School of Health in Social Science

Current Research

Explore our world-leading, innovative research on understanding and improving health, wellbeing and inequalities.

Our work addresses a wide range of research questions, methods and populations. We conduct research across multiple settings including communities, health and social care, and the education system. Researchers use a host of quantitative and qualitive methods, working in person and digitally to address health-related challenges. Research from the School spans multiple geographies from the local to the global.

Edinburgh Centre for Research on the Experience of Dementia

We are an interdisciplinary group of dementia researchers, people with dementia, dementia practitioners and representatives from a range of dementia organisations. We are interested in exploring and developing theories, methods and impact around the experience of living with dementia.

The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy

SCPHRP’s vision promotes Scotland as a leader in public-health intervention research for equitable health improvement through catalysing strong researcher/research-user collaborations that ensure timely, robust, policy relevant research that is created with – and used by - key decision-makers.

Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology

CADP is a group of researchers whose research focuses on child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing.

Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry

The Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry (CCRI) fosters innovative qualitative research that places the relational at its heart. Key to the vision for the Centre is that it develop the ‘creative-relational’ as a dynamic conceptual frame for vibrant, incisive research.

Centre for Homelessness and Inclusion Health

CHIH are a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and local partners in Scotland to improve the health and wellbeing of people who experience homelessness. 

A Public Inconvenience

Finding solutions which maximize the design and findability of accessible toilets when travelling. The aim is to explore and define the needs of disabled people with a range of impairments to use toilet facilities while travelling.

Art is Everywhere

Active And Creative Communities Arts Development: Social Prescribing, Sustainable Strategic Planning And Breaking Down Barriers Across Sectors In North Lanarkshire


bold Scotland is a five-year project and stands for Bringing Out Leaders in Dementia. It is an innovative, creative and interactive social leadership programme for people across Scotland which recognises that across Scotland many people of all ages and from all walks of life, including persons living with dementia, are already taking a lead, making a difference and finding their place in the ‘dementia world'.


CAREhub is a group for students and staff, researchers and practitioners interested in the wellbeing of care-experienced young people. 

Children, Adolescents and Animals Research Group (caar)

Children, adolescents and animals research group (caar) is part of the Centre of Applied Developmental Psychology in the School of Health in Social Science.

CONNECT: using electronic devices to predict relapse of psychosis

CONNECT is a study that uses digital technology to determine whether a decline in a person’s mental health can be detected in advance through digital technology.

Contextual Mental Health Research Group

The Contextual Mental Health (CMH) research group is part of the School of Health in Social Science and we work in partnership with NHS Lothian.

Counselling People with Dementia

The Counselling People with Dementia (CouPLeD) project involves a phased programme of exploration into the use of counselling to meet the unmet emotional needs of people living with dementia. Our vision is for people with lived experience of dementia to have easy and timely access to counselling to support their mental health as and when they need it.

Crowdsourcing for adolescent health

Development and evaluation of a tool to collect data on the state and determinants of adolescent physical health.

CREATE Dance for Dementia

CREATE Dance for Dementia is a one-year project seeking to Cocreate a REsearch Agenda To facilitate Equitable Dance for Dementia. We are running a series of research workshops to bring together those living with dementia, carers, researchers and dance organisations to advance our understanding of rights-based ways of working in research on dance for dementia.

Dementia Workforce Excellence in Acute Care

Aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of dementia education and training among acute care practitioners and to promote a learning approach that facilitates person-centred dementia care.

Developing and evaluating interventions for eating disorders

We are evaluating a number of interventions and resources that aim to support young people with body image difficulties and eating disorders. The interventions under investigation include Interpersonal Psychotherapy Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Peer Support and Digital interventions.

Developing and evaluating Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) interventions

This project involves evaluating several interventions based on Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT).

Developing and evaluating SPCA interventions

A number of our projects and studies involve collaborating with the Scottish SPCA and the RSPCA to develop and evaluate interventions that support animal welfare education and the prevention of cruelty to animals.

DigniSpace: Now and Beyond

Putting dignity into operation using PANEL Principles of Human Rights.


Based on over a decade of research, Drivingly is a comprehensive, family-based crash prevention programme that supports families throughout the learning-to-drive process and targets a range of risk and protective factors.

