Edinburgh Research Explorer

Linda Bauld

Chair of Public Health

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
Bachelor of Arts, University of Toronto

Professional Qualifications

2020Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health , FFPH
2019Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, FAcSS
2019Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, FRSE
2017Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, FRCPE

Area of Expertise

Research expertisePublic Health, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Cancer Prevention, Alcohol, Overweight and Obesity


Professor Bauld joined the University of Edinburgh in November 2018 from the University of Stirling where she was Professor of Health Policy and Dean of Research Impact. Since 2014 she has combined her academic roles with serving as Cancer Research UK's cancer prevention champion, the CRUK/BUPA Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention.

Research Interests

She is a behavioural scientist with a PhD in social policy. Her research focuses on two main areas: the evaluation of complex public health interventions; and the use of evidence to inform public health policy. She has conducted studies on drug and alcohol use, inequalities in health, overweight and obesity and - most notably - on respiratory health, particularly smoking cessation and tobacco control. She led the first study of the UK's national stop smoking services when they were established in 1998. She has also played a significant role in the monitoring and evaluation of a range of tobacco control policies, and served as the UK government's scientific adviser on tobacco control from 2006 to 2010.

Examples of recent work include: authoring the 3 year review of smokefree legislation in England (published by the Department of Health in 2011); leading (with David Tappin) the world's largest trial of financial incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy (published 2015); playing a key role in developing smoking cessation in pregnancy guidance in England (2010) and for the World Health Organisation (2013-14); coordinating the development of an independent alcohol strategy for the UK ('Health First', published in March 2013); leading a national review of smoking cessation services for the Scottish government (2013-2014); chairing the NICE programme development group on tobacco harm reduction (2011-2013); contributing to the development from 2017 of 'Cancer Prevention Europe' (coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer); and developing an independent obesity strategy for the UK with the Obesity Health Alliance (2019-current).

Collaborative Activity

What do I do?

I'm a behavioural scientist working in public health, with a particular interest in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer. I and my team conduct studies on behavioural, pharmacological and community-based interventions to improve health. We also evaluate public health policies and examine how services can be improved for patients and the public. We collect and analyse a range of data to help deliver data-driven solutions for health improvement. I've served in a number of advisory roles for national governments and international intergovernmental organisations, am seconded part time to Cancer Research UK as their cancer prevention advisor, and work extensively with the media to improve science communication on public health issues. 

What is the real world applicability of my research?

I can help translate evidence from observational studies, experiments and randomised controlled trials to improve systems and services for populations in the UK and internationally.

How could this apply to commercial stakeholders?

I can help inform efforts for health improvement in the workplace, improve how data is collected and used and connect commercial stakeholders with researchers and third sector organisations working in health improvement and public health. 

Administrative Roles

Linda is co-Director (with Professor David Weller) of the Centre for Population Health (CPHS), one of three Centres in the Usher Institute. She also leads two large research Consortia. The first is the Tobacco Control Capacity Programme, awarded funding of £3.4 million from the Global Challenges Research Fund. TCCP involves teams in six UK and nine LMIC research organisations in Africa and South Asia. The second is SPECTRUM, a 10 University and multi-agency public health partnership Consortium with £5.9 million funding from the UK Prevention Research Partnership focusing on the commercial determinants of health. 

Linda chairs, or is a member of, a number of policy and research funding committees in Europe, Canada and the UK. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Social Sciences and the UK Faculty of Public Health.

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