Our research projects examine the health and cognition spectrum through a number of mixed methods, from the qualitative to the experimental.

The Centre's research projects are cross-disciplinary, and work with a network of government, educational and social organisations and providers to explore issues affecting health, wellbeing and society as a whole. Below we provide a small sample of our funded projects.

Further details of individual member projects can also be found via the relevant staff profiles.


SWeAT: Satisfaction and Wellbeing in Anaesthetic Training

  • Funding: AAGBI and NIAA, PI Dr Alex Looseley, North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Key centre participants: Elaine Wainwright

Anaesthetists manage high-risk patients and situations in complex, demanding work environments and we are aware that trainees may be particularly susceptible to burnout and work stress.

This collaborative mixed methods project measures perceived stress, risk of burnout, depression, and work satisfaction via effort-reward imbalance and conducts in-depth interviews with a sub-section of survey participants. 

The HOW Social Work project

This mixed methods project seeks to identify barriers and enablers to reducing work attrition in social workers. It also tests pre and post effects of enabling social workers to access an interactive work, health and wellbeing app which signposts symptoms, places of support and can link up employee, employee and a vocational rehabilitation professional.

For further information, please visit the project website.

The HOW NHS project

  • Funding: ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
  • Key centre Participants: Jermaine Ravalier

In this project, Principal Investigator Jermaine Ravalier works with employees in four large NHS Trusts in order to co-design, dissemination, and evaluate a series of app-based wellbeing interventions.

For further information, please visit the project website.

Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education: What can we learn from the student experience?

Despite greater awareness and issuance of good practice guidelines, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) reported that levels of mental illness, mental distress and low wellbeing among students in UK Higher Education (HE) are increasing dramatically. The literature suggests however, that little of this policy is being driven by research focussed on the 'student experience' so this doctoral study seeks to fill this gap. 

Do young people with chronic pain worry about the same things and in similar ways as their healthy peers?

This mixed methods project seeks to establish if there any differences in processes and content of worry between 14-18 year olds prior to further consideration of how we could intervene to ameliorate worries.

What works for return to work when people have chronic pain?

Employees are key to any organisation, yet chronic pain remains the second biggest reason for being off work in the UK. This project seeks to find out which return to work interventions are effective and help workers with chronic pain return to work, if and when appropriate. The project includes a systematic review, rapid access review and a qualitative investigation of stakeholders’ views regarding the current UK return to work processes.

NERUPI framework

  • Funding: In collaboration with the University of Bath
  • Key centre participants: Andrew Bengry

The project comprises a network of academics, researchers and practitioners, who are concerned with developing effective evaluation frameworks for university participation interventions. Members of the network are piloting and evaluating the NERUPI framework (co-developed by myself and Annette Hayton, University of Bath), which is designed to maximise and capture the impact of Widening Participation interventions. The network is currently extending the framework to cover interventions that are designed to support the  success and progression of ‘Widening Participation students’ to postgraduate study or graduate-level employment.

For further information, please see the project's website.

Inside the food bank

  • Funding: University of Bath K account
  • Key centre Participants: David Wainwright (lead); Elaine Wainwright

This project investigates users’ and volunteers’ experiences of using or volunteering at foodbanks and how these experiences compare with receipt of statutory benefits for foodbank users. 

See project publication: 'Why do people use food banks? A qualitative study of food bank users in an English city'

Assessing the effectiveness of the Tree of Life (ToL) intervention in promoting resilience and integration in refugee women with HIV

  • Funding: Bath Spa University GALA network funding
  • Key centre Participants: Agata Vitale

The Tree of Life (ToL) is a group-based narrative intervention that aims to promote mental health, resilience and a sense of connectedness in individuals who share similar traumatic experiences. The ToL adopts the tree as a metaphor of an individual’s life, including the past (the roots), the present (the trunk), and the hopes for the future (the branches). The intervention consists of seven group sessions, in which participants are asked to discuss ‘their tree’ with the support of ‘creative tools’, such as painting, photography, story-telling and journal writing.

For this study, participants will be individually interviewed before and after the intervention on their experience being HIV positive, as well as their benefits of taking part in ToL. The fieldwork will be carried by Dr. Agata Vitale and Dr. Judy Ryde (she a visiting research fellow at BSU and the director of the Trauma Foundation South West, a charity organization providing support to refugees with have been exposed to multiple levels of trauma).

Healthy human brain from a young adult, Wellcome Images, CC-BY, Alfred Anwander, MPI-CBS

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