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Duncan Thomas


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Personal profile

Further information

Additional Information

Duncan currently teaches on water supply and sanitation planning and policy in developing countries (BMAN72192) led by MBS colleague, Dale Whittington (a video summary of the course content is available, as are video highlights of a guest lecture by Tony Allan). For 2014, Dale and Duncan are offering a brand new version of this course via Coursera as a MOOC (massive open online course). This Water Supply and Sanitation in Developing Countries MOOC is free and open to everyone and further details are available here.

Separately Duncan has also given MBS Executive Education sessions on innovation for major UK water companies in 2009 and 2012. He has also previously designed and delivered an MSc course unit on Sustainable Policies for Science, Technology and Innovation - and has given guest lectures on technology assessment and evaluation from a sustainability perspective, as well as on qualitative research methods (interviews, case studies). Recently he has supervised Masters dissertations and currently supervises two full-time PhD researchers.

Duncan was formerly a contributing editor for the British Council’s monthly Science Insight bulletin, has undertaken curriculum innovation, has been involved with various committees and interest groups around the University of Manchester, and co-organised the MIoIR seminar series (during 2003-06). He enjoys music performance, recording and production, and photography and film-making (see One Day Films). 


Duncan joined the 5 RAE research scored and teaching top-scoring 24 QAA Policy Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (PREST) research centre at the University of Manchester in 2002, now the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research within Manchester Business School. He has published in academic journals (e.g. Research Evaluation) and professional journals (e.g. Water & Wastewater Treatment, Utility Week), has led research projects as principal investigator, and has worked in interdisciplinary, international teams.

He has been funded by a variety of organisations, including: EU FP7 IDEAS Programme (ERC); Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); EU FP6; European Commission (EC) JRC-IPTS; EC JRC-EuroFound; PRIME Network of Excellence; ESTO; Defra; Department of Health; Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Dstl/MOD; Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO); British Council; Environment Agency (EA); NWDA; Ofwat; Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation); and UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR).

His professional qualifications and experience includes:

  • MEnt (Tech) - 2006 - University of Salford (with Distinction).
  • PhD - 2002 - ESRC CASE Award with United Utilities; University of Manchester (supervisor Prof. Luke Georghiou).
  • MSc - 1998 - Technical Change and Industrial Strategy; PREST.
  • Research Engineer - 1994-97 - Thorn EMI's Central Research Laboratories.
  • BSc (Hons) ARCS - 1995 - Physics; Imperial College, London.

 From 2014 Duncan will be trying out a new form of teaching led by Prof. Dale Whittington by launching a MOOC (massive open online course) via Coursera on Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries.

Research interests

Duncan's research interests include:

  • European science dynamics.
  • Innovation, climate change resilience and sustainability in regulated water utility sectors.
  • Global water and sanitation planning and policies. 

His work for UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) on barriers to innovation in the UK water sector in 2006 received significant attention and has led to Duncan's involvement in a range of high-level water-related initiatives around the UK - including appearing before the All Party Parliamentary Water Group in the House of Commons, and being appointed to Ofwat's Future Regulation Advisory Panel in 2012 (see also his water blog,

Some of Duncan's recent funded research projects include: 

  • EURECIA (EU FP7 IDEAS programme/ERC) - Understanding and Understanding and Assessing the Impact and Outcomes of the ERC and its Funding Schemes - 2009-12 [].
  • UNI-Tekes (Tekes) - Universities, Funding systems, and the Renewal of the Industrial Knowledge Base - 2012-14.
  • JOREP (EU FP7) - Investments on Joint and Open R&D Programs and analysis of their economic impact - 2010-12.
  • EPSRC (Ideas Factory) CREW (Community Resilience to Extreme Weather) - 2008-11 [].


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 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


Dive into the research topics where Duncan Thomas is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Physical, cognitive, and mental health impacts of COVID-19 after hospitalisation (PHOSP-COVID): a UK multicentre, prospective cohort study.

