Accessibility statement

NIHR Public Health Research Programme Director joins the Department

Posted on 1 July 2020

Professor Brian Ferguson has been appointed as the new NIHR Public Health Research (PHR) Programme Director and joins the Department of Health Sciences on 1 st July 2020.

Professor Ferguson, Chief Economist at Public Health England, had initially planned to take early retirement from Public Health England at the end of May, but due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, he has delayed this for the foreseeable future. He continued his role there full-time until the end of June 2020 and moves to a part-time basis from 1 July 2020 when he takes up his new two-day a week NIHR role – employed as a Professor within the Department of Health Sciences, University of York.

The PHR Programme funds research to generate evidence to inform the delivery of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. Its research serves a variety of key stakeholders; including decision makers in local government, primary care organisations, other local public services and third sector organisations.

Professor Ferguson joined Public Health England in April 2013 as Director of Knowledge and Intelligence, before becoming Chief Economist in 2015. He was a member of the PHR Programme’s Advisory Board between 2009 and 2014 and has held a number of high profile health and public health roles. These include: Director of the Yorkshire and Humber Public Health and Quality Observatories, Co-Director of the Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service and Chair of the UK and Ireland Association of Public Health Observatories (PHOs).

Professor Ferguson, said: “I am very much looking forward to the challenge of this new role, working with the public health research community and policy makers to ensure that resources in this area are used to tackle the most pressing population health issues.

“Building capacity and future leaders in public health research is also a key priority if we are collectively to ensure that our research is world-leading.”

Professor Karl Atkin, Head of Department said: “Brian has a longstanding relationship with the Department of Health Sciences. I am delighted to welcome Brian to the Department and the University.  My colleagues and I look forward to working with him.”