Professor Petra Meier

  • Professor of Public Health, Professor of Public Health (MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit)

Biography

Petra joined the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit as a Professor of Public Health in July 2020 to lead a new programme of Systems Science research.

Petra is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science (FAcSS), serves on the NIHR Public Health Research Funding Board and Public Health England’s Alcohol Advisory Board. She is a scientific advisor to the Institute for Alcohol Studies and incoming President of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social & Epidemiological Alcohol Research. Petra is a Senior Editor of Addiction. She has published over 100 journal contributions, including in top health journals Lancet, BMJ and Plos Medicine, and has won £14.4m as lead investigator, and >£26m as co-investigator.

Petra is Director of the UKPRP-funded SIPHER Consortium, a new hub for Systems Science in Public Health & Economic Research (2019-2024, £5m with additional £1.7m funding from 18 partner organisations). SIPHER seeks to create a new framework for system science public health research that blends qualitative research, data science, (health) economics, epidemiology and macro- and micro-level systems modelling approaches. Working in collaboration with policy and practice partners, SIPHER aims to create the evidence base to underpin Wellbeing in all Policies efforts by local, regional and national governments.

Prior to moving to Glasgow, Petra was Professor of Public Health at the University of Sheffield and founding Director of the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, one of the UK’s largest interdisciplinary alcohol research groups well known for policy appraisal and evaluation research, especially around minimum unit pricing, tax, and drinking guidelines. Petra currently leads the ESRC-funded Social Practices in Alcohol Research Collaboration (SPARC). Petra also set up a Wellcome Doctoral Training Centre in Public Health Economics and Decision Science, winning funding for 35 PhD studentships, and is a co-investigator for the MRC Skills Development Fellowship Programme in Population Health Systems Science and Decision Modelling. Petra has substantial experience of leading and working in teams covering a broad spectrum of disciplines to understand and address complex public health issues. As such, Petra is keen to build relationships with researchers and policy partners working across the health and social sciences, as well as modellers and policy analysts with background in disciplines such as computing, maths, physics, economics or engineering who are interested in public health and social sciences.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Petra if you would like to discuss potential research collaborations or PhD supervision.

Professional activities 

  • NIHR Public Health Research Funding Board member
  • President Elect of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Alcohol Research
  • Senior Editor: Addiction (top journal in field, IF=6.1)
  • Scientific Advisor: Institute of Alcohol Studies
  • Member of Public Health England’s Alcohol Advisory Board
  • Honorary contract with Public Health England
  • Honorary professor, Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling
  • Editorial board member of Drugs: Education Prevention Policy and Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 

Current grants (obtained prior to joining Glasgow) 

Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Centre in Public Health, Economics and Decision Science (PHEDS2)
Wellcome Trust. Principal Investigator 2020-2028. £5.2million 

Postdoctoral Skills Development Fellowship Programme in Population Health Systems Science and Decision Modelling
MRC. Co-Investigator 2018-2022 (PI Brazier). £1.1 million

Why is youth alcohol consumption falling? A mixed methods investigation of changing drinking cultures across recent generations
Wellcome Trust. Co-Investigator 2018-2022 (PI Holmes). £593,555

Integrated evidence synthesis for joint appraisal of tobacco and alcohol tax interventions for harm reduction in the UK (SYNTAX)
NIHR Public Health Research Board. Co-Investigator: 2018-2020 (PI Brennan). £727,000

Calibrated Agent Simulations for Combined Analysis of Drinking Etiologies (CASCADE)
US NIH NIAAA R01. Co-Investigator: 2017-2022 (PI Purshouse). $2m

NIHR School of Public Health Research – Renewal
NIHR Centre Grants. Co-Investigator: 2017-2022 (PI Goyder). £20,000,000 (shared between 8 research hubs)

Evaluating the impact of minimum unit pricing in Scotland on harmful drinkers
NHS Health Scotland. Co-Investigator: 2017-2020 (PI Holmes). £600,000

Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Centre in Public Health, Economics and Decision Science
Wellcome Trust. Lead applicant: 2016-2022. £1.8m for 20 doctoral scholarships

Recently completed grants (past 5 years)

UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS)
MRC Centres and Large Grants Scheme. Co-Investigator: 2013-2019 (PI Britton). £3.520,000 

