Photo showing a MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit display at an event

We have a lunchtime seminar series featuring our own researchers and invited speakers from academic, policy and third sector organisations. These seminars take place throughout the year and are open to students, staff and the general public.

We also organise and participate in various talks, workshops, debates, conferences and festivals to share our research and connect with people beyond academia.

Please sign up to our mailing list to be kept informed of upcoming events.

Webinar - A new framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions

Join the authors of the new MRC/NIHR Framework for Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions to hear how the new framework can influence your research.

Monday 4th October, 11am-12.30pm

This introductory webinar will be held on Zoom and chaired by Professor Laurence Moore, Director of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit. It will include:

  • Introduction by Professor Peter Craig, lead author of the previous 2006 guidance, discussing why a new update was important.
  • Brief overview of the guidance by lead author Dr Kathryn Skivington, with a focus on its four research perspectives, four phases of research, and the six new core elements to consider in your complex intervention research.
  • Insights from members of the framework's author group on how the framework will shape their work going forward.

Register on Eventbrite

Children’s Health in Care in Scotland (CHiCS): Initial findings from linked administrative data research and Knowledge Café

21st-23rd September 2021 (3 hours per day)

The Children’s Health in Care in Scotland project was set up to provide the first population-wide evidence on the health outcomes of care experienced children compared to children in the general population. The initial results show substantial differences in health and health service use between children with and without care experience. Care experienced children are more likely to have been in contact with the health service and do so more often. Many of the reasons for contacting health services are also different for the two groups of children, with the care experienced children and youth having more frequent contact related to mental, sexual and reproductive health.

This webinar will introduce the findings from the CHiCS project and invites the participants to discuss these in small online cafés. It is planned over three days (three hours per day), each focusing on a specific aspect of health. As well as introducing results from the CHiCS project, the webinar also includes guest presentations by other researchers, including research from Wales and Northern Ireland. Using the World Café method, the participants will then explore questions around the context of the results, how to talk to children and young people about these, and what policy responses might be required to reduce inequalities in health. We conclude with an open discussion where the different cafés will be feeding back the key ideas from their discussions to all participants.  

Our event is aimed at policy makers, health and social care workers, and everyone who works with or is interested in the lives of care experienced children. The webinar will be run on MS Teams and livestreamed on YouTube. 

Register now


Tuesday 21st September, 10am-1pm - Health of care experienced children

“Findings from CHiCS: Socioeconomic background, morbidity, and mortality among care experienced children in Scotland” Dr. Denise Brown and Dr. Mirjam Allik (University of Glasgow)

Guest presentation:

“Health of children and young people involved in care proceedings in Wales” Dr. Lucy Griffiths (Swansea University)

Lucy will provide an overview of work being carried out within the Family Justice Data Partnership to examine heath profiles and health service utilisation of children and young people subject to public law applications. The research uses population-level family justice records linked to primary and secondary care records, facilitated through the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank at Swansea University.

Wednesday 22nd September, 1-4pm - Sexual and reproductive health

“Findings from CHiCS: Sexual and reproductive health among care experienced children in Scotland” Dr. Mirjam Allik (University of Glasgow)

Guest presentations:

“Sexual health outcomes for care experienced young people and their implications” Dr. Catherine Nixon (Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration) and Prof. Marion Henderson (University of Strathclyde)

Catherine and Marion will present evidence from the Sexual Health and Relationships Education (SHARE) trial on whether care experienced youth who do not live with either biological parent experience increased levels of sexual risk taking in comparison to other children. They then look at data on children enrolled in mainstream and alternative education settings that was collected as part of the evaluation of Healthy Respect phase 2; a national sexual health demonstration project funded by NHS Scotland. Catherine and Marion will conclude with a discussion on the implications of these findings for sexual health, relationships and parenting education (SHRE), and reflect upon the barriers and facilitators to care experienced children receiving SHRE.

Sexual exploitation of children involved in the Children’s Hearings System” Dr. Gillian Henderson (Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration)

Gillian will present findings from the first national study of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Scotland and look at the sexual exploitation of boys as well as girls. This study was carried out by SCRA and Barnardo’s Scotland. Her presentation will focus on key results from the research on the prevalence of CSE in Scotland, vulnerabilities and pathways to exploitation experienced by boys and girls, and the service response to these children. Gillian will also present the recommendations from the research for the actions needed to protect the most vulnerable children in our communities.

Thursday 23rd September, 10am-1pm - Mental health

“Findings from CHiCS: Mental health of care experienced children in Scotland” Dr. Denise Brown (University of Glasgow)

Guest presentations:

“Mental ill health in those known, or previously known, to social services: what can we learn from Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Data?” Dr. Aideen Maguire (Queens University Belfast)

Aideen is a psychiatric epidemiologist, and her research focuses on making better use of linked administrative data to understand population mental health. She currently works closely with Health Data Research UK, the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study and Administrative Data Research Northern Ireland. Aideen’s presentation will highlight the provisional findings exploring mental ill health in children known to social services and mortality risk after leaving care. She will also highlight some of the of the challenges and successes of working with administrative data.

“Enhancing Scotland’s routine datasets to increase their potential” Prof. Helen Minnis and Dr. Michael Fleming (University of Glasgow)

Helen and Michael will discuss their work on, and future plans for, enhancing exposure data on children’s experiences of adversity in Scotland’s social care datasets.  They will also describe some existing work using routine data on children’s chronic mental health/neurodevelopmental conditions and in looked after children.

Lunchtime seminars

Our lunchtime seminars are usually held on a Thursday from 1-2pm.

If you would like to attend one of our virtual seminars, please contact to receive the Zoom link.

Date  SpeakerTitle

Professor Anthony Costello, co-chair of the Lancet Countdown and Professor of Global Health and Sustainable Development, UCL

Dr Marina Romanello, Research Director of the Lancet Countdown and Research Fellow at UCL

Lancet Countdown: Tracking progress on health and climate change


Dr Lindsay Jaacks, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Chancellors Fellow Global Challenges, University of Edinburgh

Health co-benefits of organic farming


Dr Corinna Elsenbroich

Embracing social complexity

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


Professor Alison Heppenstall

Using agent-based models to simulate social systems

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


Dr Lauren Powell, Dept of Clinical Sciences & Advanced Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, USA

The effects of dog ownership on human mental well-being

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


Professor Laurence Moore, Professor Sharon Simpson, Dr Jo Inchley, Dr Eric Silverman

Research in the SPHSU Complexity programme

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


Professor Rich Mitchell

Research in the SPHSU Places programme

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


Dr Vittal Katikireddi, Dr Claire Niedwiedz

Ethnic inequalities in COVID-19: What do we know so far?

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


Professor Alastair Leyland, Professor Peter Craig, Dr Michael Green, Dr Lia Demou, Dr Vittal Katikireddi

Research on COVID-19 in the Inequalities programme

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


Professor Petra Meier, University of Sheffield

Systems Science in Public Health and Health Economic Research - an Introduction to the work of the SIPHER Consortium 

Jeremy Hilton VR CEng, Principal Research Fellow in Complex Systems at Cranfield University

Putting empiricism in context; the benefits of critical realism within systems thinking

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube



Carrie Purcell, Karen Maxwell, Fiona Bloomer, Sam Rowlands and Lesley Hoggart

SASS Website and Briefing Launch Seminar

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit logo 800 wide