Michael Donmall

Michael Donmall, BSc (Hons), PGCE, PhD Lond, FFPH, Dip Theol

Prof, Dip Theol

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Personal profile


Professor Emeritus (Health & Society) in the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care. Former founding Director of the National Drug Evidence Centre (NDEC). Member of the University Ethics Committee (UREC2) with an honorary contract as Public Health Academic (Health Sciences) with Public Health England.


Professor Emeritus (Health & Society) at the University of Manchester. Formerly founding Director of the National Drug Evidence Centre, Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care. For many years he was UK Expert at the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction, Lisbon and has been an advisor at the United Nations.

From a background as an Anthropologist at University College London (1975-84), Mike has a teaching qualification from King's and a PhD from the University of London’s Institute of Child Health, awarded in 1984 for research into cardiovascular precursors in children. He has published in anthropology, child health and drug addiction research. He served on the Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for 12 years from 1992 and was made a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians in 2006.

He moved to The University of Manchester in 1984 to set up an epidemiological resource in the area of drug misuse, setting up and directing the Drug Misuse Research Unit and subsequently the National Drug Evidence Centre (NDEC) from 2003. NDEC is responsible to government departments for surveillance, research and national statistics on substance misuse treatment. Mike’s research has spanned over 30 years and he has published widely. He is well known for his innovative work in developing treatment information systems across the UK and Europe, and for utilising these data in treatment and policy related research. From 1989 he was immersed in development of the Treatment Demand Indicator, now used across Europe, and for two decades was UK Expert at the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction, Lisbon. In 2006, he edited the Global Toolkit on the measurement of drug treatment demand for the United Nations.

In the last 10 years of his University career, his research interests focussed largely on investigating the epidemiology of drug misuse, evaluation of treatment interventions and the measurement of outcomes and effectiveness. High profile national research studies have included: the Epidemiological Surveillance of Drug Misuse, National Cocaine Treatment Study, Outcome of Waiting Lists Study, the Drug Treatment Outcomes Research Study and Evaluation of Payment by Results Pilot Evaluation.

Most recently he developed an interest in visualisation techniques and is Director of ViewItUk Ltd, a University Start-up Company developing graphical and interactive mapping resources in analysing complex health datasets.


He is a Tutor for Personal & Professional Development (Medical Students) until July 2019.

PhD Students

Andrew Jones (2013) - supervisor, co-supervised by Tim Millar

Stephanie Steels (2013) - supervisor, co-supervised by Arpana Verma

Tim Millar (2006) - supervisor, co-supervised by Dick Heller

Petra Meier (2004) - supervisor, co-supervised by Dick Heller

My collaborations

Until 2019

Dr Arpana Verma - University of Manchester

Prof. Matt Sutton -  University of Manchester

Dr Andrew Jones - University of Manchester

Dr Karen Hayhurst - University of Manchester

Dr Tim Millar - University of Manchester

Prof. Linda Davies - University of Manchester

Dr Scott Weaver - Geogia State University

Prof. Martin Biddle - University of Oxford

Dr Gordon Hay - Liverpool John Moores University

Prof Alan Brennan - University of Sheffield

Prof. Noel Cameron - University of Loughborough

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Society for the Study of Addiction
  • Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health (Royal College of Physicians)
  • European Public Health Association
  • Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health


  • B.Sc. (Hons) Anthropology (University College London)
  • PGCE (Kings College London)
  • PhD. Community Medicine (Institute of Child Health London)
  • FFPH Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health
  • Dip Theol (Sheffield University and Mirfield YMC)

Social responsibility

For many years I was a Trustee of the homelessness charity Emmaus.

At Emmaus Mossley we offer a home and work to previously homeless and unemployed people. Emmaus Mossley is not just a shop - it is home for up to 24 Companions. The project finances itself by collecting, restoring and selling donated goods such as furniture, bric-a-brac, antiques, electrical appliances, clothing, books, toys, bikes etc., and supports external charities through its Solidarity work.

The charity was founded in 1949 in Paris and has now spread to 44 countries; there are now 19 communities in the UK.

Come and visit!! See http://www.emmaus.org.uk/mossley

I am a vicar (Associate Priest) in the Church of England Parishes of Saddleworth http://saddleworthteam-cofe.org.uk/

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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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