitchener, J Yorke, DP French, M Humphries, K Muir, W Newman, M Smith, S Astley, T Maxwell, & A Lophatananon.  Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.  NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (Apr 2017 to Oct 2022).£28 500 000.
  • A Slatcher, and others including (Manchester) J Rothwell, AJ Barker, S Lindley, DP French, & J Anderson. GROW GREEN: Green cities for climate and water resilience, sustainable economic growth, healthy citizens and environments. European Commission Horizon 2020 (Jun 2017 to Sept 2022) €11 224 058.
  • DG Evans (CoPI), DP French (CoPI), A Maxwell, F Ulph, M Harvie, R Dobrashian, S Astley, J Kokan, F Harrison, A Howell, J Cuzick, K Payne, N Qureshi, SW Duffy, T van Staa.  Providing breast cancer risk information as part of national breast cancer screening programme: building an evidence base on benefits and harms to inform a decision to implement (PROCAS2). NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research (Aug 2017 to Jun 2022).  £962 475.
  • S Delaloge and others including (Manchester) DG Evans, DP French, A Maxwell, S Astley & A Howell.  MyPeBS (My Personal Breast Screening): Randomized Comparison Of Risk-Stratified versus Standard Breast Cancer Screening In European Women Aged 40-70.  European Commission Horizon 2020 (Jan 2018 to Dec 2025).  €12,361,858.
  • DP French, DG Evans, K Payne, F Ulph, T van Staa, & T Howell.  How feasible and acceptable is it to recommend to women at low risk of breast cancer that they delay further screening?  Breast Cancer Now (Oct 2018 to Feb 2022).  £291 153.
  • N Cullum, B Bridgewater, N Pendleton, N Peek, K Lovell, D Hodgson, P Bower, P Wilson, M Sutton, P Bee, R Webb, S Bucci, P Chitsabesan, J Green, K Abel, L Cree, L Walker, C Todd, S Burden, A Burns, G Grande, J Keady, E Stanmore, T O’Neill, M Morciano, L Anselm, J Dumville, YS Lau, R Meacock, L Munford, J Stokes, A Turner, S Turner, D Dowding, J Ainsworth, W Dixon, S van der Veer, K Checkland, W Whittaker, P Nelson, F Bradley, S Spooner, C Robinson, K Walshe, E Schafheutle, A McBride, R Kislov, D French, C Armitage, J Yorke, J Lavallee, C Sharp, E Kontopantelis, C Sanders. NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester.  NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (Oct 2019 to Sept 2024).  £8,999,722.
  • M Sutton, P Bower, D French, S Cotterill, E Murray, J Ross, D Reeves, E Kontopantelis, & R Meacock.  Evaluating the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP): the DIPLOMA research programme (Diabetes Prevention – Long term Multimethod Assessment) – variation to contract to examine Digital NHS DPP.  NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (Feb 2020 to Sept 2022).  £789,228.
  • S Cotterill, P Bower, D French, E Kontopantelis, R Elliott, P Wilson, B McMillan, M Rutter, C Sanders, & S Giles.  Healthy Living Diabetes - Long-term Independent National Evaluation (HEDLINE).  NIHR Policy Research Programme (May 2020 to Sept 2023).  £750,000.
  • T Bannan, J Anderson, J Evans, D French, D Topping, & S Cotterill.  Development of land at Brent Cross, London: Co-development of a flourishing index and collection and management of baseline data.  BXS GP Limited (Jan 2021 to Dec 2021).  £52, 988.
  • DG Evans, S Howell, A Antoniou, M Widschwendter, D Easton, S Astley, S Wright, K Payne, J Usher-Smith, DP French, & N Peek.  A case control study of women aged 30-39 to augment breast cancer risk prediction and assess acceptability and preference of systematic risk prediction approach through primary care.  Cancer Research UK (ACED: International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection) (Sept 2021 to Aug 2024).  £528,154.
  • C Faivre-Finn, G Price, S Devaney, S Hølm, E Kontopantelis, T van Staa, A McWilliam, K Payne, DP French, C Sanders, N Proudlove, R Willans, S Parsons, L Hamrang, & B Turner.  Using real world data and rapid learning to drive improvements in lung cancer survival.  NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research (Nov 2021 to Oct 2026).  £2,376,526.
  • YK Bartlett (CoPI), DP French (CoPI), A Farmer, M Harvie, & M Mistry.  Developing evidence-based text messages to target diet and physical activity behaviour for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus.  NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (Apr 2022 to Sept 2023).  £150,574.


Current research interests

  • Screening programmes: behavioural, emotional and implementation aspects
  • Cancer prevention and early detection
  • Interventions to change health-related behaviours (development and evaluation)
  • Understanding maintenance of changes in behaviour
  • Walking, including walking groups
  • Medication adherence
  • Developing interventions with reach
  • Evaluations of built environment interventions
  • The role of self-efficacy in changing behaviour
  • Risk communication
  • Measurement reactivity

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Fellow of European Health Psychology Society
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • Full Member of the BPS Division of Health Psychology
  • Chartered Psychologist
  • Registered as a Health Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council
  • Member of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine


B.Sc. (Honours) in Psychology (Hull) 2i 1990
M.Sc. in Applied (i.e. Occupational) Psychology (Wales) 1992
Ph.D. in Health Psychology (GKT School of Medicine, Kings College London) 1999


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing
  • Healthier Futures


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