Drugs Research Network for Scotland

The Drugs Research Network for Scotland (DRNS) exists to support and promote collaborative drugs research across disciplines, higher education institutions, health and social care providers, criminal justice services, voluntary sector providers, local communities, people who use drugs and their families across Scotland.

Early Intervention for Eating Disorders

In this project we are exploring how to support early intervention for eating disorders, as well as tailoring interventions to illness stage and individual circumstances. 

Eating and neurodiversity

In this project we are exploring how eating behaviours and disorders are associated with neurodivergence.

Eating Disorders and Behaviours Research Group

The Eating Disorders and Behaviours Research Group explore body image, disordered eating and eating disorders, in both clinical groups and in the general population.

Eating disorders, public health and social inequalities

This project aims to explore how social inequalities and public health interventions may impact body image, disordered eating and eating disorders.

Everyday life experiences of Young People (EPIC-A and Day2Day)

This study investigates the interpersonal dynamics and psychosocial processes happening in young people to draw a picture of the mechanisms that lead to positive mental health outcomes.

Fetal Alcohol Advisory Support and Training Team (FAASTT)

The Fetal Alcohol Advisory Support & Training Team (FAASTT) has a national remit to provide and guide training, consultation, and research to improve the knowledge and confidence of Scotland’s health and social care workforce in their work with people affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

Harnessing data from the National Child Development Survey to model the spatial and longitudinal trends in obesity in the UK

The public health problem of obesity and morbid obesity is one of the concerns and topics of research in the UK.

‘He kept me safe’: a performance on intimate partner violence

'He kept me safe' is a project using the methodology of narrative portraiture to create a performance of qualitative research.

Home intervention for patients with COPD

Using home intervention for moderate-severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and co-morbidities by Pharmacists and Physicians: methods and baseline characteristics from a multicentre pilot randomised controlled trial

Illegal Puppy Trade and Puppy Health and Welfare

This project investigated the effects of intensive dog breeding regimens, also known as 'puppy farming', on the health and  behaviour of dogs as reported by their owners.


IMAGINED stands for Investigating Meaning-making and the cocreation of Guidelines for Evaluation IN participatory Arts for Dementia. It is a 2-year project seeking to explore meaning-making processes in participatory arts for dementia activities, and how to evaluate these meaningful experiences.

PATHS Research Group

PATHS Research Group explore the interconnections – the ‘paths’ – between public health, the arts, theory, and sociology. Exploring the application of our research to policy and practice is also important to what we do.


A multicentred feasibility trial of a novel app-based approach to supporting young people who have experienced online sexual abuse.

IMMERSE (Implementing Mobile MEntal health Recording Strategy for Europe)

The IMMERSE study is composed of 8 work packages and the team at the University of Edinburgh was involved in work packages involving stakeholder engagement, implementation, and evaluation.


INCLUDED is a 9-month project that explores how we can include people with a more advanced dementia as co-researchers. We will be holding a series of research workshops that bring together people living with dementia, artists, policymakers and other key stakeholders, to explore how we can include people with a more advanced dementia as co-researchers through creative and arts-based methods.

Intergenerational Mental Health

There is substantial evidence that parents' mental health and well-being have a formative and long-lasting impact on developmental outcomes for infants and children.

Investigating excessive rationalisation in OCD

Excessive rationalisation describes a maladaptive cognitive strategy which is used by people with OCD to deal with their unwanted thoughts.

Mental health & wellbeing in Advanced Illness Network (MAIN)

MAIN will bring together academics, clinicians, service managers, patient and carer representatives and policy-leads to advance a research agenda to improve mental wellbeing for people approaching end-of-life, and their caregivers, across the UK.

My Grief My Way (MGMW)

Development of an online self-directed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) intervention to improve ability to cope and quality of life after bereavement.

Nature Connection Research Group

The Nature Connection Research Group encompasses nature connection and planetary health projects, including researching wellbeing benefits of outdoor walks, gardening or engaging with wildlife; emotions relating to climate and ecological crises; and offering therapy outdoors.


Nurses’ and midwives’ Experiences of Accessing Research evidence for practice in Ghana

Neurodivergent and Learning Disabilities Research Group (NALD)

Exploring Wellbeing and Mental Health in Neurodivergent groups and those who have Learning Disabilities.

