Dr Sarah Cotterill

Senior Lecturer

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Research interests

Sarah's research interests are in public health, behaviour change and research methodology. She has experience in policy research on behaviour change at scale. This started as a social scientist testing out ways of encouraging people to undertake civic behaviour (recycling, charitable donations, volunteering). Since moving to health research in 2010, she has undertaken policy evaluations and research on health behaviour change. 

Sarah has broad knowledge of research methodolgy, and a particular interest in the design and analysis of randomised controlled trials and feasibility studies for the evaluation of health and public policy interventions.

Current and recent research:

Principal Investigator:

  • 2020-2023: Healthy Living Diabetes - Long-term Independent National Evaluation (HEDLINE), funded by NIHR Policy Research Programme
  • 2018-2019: The impact of social norms interventions on clinical behaviour change among health workers: a systematic review, funded by NIHR HS&DR


  • 2019-2021 Feasibility and acceptability of TOOTHPICKS, a behaviour change intervention to support parent-dental practitioner communication about behaviour change to improve oral health in children, funded by NIHR RfPB
  • 2018 - 2022 A randomised controlled trial of job retention vocational rehabilitation for employed people with inflammatory arthritis: the WORKWELL trial. Funded by Arthritis UK
  • 2017 – 2023: DIPLOMA Evaluation of the NHS diabetes prevention programme. Funded by NIHR HS&DR. 
  • 2017 - 2019 Refining and testing the diagnostic accuracy of an assessment tool (PAT-POPs) to predict admission and discharge of children and young people who attend an emergency department. Funded by NIHR RfPB
  • 2017 – 2019 Natural experiment to evaluate the effects of greening public spaces on physical activity and wellbeing (GHIA) collaboration with Manchester City Council. Statistician.
  • 2015 – 2018: The effect of arthritis gloves on people with Arthritis with hand pain (A-Gloves RCT. Funded by NIHR RfPB. Trial statistician

Methodological knowledge

Design, implementation and analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Feasibility and pilot studies.

Policy evaluations