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Emma Fisher

01642 738705
Job title:
Reader - Research
School of Health & Social Care
Health & Social Care research

About Emma Fisher

Emma Fisher

Emma Fisher
Reader - Research, School of Health & Social Care
T: 01642 738705
Research: Health & Social Care research

Dr Emma Louise Giles (Fisher) was awarded her PhD from Newcastle University in 2010. Her PhD explored the links between diet, alcohol, and physical activity in young adults, focusing on social marketing as a method to achieve lifestyle behaviour change.

She joined the School of Health and Social Care in April 2015 as Senior Research Lecturer in Public Health.

Emma has over 24 peer-reviewed journal articles and has secured over £280,000 in competitive grant funding. She is a peer reviewer for several high profile journals including Journal of the American Medical Association, PLOS One, and Appetite and is Associate Editor for BMC Public Health.

Emma is Postgraduate Tutor in the School of Health and Social Care, as well as a member of the School's Research Ethics and Governance Committee. 

Currently she supervises ten PhD students based at Teesside University, and acts as an advisor to an additional PhD student at Newcastle University. She is available to supervise additional PhD students and act as an internal and external PhD examiner.

Research interests

Emma’s research interests are primarily in the areas of social marketing for behaviour change, consumer behaviour, health promotion and public health, individual food, alcohol and physical activity behaviours, behaviour change, qualitative research, systematic reviews, and the impact of public policy on behaviour change. Emma’s PhD research focused on identifying the lifestyles of young adults in relation to food, alcohol and physical activity. This examined factors influencing individuals’ attitudes and behaviours and in particular rising obesity rates in young adults. A social marketing behavioural change framework was used to develop a targeted behavioural change strategy for encouraging healthier lifestyle behaviours in young adults.

Research projects & external funding

Current projects

A multi-centre individual-randomised controlled trial of screening and brief alcohol intervention to prevent risky drinking in young people aged 14-15 in a high school setting (SIPS JR-HIGH) (2015-2018)
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dorothy Newbury-Birch
Project Manager: Dr Emma L Giles
Co-investigators: Kings College London, The University of Kent, Liverpool John Moore's University, Newcastle University.
Funder: NIHR PHR

Measuring change from alcohol brief interventions: Development of a consensus core outcome set (2016-2018)
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dorothy Newbury-Birch
Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Prof. Aisha Holloway, Prof. Jeremy Bray, Prof. Anne Berman, Dr Gillian Shorter, Dr Amy O'Donnell
Funder: NHS - Balance

A pilot study to explore the feasibility and efficacy of the BeeZee Bodies/Healum App (2017-2018)
Principal Investigator: Dr Louisa Ells
Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Dr Liane Azevedo, Healum
Funder: Healum

Evaluating the North Yorkshire Healthy Choices tier 2 weight managemnt programme for children and young people aged 5-19 years (2017-2018)
Principal Investigator: Dr Louisa Ells
Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Dr Liane Azevedo
Funder: North Yorkshire County Council

Socio-ecological influences on adolescent alcohol use and linked unhealthy eating behaviours (2016-2018)
Principal Investigator: Dr Stephanie Scott
Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Dr Louisa Ells, Dr France Hillier-Brown
Funder: Fuse, The Centre for Translational Research

Previous Projects

A systematic review of alcohol interventions for people living with and beyond cancer (2017)
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dorothy Newbury-Birch
Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Dr Grant McGeechan
Funder: Alcohol Research UK

Children and young people: Alcohol study (2016-2017)
Principal Investigator: Dr Emma L Giles
Co-investigators: Prof. Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Dr Grant McGeechan, Balance (North East Alcohol Office)
Funder: NHS - Balance

Financial incentives for health behaviours (2012-2015)
Principal Investigator: Dr Jean Adams
Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Prof. Elaine McColl, Prof. Falko Sniehotta
Funder: NIHR

Older People and Dietary Behaviours (2010-2011)
Principal Investigator: Dr Sharron Kuznesof
Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles
Funder: Newcastle University

PhD and research opportunities

Emma currently supervises the following postgraduate students:

1.     Mr Phil Watson: DoS 2017- 2020 ‘Spiritual practices for the long term recovery from substances’ (Professional Doctorate).

2.     Ms Kate Byrnes (Graduate Tutor): DoS 2017-2021 ‘Behaviour change interventions to increase uptake of cancer screening initiatives’ (PhD).

3.     Mr Daniel Jones (Graduate Tutor): Second supervisor 2016-2020 ‘Exploring physical activity interventions in preschool children’ (PhD).

4.     Ms Elizabeth Beardsmore: Second supervisor 2016-2020 ‘Sugar reduction strategies and sugar taxation’ (PhD part-time).

5.     Ms Siobhan Taylor: Second supervisor 2013-2021 ‘How does Lean work in healthcare?’ (PhD part-time).

6.     Ms Abimbola Ojo: Second supervisor 2013-2021 ‘Promotion of healthy food in the fight against obesity: exploring the perception, beliefs, understanding, and practice of healthy eating among Black Africans in the South-East London, England’ (Doctorate in Public Health).