Nigeria-Scotland Arts Exchange

Bringing together those working in the arts and dementia across Scotland and Nigeria to engage in an international knowledge-exchange.

Paws on Campus

Paws on Campus is a new canine-assisted intervention for students who are experiencing difficulties due to high stress, anxiety, low mood, or other wellbeing issues. The programme complements other student support services in the University and might be particularly suited to those who enjoy spending time with companion animals or are missing their pets from home. It is available to students on all programmes across the University.

Pets and changing homes: the views of care experienced children/young people

This study explores the nature of care-experienced children's relationships with pets and the impact of housing/home transitions.


Pharmacy Homeless Outreach Engagement Non medical Independent prescribing (PHOENIx): community pharmacy based multicentre pilot randomised controlled trial with parallel process and economic evaluation.

Promoting a duty of care to animals among children and adolescents

This programme of work involved two three-year government funded projects on how we promote a duty of care to animals among children and adolescents.  The first three-year project focused on children, then the second project focused on adolescents.

Public Health, Humanities and Magical Realism: A Creative-Relational Approach to Researching Human Experience

This book calls for a re-conceptualisation of the public health evidence-base to include crucial forms of creative and relational data about people’s lived experiences that cannot be accessed through the biomedical approach to generating and using evidence.

REALITIES in Health Disparities

Researching Evidence-based Alternatives in Living, Imaginative, Traumatised, Integrated, Embodied Systems

Road to Recovery

The focus of this project is to understand the impact of the COVID-19 response strategy on children and young people with Intellectual Disabilities and their families.

Scottish Student Mental Health Research Network (ScotSMART)

ScotSMART is a research network for student mental health in Scotland. It seeks to bring together academics, professional services, practitioners, and other student mental health research stakeholders to address a broad range of topics and facilitate knowledge exchange across the Scottish Higher Education sector, covering themes including mental health, stigma around mental health, identity, loneliness, and social relationships.

Showing the Way

Showing the Way was a research collaboration between ECRED and HammondCare that explored how people with dementia understand and use signage.


Pilot study investigating mental health and wellbeing in adolescents.


Supporting Mental Health in Young People: Integrated Methodology for clinical decisions and evidence-based interventions

Social media, body image, and eating

This project seeks to understand how social media and the online world relate to people’s body image, eating attitudes and eating behaviours.

Stories of Empowerment

Sharing the voices of lived experience researchers from our co-produced projects. We conducted creative workshops and interviews to make a new film to spotlight the value of co-production for those living with dementia.

Suicide in/as Politics

Suicide in/as Politics is a 3 year interdisciplinary project, situated between sociology and political studies.

Suicide Cultures: Reimagining Suicide Research

Suicide Cultures is a 5-year sociologically driven, interdisciplinary study of meanings and practices of suicide across diverse regions of Scotland.

Supporting People and Pets in the UK

The aim of this project is to identify the challenges people in the UK are facing with pets due to the financial crisis and how the Blue Cross can better support people to look after their pets.

The ECREDibles

The ECREDibles are a group of people living with dementia in Scotland who are interested in research. The group offers peer support to share ideas, information and inspiration about research projects, also carrying out their own research with support from groups, partnerships and projects. ECRED are their partner, with the ECREDibles supporting in the co-design and delivery of a range of our research projects.

The 'New Dementia': Widening Choices for People with Dementia

Widening Choices for People with Dementia addresses an emerging and substantial issue in relation to suitable housing options for people with dementia who have received an early diagnosis and have been living with dementia for five-plus years.

The Smarties

The Smarties are a group of lived experience researchers. The group was set up as part of Rose Vincent's doctoral research. Over 8 months (in 2021-2022) The Smarties met to co-produce a piece of research into volunteering in young onset dementia for Rose’s PhD.

Thistledown Project

The aim of this research project is to develop practical and ethically sound guidance on the conduct of ethnographic research within a population of individuals who have dementia.

Trauma-informed approaches in policing

Recognition of the prevalence and impact of trauma has led to a motivation for all public-facing sectors to become trauma-informed. This project investigates various aspects of trauma-informed approaches in police. 

YARNS Transitions

YARNS Transitions (Young Adults Rehabilitation experiences and Needs following Stroke) is a project working to develop a nurse-led, holistic, neurological rehabilitation intervention which supports the psychosocial rehabilitation and survivorship of young adults following an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).