Appraising the effect of implementing local minimum unit pricing under the Sustainable Communities Act on alcohol consumption in the North West
NIHR Public Health Research Board. Co-investigator: 2017-2019 (PI Brennan). £287,114

Evaluation of Tobacco Control Measures
NIHR Policy Research Programme. Co-Investigator: 2017-2019 (PI Langley). £490,000 

NIHR School of Public Health Research – Complexity in Public Health Policy
NIHR SPHR sub-project. Principal Investigator 2018-9. £87,000

The effectiveness of promotional campaigns associated with revised UK drinking guidelines: A prospective evaluation
NIHR Public Health Research Board. Co-investigator: 2016-2019 (PI Holmes). £590,000

UKPRP Consortium Development Grant
UK Prevention Research Partnership, led by the Medical Research Council. Principal Investigator 2018. £48,000 

Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) programmes: do they improve or worsen health inequalities?
Alcohol Research UK. Co-investigator: 2016-2017 (PI Angus). £52,000

Adaptation of the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model version3 to model economic impact of alcohol policies
Cancer Research UK. Principal Investigator: 2015-2016. £64,500

Investigation of alcohol density and alcohol-related hospital admissions in England
Alcohol Research UK. Co-Investigator: 2015 – 2016 (PI Maheswaran). £58,000

Specialist alcohol treatment capacity model in England
NIHR Policy Research Programme. Co-Investigator: 2014-2015 (PI Brennan). 148,000 

School of Public Health Research Centre Grant 
NIHR Centre Grants. Co-Investigator: 2012-2016 (PI Nicholl). £2.150,000   

Longitudinal Survey of Adult Drinkers in Scotland and England APISE (England and Scotland strands of the International Alcohol Control Study)
Medical Research Council National Prevention Research Initiative. Co-Investigator: 2012-2016 (PI Hastings). £1.200,000               

Randomised controlled trial of the 'Health in Early Feeding Scheme'
Medical Research Council National Prevention Research Initiative. Co-Investigator: 2012-2016 (PI Relton). £1.550,000

Addictions and lifestyles in contemporary Europe
European Union FP7 Large-scale grants. Co-Investigator: 2011-2016 (PI Anderson). EUR 10,000,000 

Interdisciplinary Alcohol Research Project (IARP)
Medical Research Council and Economics and Social Research Council. Principal investigator 2010-15. £1.1 million

Current and past research students

Abigail Stevely (PhD). SPHR scholarship, 3rd year student. Provisional thesis title: Using theories of practice to develop occasion-based epidemiology and policy analysis: studying context, consumption and harm

Naomi Gibbs (PhD): 4-year Wellcome Trust scholarship, 3rd year student. Provisional thesis title: Economic modelling of alcohol pricing policies in South Africa with a focus on equity

Suzie Roscoe (PhD: Faculty scholarship, 2nd year student. Provisional thesis title: The Impact of Public Health Disinvestment from Alcohol and Drug Treatment in England

Virginia Musto (PhD p/t): PHE staff R&D scheme, 2nd year student. Provisional thesis title: The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of adult specialist treatment and children’s social care support for parents misusing alcohol and other drugs in England

Lucy Gell (PhD). Thesis title: Drinking in older adults: the role of changes in health and other influences on alcohol consumption over time. Completed

Serena Vicario (PhD). Thesis title: Exploring female drinking practices in the transition to motherhood: a qualitative study. Completed

Fivos Papamalis (PhD). Thesis title: The role of personality in the drug treatment process. Completed

Neda Milevska(PhD). Thesis title: Effects of Policy Changes in Prescription Regulation. Completed

Sabrina Tahboub Schulte (PhD). Thesis title: Treatment services for dual diagnosis of mental health and substance misuse. Completed

Marie Embelle Malange (MPhil): Condom Use Negotiation among Young People in Cameroon: A Mixed Method Study. Completed

View Petra’s Google Scholar and ORCID pages.

Twitter: @pmeiersheffield


Research interests

  • Wellbeing in all policies: Cross-government policy approaches that maximise health and wellbeing
  • Health inequalities, and their link to political, economic, environmental and behavioural factors
  • Drinking cultures and alcohol policy effectiveness