Personal profile


Sarah is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Biostatistics.


After completing a BA in Politics and Modern History at the University of Manchester, Sarah worked for many years in housing and regeneration for local authorities in Greater Manchester.

In 2004 Sarah completed a MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics at CCSR, University of Manchester, folowed in 2007, by a PhD at the University of Leeds, Partnership Working in Local Electronic Government.

2007 - 2011 Research Associate at the Institute for Political and Economic Governance, University of Manchester on an ESRC project, 'Rediscovering the Civic and Achieving Better Outcomes in Public Policy'

In 2011 Sarah was appointed as a Research Fellow in the Centre for Biostatistics.

In 2018 Sarah was promoted to Senior Lecturer

Research interests

Sarah's research interests are in public health, behaviour change and research methodology. She has experience in policy research on behaviour change at scale. This started as a social scientist testing out ways of encouraging people to undertake civic behaviour (recycling, charitable donations, volunteering). Since moving to health research in 2010, she has undertaken policy evaluations and research on health behaviour change. 

Sarah has broad knowledge of research methodolgy, and a particular interest in the design and analysis of randomised controlled trials and feasibility studies for the evaluation of health and public policy interventions.

Current and recent research:

Principal Investigator:

  • 2020-2023: Healthy Living Diabetes - Long-term Independent National Evaluation (HEDLINE), funded by NIHR Policy Research Programme
  • 2018-2019: The impact of social norms interventions on clinical behaviour change among health workers: a systematic review, funded by NIHR HS&DR


  • 2019-2021 Feasibility and acceptability of TOOTHPICKS, a behaviour change intervention to support parent-dental practitioner communication about behaviour change to improve oral health in children, funded by NIHR RfPB
  • 2018 - 2022 A randomised controlled trial of job retention vocational rehabilitation for employed people with inflammatory arthritis: the WORKWELL trial. Funded by Arthritis UK
  • 2017 – 2023: DIPLOMA Evaluation of the NHS diabetes prevention programme. Funded by NIHR HS&DR. 
  • 2017 - 2019 Refining and testing the diagnostic accuracy of an assessment tool (PAT-POPs) to predict admission and discharge of children and young people who attend an emergency department. Funded by NIHR RfPB
  • 2017 – 2019 Natural experiment to evaluate the effects of greening public spaces on physical activity and wellbeing (GHIA) collaboration with Manchester City Council. Statistician.
  • 2015 – 2018: The effect of arthritis gloves on people with Arthritis with hand pain (A-Gloves RCT. Funded by NIHR RfPB. Trial statistician


Sarah teaches on the undergraduate medical programme:

  • Statistics to 3rd year medical students for short research projects (APEP) (2011 - present).
  • Supervision of student projects

My collaborations

Sarah Rhodes, Centre for Biostatistics

Sarah Peters, Manchester Centre for Health Psychology

David French, Manchester Centre for Health Psychology

Andy Vail, Centre for Biostatistics

Peter Bower, Centre for Primary Care.

Alison Hammond, University of Salford

Tony Long, University of Salford

Andrew Rowland, Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust

Audrey Bowen

Emma Patchwood

Chris Sutton

Antonia Marsden

Paul Wilson

Evan Kontapantoulis

Rachel Elliott

Sally Giles

Mark Hann

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Royal Statistical Society

UK Society for Behavioural Medicine

Methodological knowledge

Design, implementation and analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Feasibility and pilot studies.

Policy evaluations


PhD (2007) University of Leeds

MSc (2004) Social Research Methods and Statistics, University of Manchester

BA (1983) Politics and Modern History, University of Manchester

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 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

External positions

Honorary contrct, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

31 Dec 2001 → …

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Healthier Futures


  • methodology
  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Behavioural insight
  • Behaviour Change
  • Policy Evaluation


Dive into the research topics where Sarah Cotterill 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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