    PHOSP-COVID Collaborative Group, 7 Oct 2021, In: The Lancet. Respiratory medicine.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Mapping research fields using co-nomination: the case of hyper-authorship heavy flavour physics

    Karaulova, M., Nedeva, M. & Thomas, D., 18 Jun 2020, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Scientometrics.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    116 Downloads (Pure)
  • Co-existing Notions of Research Quality: towards a framework to study and understand research quality

    Langfeldt, L., Sorin, S., Nedeva, M. & Thomas, D., 5 Aug 2019, (Accepted/In press) In: Minerva.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Mapping Research Fields Using Co-Nomination Approach: The Case of Heavy Flavour Physics

    Nedeva, M., Karaulova, M. & Thomas, D., May 2019, (Submitted) In: Science and Public Policy.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Publisher Correction: Shared heritability and functional enrichment across six solid cancers

    Jiang, X., Finucane, H. K., Schumacher, F. R., Schmit, S. L., Tyrer, J. P., Han, Y., Michailidou, K., Lesseur, C., Kuchenbaecker, K. B., Dennis, J., Conti, D. V., Casey, G., Gaudet, M. M., Huyghe, J. R., Albanes, D., Aldrich, M. C., Andrew, A. S., Andrulis, I. L., Anton-Culver, H., Antoniou, A. C., & 313 othersAntonenkova, N. N., Arnold, S. M., Aronson, K. J., Arun, B. K., Bandera, E. V., Barkardottir, R. B., Barnes, D. R., Batra, J., Beckmann, M. W., Benitez, J., Benlloch, S., Berchuck, A., Berndt, S. I., Bickeböller, H., Bien, S. A., Blomqvist, C., Boccia, S., Bogdanova, N. V., Bojesen, S. E., Bolla, M. K., Brauch, H., Brenner, H., Brenton, J. D., Brook, M. N., Brunet, J., Brunnström, H., Buchanan, D. D., Burwinkel, B., Butzow, R., Cadoni, G., Caldés, T., Caligo, M. A., Campbell, I., Campbell, P. T., Cancel-Tassin, G., Cannon-Albright, L., Campa, D., Caporaso, N., Carvalho, A. L., Chan, A. T., Chang-Claude, J., Chanock, S. J., Chen, C., Christiani, D. C., Claes, K. B. M., Claessens, F., Clements, J., Collée, J. M., Correa, M. C., Couch, F. J., Cox, A., Cunningham, J. M., Cybulski, C., Czene, K., Daly, M. B., deFazio, A., Devilee, P., Diez, O., Gago-Dominguez, M., Donovan, J. L., Dörk, T., Duell, E. J., Dunning, A. M., Dwek, M., Eccles, D. M., Edlund, C. K., Edwards, D. R. V., Ellberg, C., Evans, D. G., Fasching, P. A., Ferris, R. L., Liloglou, T., Figueiredo, J. C., Fletcher, O., Fortner, R. T., Fostira, F., Franceschi, S., Friedman, E., Gallinger, S. J., Ganz, P. A., Garber, J., García-Sáenz, J. A., Gayther, S. A., Giles, G. G., Godwin, A. K., Goldberg, M. S., Goldgar, D. E., Goode, E. L., Goodman, M. T., Goodman, G., Grankvist, K., Greene, M. H., Gronberg, H., Gronwald, J., Guénel, P., Håkansson, N., Hall, P., Hamann, U., Hamdy, F. C., Hamilton, R. J., Hampe, J., Haugen, A., Heitz, F., Herrero, R., Hillemanns, P., Hoffmeister, M., Høgdall, E., Hong, Y-C., Hopper, J. L., Houlston, R., Hulick, P. J., Hunter, D. J., Huntsman, D. G., Idos, G., Imyanitov, E. N., Ingles, S. A., Isaacs, C., Jakubowska, A., James, P., Jenkins, M. A., Johansson, M., Johansson, M., John, E. M., Joshi, A. D., Kaneva, R., Karlan, B. Y., Kelemen, L. E., Kühl, T., Khaw, K-T., Khusnutdinova, E., Kibel, A. S., Kiemeney, L. A., Kim, J., Kjaer, S. K., Knight, J. A., Kogevinas, M., Kote-Jarai, Z., Koutros, S., Kristensen, V. N., Kupryjanczyk, J., Lacko, M., Lam, S., Lambrechts, D., Landi, M. T., Lazarus, P., Le, N. D., Lee, E., Lejbkowicz, F., Lenz, H-J., Leslie, G., Lessel, D., Lester, J., Levine, D. A., Li, L., Li, C. I., Lindblom, A., Lindor, N. M., Liu, G., Loupakis, F., Lubiński, J., Maehle, L., Maier, C., Mannermaa, A., Marchand, L. L., Margolin, S., May, T., McGuffog, L., Meindl, A., Middha, P., Miller, A., Milne, R. L., MacInnis, R. J., Modugno, F., Montagna, M., Moreno, V., Moysich, K. B., Mucci, L., Muir, K., Mulligan, A. M., Nathanson, K. L., Neal, D. E., Ness, A. R., Neuhausen, S. L., Nevanlinna, H., Newcomb, P. A., Newcomb, L. F., Nielsen, F. C., Nikitina-Zake, L., Nordestgaard, B. G., Nussbaum, R. L., Offit, K., Olah, E., Olama, A. A. A., Olopade, O. I., Olshan, A. F., Olsson, H., Osorio, A., Pandha, H., Park, J. Y., Pashayan, N., Parsons, M. T., Pejovic, T., Penney, K. L., Peters, W. H. M., Phelan, C. M., Phipps, A. I., Plaseska-Karanfilska, D., Pring, M., Prokofyeva, D., Radice, P., Stefansson, K., Ramus, S. J., Raskin, L., Rennert, G., Rennert, H. S., van Rensburg, E. J., Riggan, M. J., Risch, H. A., Risch, A., Roobol, M. J., Rosenstein, B. S., Rossing, M. A., De Ruyck, K., Saloustros, E., Sandler, D. P., Sawyer, E. J., Schabath, M. B., Schleutker, J., Schmidt, M. K., Setiawan, V. W., Shen, H., Siegel, E. M., Sieh, W., Singer, C. F., Slattery, M. L., Sorensen, K. D., Southey, M. C., Spurdle, A. B., Stanford, J. L., Stevens, V. L., Stintzing, S., Stone, J., Sundfeldt, K., Sutphen, R., Swerdlow, A. J., Tajara, E. H., Tangen, C. M., Tardon, A., Taylor, J. A., Teare, M. D., Teixeira, M. R., Terry, M. B., Terry, K. L., Thibodeau, S. N., Thomassen, M., Bjørge, L., Tischkowitz, M., Toland, A. E., Torres, D., Townsend, P. A., Travis, R. C., Tung, N., Tworoger, S. S., Ulrich, C. M., Usmani, N., Vachon, C. M., Van Nieuwenhuysen, E., Vega, A., Aguado-Barrera, M. E., Wang, Q., Webb, P. M., Weinberg, C. R., Weinstein, S., Weissler, M. C., Weitzel, J. N., West, C. M. L., White, E., Whittemore, A. S., Wichmann, H-E., Wiklund, F., Winqvist, R., Wolk, A., Woll, P., Woods, M., Wu, A. H., Wu, X., Yannoukakos, D., Zheng, W., Zienolddiny, S., Ziogas, A., Zorn, K. K., Lane, J. M., Saxena, R., Thomas, D., Hung, R. J., Diergaarde, B., McKay, J., Peters, U., Hsu, L., García-Closas, M., Eeles, R. A., Chenevix-Trench, G., Brennan, P. J., Haiman, C. A., Simard, J., Easton, D. F., Gruber, S. B., Pharoah, P. D. P., Price, A. L., Pasaniuc, B., Amos, C. I., Kraft, P. & Lindström, S., 23 Sept 2019, In: Nature Communications. 10, 1, p. 4386

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review