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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Emma Louise Giles (Fisher) was awarded her PhD from Newcastle University in 2010. Her PhD explored the links between diet, alcohol, and physical activity in young adults, focusing on social marketing as a method to achieve lifestyle behaviour change.

She joined the School of Health and Life Sciences (formerly School of Health and Social Care) in April 2015 as Senior Research Lecturer in Public Health, and is now Reader in Public Health Behaviour Change.

Emma has over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and has secured over £300,000 in competitive grant funding. She is a peer reviewer for several high profile journals including Journal of the American Medical Association, PLOS One, and Appetite, and is Associate Editor for BMC Public Health and PLOS ONE.

Emma is Postgraduate Tutor in the School of Health and Life Sciences, as well as a member of the School's Research Ethics and Governance Committee.

Currently she supervises 8 PhD students based at Teesside University. She is available to act as an internal and external PhD examiner.

Summary of Research Interests

Emma’s research interests are primarily in the areas of: behaviour change interventions, obesity,weight management interventions, health promotion and public health behaviours, mental and physical health related to obesity and weight management, qualitative research, systematic reviews, and the impact of public policy on behaviour change. 

Research Projects & External Funding

Current Projects

Children and Young People Tier 2 Weight Management evaluation 

Principal Investigator: Dr Emma Giles

Funder: Gloucestershire County Council

You've Got This: Intervention Mapping Process 

Principal Investigator: Dr Nicholas Gray

Funder: Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council

Lifestyle Interventions following Breast Cancer Treatment: A Systematic Review 

Principal Investigator: Dr Grant McGeechan

Funder: Unfunded


Previous Projects

Physical Activity, Health and Community Evidence: essential data to inform the initial stage of Intervention Mapping; Local Activity Pilot.

Principal Investigator: Dr Liane Azevedo

Funder: Sport England

A multi-centre individual-randomised controlled trial of screening and brief alcohol intervention to prevent risky drinking in young people aged 14-15 in a high school setting (SIPS JR-HIGH) (2015-2018)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dorothy Newbury-Birch

Project Manager: Dr Emma L Giles

Co-investigators: Kings College London, The University of Kent, Liverpool John Moore's University, Newcastle University.

Funder: NIHR PHR

Measuring change from alcohol brief interventions: Development of a consensus core outcome set (2016-2018)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dorothy Newbury-Birch

Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Prof. Aisha Holloway, Prof. Jeremy Bray, Prof. Anne Berman, Dr Gillian Shorter, Dr Amy O'Donnell

Funder: NHS - Balance

A pilot study to explore the feasibility and efficacy of the BeeZee Bodies/Healum App (2017-2018)

Principal Investigator: Dr Louisa Ells

Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Dr Liane Azevedo, Healum

Funder: Healum

Evaluating the North Yorkshire Healthy Choices tier 2 weight management programme for children and young people aged 5-19 years (2017-2018)

Principal Investigator: Dr Louisa Ells

Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Dr Liane Azevedo

Funder: North Yorkshire County Council

Socio-ecological influences on adolescent alcohol use and linked unhealthy eating behaviours (2016-2018)

Principal Investigator: Dr Stephanie Scott

Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Dr Louisa Ells, Dr France Hillier-Brown

Funder: Fuse, The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health

A systematic review of alcohol interventions for people living with and beyond cancer (2017)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dorothy Newbury-Birch

Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Dr Grant McGeechan

Funder: Alcohol Research UK

Children and young people: Alcohol study (2016-2017)

Principal Investigator: Dr Emma L Giles

Co-investigators: Prof. Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Dr Grant McGeechan, Balance (North East Alcohol Office)

Funder: NHS - Balance

Financial incentives for health behaviours (2012-2015)

Principal Investigator: Dr Jean Adams

Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles, Prof. Elaine McColl, Prof. Falko Sniehotta

Funder: NIHR

Older People and Dietary Behaviours (2010-2011)

Principal Investigator: Dr Sharron Kuznesof

Co-investigators: Dr Emma L Giles

Funder: Newcastle University

PhD and Research Opportunities

Emma currently supervises the following postgraduate research students.


Awaiting Viva:

Jennifer Teke Epse Che: Third supervisor 2013-2021 ‘Exploring barriers, facilitators and marketing strategies for weight management programmes for BME communities in Medway’ (Doctorate in Public Health).



1. Phil Watson: DoS 2017- 2020 ‘Spiritual practices for the long term recovery from substances’ (Professional Doctorate)

2. Kate Byrnes (Graduate Tutor): DoS 2017-2021 ‘Behaviour change interventions to increase uptake of cancer screening initiatives’ (PhD)

3. Abimbola Ojo: Second supervisor 2013-2021 ‘Promotion of healthy food in the fight against obesity: exploring the perception, beliefs, understanding, and practice of healthy eating among Black Africans in the South-East London, England’ (Doctorate in Public Health).

