Professor Brian Williams, SISCC Lead for Behavioural Determinants and Change Strategies

Professor Brian Williams, SISCC Lead for Behavioural Determinants and Change Strategies

Professor Brian Williams is a Professor of behavioural and health services research at Napier University.

Brian graduated from the University of Surrey having studied Economics and Sociology, before spending the next 10 years funded by or working within the NHS in North Wales and then Tayside, Scotland. This included a significant role for research capacity and capability building across both regions and research interests around illness behaviour and experience of care.   He was reader in behavioural science at the University of Dundee and responsible for behavioural science and health promotion within the medical curriculum. 

He brings over 25 years research experience and 12 years’ experience of leading two different joint university multidisciplinary research units: 5 years as Associate Director and 7 as Director to SISCC.  Although he maintains an international profile for his personal research in behavioural science and research methods; his key focus and national & international reputation is on development of research expertise at the individual, group and organizational level – especially in the area of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (see below). This includes levering and facilitating national policy, and working across HEIs; both the Units he has directed have been joint enterprises between two universities:

  • 2005-2010 Associate Director and then Director of the Social Dimensions of Health Institute (Universities of Dundee & St Andrews) expanded from 2 FTE academic staff to a total of 25 researchers including two professors, a reader and a number of research fellows and research assistants.
  • 2011-2016 Director of the Chief Scientist Office, Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP RU –Universities of Stirling & Glasgow Caledonian) - this more than doubled in size to over 60 people over a four year period, and an 8-10 fold increase in funding across our two sites (current annual spend £2.75m per annum), and with grant success rates of approximately 50%. The Unit also tripled its staff contribution to REF from 2008 to 2015.
  • 2014-2016 Dean of Research Enhancement University of Stirling. A university wide role with a remit to develop the research income of the university and develop capacity and capability across all Schools in the University.

Brian's focus in research capacity and capability building – among both individuals and research groups is a great addition to SISCC, along with his experience in developing a number of successful and novel local and national schemes and approaches. He is a mixed methods researcher with a particular interest in the development and evaluation of complex interventions, the use of visual interventions in healthcare, and the link between experience of illness/care and clinical outcomes and bring all of this experience to lead the SISCC Behaviour Change Research Theme.