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Joanna Goldthorpe, PhD, CPsychol, PG cert, BSc (Hons)

Dr, Dr

Personal profile


My research is primarily based around developing and evaluating complex interventions to improve health inequalities and outcomes for  for children and families, with a particular focus on oral and public health and health service research. I am a Chartered Psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society.

I am an advisor for the NIHR Reseach Design Service North West

I volunteer with the Change Exchange, a University of Manchester based organisation that works alongside other UK organisations and health services in sub-saharan Africa to offer consultation on ways in which health psychology can enhance and improve behaviour change initiatives. Alongside UOM colleagues, I have worked with a Pharmacy team from Glasgow to deliver training in appropriate prescribing of Antibiotics in the Keta Hospital and the Accra Police Hospital in Ghana. I hope to return in February 2020 for some follow-up work. 

I supervise a number of BSc, Msc, MRes and Phd student projects and am a Manchester Access Programme (MAP) tutor. I deliver lectures and workshops on behavioural science and communication for the BSc Oral Health Science and BDS Dentistry programmes and teach on the MSc Clinical and Health Psychology course.

I also have a role at Lancaster University working for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North West Coast, Equitable Place Based Health and Care (EPHC) Theme leading a number of research projects focused on health equity. You can find my profile here



I am a chartered psychologist and researcher based at the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology (MCHP). I have worked in the area of social and health services research since 2003, having held previous roles at Birkbeck College, University of London and the Centre for Public Health Research at the University of Chester. I gained my PhD in Dental and Commmunity Public Health in 2012 and continue to work closely with the Division of Dentistry, securing funding from NIHR for The Polar Bear Study, a collborative project between MCHP and the Dental Health Unit which started early January 2020. 


Research interests

Principal research interests include using theory and evidence from behavioural science and health psychology to develop and evaluate complex interventions to improve health; oral health; health services research; qualitative methods and improving health inequalities. 


Division of Psychology and Mental Health: Tutor for MSc Health and Clinical Psychology programme

Division of Dentistry: Introducing behaviour change techniques (year 2) and communication skills (year 1).

Manchester Access Programme (MAP) academic tutor


My collaborations

Dr Sarah Peters

Dr Jo Brooks

Professor Iain Pretty (Division of Dentistry)

Dr Anja Wittkowski (Clinical Psychology)

Prof Martin Rutter

Professor Rachel Calam 

Professor Chris Armitage 

Dr Tracy Epton 

Dr Chris Keyworth

Professor Karina Lovell 

Professor Martin Tickle 

Dr Sarah Cotterill

Prof Jo Hart

Prof Stephen Birch


Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Chartered Psychologist: Membership of the British Psychological Society, affilitated to the Division of Health Psychology and Qualitative Methods in Psychology.

Methodological knowledge

Evidence synthesis for the development of complex interventions to improve health

Implementation science

Qualitative methods in health services research and trials

Involving and recruiting "hard to reach" participants in research


BSc Psychology and Human Resource Management, University of Keele (1997)

Post Graduate Certificate in Research Methods, University of Chester (2008)

PhD Dental public health and community dentistry, University of Manchester (2012)

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Research Fellow , Lancaster University

4 Jan 2021 → …

Areas of expertise

  • BF Psychology
  • Behavioural Science
  • Qualitative methods
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Inequalities
  • Complex intervention development and evaluation

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Policy@Manchester
  • Digital Futures


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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