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.

Places and children's health workshop - 3rd May 2023

Date and time: Wednesday 3rd May, 10am-4pm

Venue: The Advanced Research Centre (ARC), 11 Chapel Lane, University of Glasgow. The ARC is a short walk from Hillhead and Kelvinhall subway stations and Partick is the nearest train station. Find the ARC on Google Maps and check ARC accessibility

Please register on Eventbrite: 

We know that the places in which children live, play and move shape their current and future health. For example:

  • Access to local parks and woodlands influences children’s play, physical activity levels and mental health.
  • Neighbourhood infrastructure can support or constrain children’s active travel to school, leisure facilities, healthcare settings and other amenities.
  • Exposure to alcohol, tobacco outlets or unhealthy food and drinks advertisements can depend on the socioeconomic characteristics of where you live.

We might not realise it, but by understanding more about the role of place in children’s lives, we can start to influence and advocate for population level policy change that improves our built, natural and social environment to enhance the health of children in Scotland.

This participatory workshop is designed for policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and other professionals whose work or interests lie in understanding how children’s movement, mobility and experience of place can act as a lever to improving child health and reducing inequalities.


9.30-10am Registration
10-10.15am                           Welcome and housekeeping - Prof Rich Mitchell, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit

Session 1 chaired by Dr Jon Olsen, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit

Presentation 1 - "Taking a place-based approach to tackling children's health and inequalities" - Susan Rintoul, Shaping Places for Wellbeing Project Lead (Dalkeith), Improvement Service

Presentation 2 - "The SPACES study: Harnessing the value of wearable technology and GUS data linkage to explore the impact of the built, natural, and social environment on young people's health and wellbeing" - Dr Paul McCrorie, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit

Presentation 3 - "Measuring childhood and family life in Scotland: an overview of the Growing Up in Scotland study" - Dr Paul Bradshaw, Director, Scottish Centre for Social Research

Presentation 4 - "Increasing impact by connecting policy, research and practice" - Aidan Gallacher, CEO, Actify CIC

Panel discussion facilitated by Dr Jon Olsen and Dr Avril Johnstone

11.30-11.45am                                   Tea and coffee break

Breakout room 1 - Physical activity, active travel and play. Facilitated by Avril Johnstone, Ollie Traynor and Actify.

Breakout room 2 - Mental health. Facilitated by Paul McCrorie and Christian Masters.

Breakout room 3 - 20 minute neighbourhoods. Facilitated by Jon Olsen and Jonathan Stokes.

Breakout room 4 - Exposure to unhealthy commodities. Facilitated by Fi Caryl, Laura Macdonald and Rich Mitchell.

12.45-1.45pm Lunch
1.45-3.15pm  Breakout rooms continued

Short tea and coffee break

Plenary session facilitated by Jon Olsen, Paul McCrorie and Avril Johnstone

3.50-4pm Close - Prof Rich Mitchell


Susan Rintoul is the Project Lead for Dalkeith on the Shaping Places for Wellbeing Programme at the Improvement Service. The programme aims to improve Scotland's wellbeing by reducing the significant inequality in the health of its people while addressing the health of the planet. Susan's work involves supporting decision makers in local authorities and their partners to work collaboratively on place-based approaches.

Paul McCrorie is a Research Fellow at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow. Paul’s work primarily explores the built, natural, and social environmental determinants of health and wellbeing in children and young people, including physical activity levels and behaviours. Paul has expertise in the use of accelerometry and GPS and is the lead researcher on SPACES, having managed the project since its inception in 2013.  

Paul Bradshaw is Director of the Scottish Centre for Social Research (ScotCen), an independent, not-for-profit research institute and the Scottish arm of the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)In a research career of over 20 years, Paul has worked on a wide range of studies involving quantitative and qualitative methods and across a number of policy areas. However, his principal research role over this time has been associated with the management and development of the Growing Up in Scotland study, which he has led since the study’s launch in 2005In recent years he has also managed several high-profile Scottish and UK wide survey projects at NatCen, including a number of prominent longitudinal projects such as the 1970 British Cohort Study and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Paul is also part of the wider scientific team delivering the UK Early Life Cohort feasibility study.  

Aidan Gallacher is the CEO of Actify, a social enterprise based in Glasgow that helps physical activity and sport organisations learn, share and connect through the Actify platform and training programmes. Actify plays a unique role in the sport and physical activity sector in Scotland, working closely with organisations across policy, research and practice. Partners include the Scottish Government, a number of leading universities and a wide range of public and third sector organisations that deliver play, sport and physical activity provision at a regional and local level. Aidan has been involved with a range of sports and activities throughout his life however active, outdoor play is still his favourite.



Lunchtime seminars

Our lunchtime seminars are held from 1-2pm, both in-person on UofG campus, and online via Zoom.

If you would like to attend, please contact 

Date  SpeakerTitle

Cristiani Machado, Fiocruz, Brazil

Challenges for health policy coordination in Latin American federations: the response to Covid-19 in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


Ariany Marques Vieira, Concordia University

Advancing the science of Rapid Reviews' methods

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


Jessica Dobrovic, University of Adelaide

Using linked administrative data to inform evidence-based interventions and assess system relationships: a homelessness service example


Christian Tetteh, visiting postgraduate researcher from NM-AIST, Arusha, Tanzania

Development, feasibility and potential effectiveness of community-based continuous mass dog vaccination delivery strategies: lessons for optimization and replication

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


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

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


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

Health co-benefits of organic farming

Watch the seminar recording on YouTube


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