4. Caroline Nakachwa (Doctorate in Public Health). Supervised by Dr Louisa Ells (DoS), Dr Emma Giles (third supervisor), completes 2021: ‘Overweight and obesity in low and middle income countries: an exploration of treatment strategies’ (part-time).

5. Sarit Carlebach (PhD PT). Supervised by Prof Cormac Ryan (DoS), Dr Emma Giles (third supervisor), 2013-2022: 'Exploring the barriers and facilitators to policy implementation within the context of time.”

6. Ajay Kamalpriya (PhD). Supervised by Proz. Vida Zohoori (Dos), Dr Emma Giles (3rd Supervisor), 2020-2024: ‘e-health to promote oral health’.

7. Amala Okolo (Doctorate in Public Health). Supervised by Dr Alison Innerd (DoS), Dr Natalie Connor, Dr Emma Giles (3rd Supervisor), 2020-2025: ‘Physical activity and the impact of COVID in BAME communities. 

8. Rosie Dawson (Doctorate in Public Health). Supervised by Prof. Alan Batterham (DoS), Dr Emma Giles (2nd supervisor), 2020-2025: ‘Exercise interventions for infertility and in preparation for pregnancy - a Mixed Methods study’. 


External Supervision:

Elizabeth Beardsmore: Second supervisor 2016-2020 ‘Sugar reduction strategies and sugar taxation’ (PhD part-time), Leeds Beckett University.

Catriona Michelle Hudson (Graduate Tutor). Supervised by Dr Louisa Ells (DoS), Dr Liane Azevedo (2nd supervisor), Dr Emma Giles (3rd Supervisor), 2018-2022: ‘Developing a child e-weight management programme’, Leeds Beckett University.


PhD Students Supervised to Completion

Dr Gillian Milton (PhD). Supervised by Prof. Newbury-Birch (DoS), Dr Tracy Finch, Dr Emma Giles (3rd supervisor), 2015-2018: ‘Embedding interventions into public health within a changing landscape’. Completed 2018.

Dr Siobhan Taylor (PhD). Supervised by Dr Susy Cook (DoS), Dr Emma Giles (3rd supervisor), Prof. Robert McSherry, ‘How does Lean work in healthcare?’ Completed 2019.

Dr Daniel Jones (Graduate Tutor): Second supervisor 2016-2020 ‘Exploring physical activity interventions in preschool children’ (PhD). Awarded 2021.

External Roles and Professional Activities

Emma is an Associate Member of Fuse, The Centre for Translational Research, a member of the Food Nutrition Group of the British Sociological Association, and a member of the Regional Alcohol Partnership and Alcohol Champion’s Network, hosted by Balance the North East Alcohol Office. Through Fuse, Emma is also a member of the National Institute for Health Research funded School for Public Health Research.

She is also a member of INEBRIA, the International Network for Brief Interventions on Alcohol and Other Drugs, and is a member of the INEBRIA Special Interest Group on core outcome reporting. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Emma is deputy lead for the Behaviour Change Theme, as part of Fuse, and is Chair of the North East Obesity Forum. She is also co-deputy lead for the Centre for Public Health Research at Teesside University.

Emma is an External Examiner for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, 1 August 2019 to 31 December 2023.

External Research Collaborations

  • Newcastle University
  • Durham University
  • Northumbria University
  • The University of Cambridge
  • Kings College London
  • The University of Kent
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The University of Lincoln
  • The University of Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
  • Karoline Institute, Sweden
  • RTI, North Caroline, USA

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Emma has recently authored a chapter in a book titled ‘Co-creating and Co-producing Research Evidence: A Guide for Practitioners and Academics in Health, Social Care and Education Settings’. 


Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Emma contributes to teaching within the School of Health and Life Sciences as a guest lecturer for the Doctorate in Public Health, and the MSc in Clinical Research.

She is also a guest lecturer in the School of Social Science, Humanities and Law, on contemporary issues in health psychology.

She is also module leader for Research Project Management, as part of the MRes Clinical Research.

Academic Responsibilities

University level:

  • Postgraduate Assessment Board Member, Teesside University: September 2017 to present
  • Human Resources Available Panel Member for Interviews: April 2015 to present

School level:

  • Research & Innovation Sub-Committee Member, Teesside University: June 2017 to present
  • SOHSC Management Group Member, Teesside University: January 2016 to present
  • Postgraduate Tutor School of Health and Life Science, Teesside University: September 2017 to present
  • Ethics and Research Governance Member, School of Health and Life Sciences, Teesside University: July 2017 to present


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Newcastle University

16 Oct 200630 Sep 2009

Award Date: 30 Sep 2009

Bachelor, Newcastle University

Award Date: 9 Jul 2005

External positions

External Examiner MSc Public Health, Northumbria University

1 Aug 201931 Dec 2023

Fellow, Higher Education Academy


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