7.     Ms Jennifer Teke Epse Che: Third supervisor 2013-2021 ‘Exploring barriers, facilitators and marketing strategies for weight management programmes for BME communities in Medway’ (Doctorate in Public Health).

8.     Ms Caroline Nakachwa (Doctorate in Public Health). Supervised by Dr Louisa Ells (DoS), Dr Emma Giles (3rd Supervisor), completes 2021: ‘Overweight and obesity in low and middle income countries: an exploration of treatment strategies’ (part-time).

9.     Mrs Gillian Milton: Third supervisor 2015-2018 ‘Embedding interventions into public health within a changing landscape’ (PhD).

10.     Mr Matt Capsey (PhD). Supervised by Dr Cormac Ryan (DoS), Dr Emma Giles (3rd supervisor), 2016-2022: ‘Use of emergency medical services by those with lower back pain’.

Emma can be contacted to discuss PhD research supervision opportunities.

External roles and professional activities

Emma is an Associate Member of Fuse, The Centre for Translational Research, a member of the Food Nutrition Group of the British Sociological Association, and a member of the Regional Alcohol Partnership and Alcohol Champion’s Network, hosted by Balance the North East Alcohol Office. Through Fuse, Emma is also a member of the National Institute for Health Research funded, School for Public Health Research.  
She is also a member of INEBRIA, the International Network for Brief Interventions on Alcohol and Other Drugs, and is a member of the INEBRIA Special Interest Group on core outcome reporting. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

External research collaborations

Newcastle University
Durham University
Northumbria University
The University of Cambridge
Kings College London
The University of Kent
Liverpool John Moores University
The University of Edinburgh
The University of Lincoln
The University of Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
Karoline Institute, Sweden
RTI, North Caroline, USA

Learning and teaching interests

Emma contributes to teaching within the School of Health and Social Care as a guest lecturer on ethics for research, qualitative research designs, and qualitative analysis.

She is also a guest lecturer in the School of Social Science, Humanities and Law, on contemporary issues in health psychology.

Enterprise interests

Emma is currently contributing to a book titled ‘Co-creating and Co-producing Research Evidence: A Guide for Practitioners and Academics in Health, Social Care and Education Settings’ which is due to be submitted to the publisher Routledge late 2018. In this book she is co-writing chapters on ‘The academic perspective’, ‘Pupils, teachers and academics working together on research looking at the new GCSE’s’, and ‘School staff working together with academics on a multi-centre Randomised Controlled Trial of alcohol screening and brief interventions in the high school setting’.

Emma also works with a School in North Tyneside to co-create research and help develop research skills in young people.


Most recently published (see TeesRep for all publications):

Howe, N., McColl, E., Giles, E.L. and Newbury-Birch, D. (2018) ‘Systematic review of participants attitudes towards data sharing: athematic synthesis’. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 23 (2), 123-133

Scott, S., Reilly, J., Giles, E.L., Hillier-Brown, F., Ells, L., Kaner, E., and Adamson, A. (2017) Socio-ecological influences on adolescent (aged 10-17) alcohol use and linked unhealthy eating behaviours: protocol for a systematic review and synthesis of qualitative studies, Systematic Reviews, 6:1 (Impact Factor 1.672).

Shorter, G.W., Heather, N., Bray, J., Giles, E.L., Holloway, A., Barbosa, C., Berman, A.H., O’Donnell, A., Clarke, M., Stockdale, K., and Newbury-Birch, D. (2017) ‘The "Outcome Reporting in Brief Intervention Trials: Alcohol" [ORBITAL] framework: Protocol to determine a core outcome set for efficacy and effectiveness trials of alcohol screening and brief intervention’. Trials, 18 (611). 

Waller, G., Finch, T., Giles, E.L. and Newbury-Birch, D. (2017) ‘Exploring the factors affecting the implementation of tobacco and substance use interventions within a secondary school setting: a systematic review’. Implementation Science, 12:130 (Impact Factor 4.718).  

Newbury-Birch, D., Martin, N., Moat, C., Giles, E.L. and Shevills, C. (2017) ‘A survey of paramedics and alcohol related work: ascertaining fear of and level of assault in the North East Ambulance Service’.British Journal of Paramedics, 1: 4.

View Emma Fisher's Publications on TeesRep

In the news

  • TeeTeesside University- Study highlights issues alcohol causes for ambulance staff
    Public (Web) 07/03/2017
    Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch/ Dr Emma Giles academics from the University's School of Health & Social Care worked on the research with the findings now published in the British Paramedic Journal.

  • Research into how to tackle the effects of booze on teenagers
    Northern Echo Online, 02.09.2015; BBC Tees, 02.09.2015; Care Appintments, 03.09.2015
    Teesside University staff, Dorothy Newbury-Birch and Emma Giles mentioned in article.