Dr George Dowswell

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 9069
+44 (0)121 4141 6571
Primary Care Clinical Sciences
Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT

George Dowswell is a Research Fellow in Institute of Applied Health Research.

George is interested in evaluating services, programmes and systems using appropriate (mixed) methods. He is an experienced and successful project manager with a statistical background but qualitative research interests. George has a long interest in public policy, service delivery, implementation and normalisation (how change becomes integrated into daily work). 

Following a career in local government, George worked at the Management Centre of the University of Bradford and completed a PhD in 1993. Since then, he has worked at Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester Universities on a number of collaborative projects.


  • PhD, School of Organisational Behaviour, Management Centre, Bradford University1993
  • Diploma in Training Management, Institute of Training and Development1989
  • Cert. Ed. (Further Education), Huddersfield Polytechnic 1986
  • BSc (Econ) Upper Second, London School of Economics 1981


George has worked in a number of settings on various subjects, within different disciplines.


George has taught qualitative methods (data analysis, with and without computer software). For several years he taught Specialist Registrars how to plan, carry out and publish medical research. George marks student projects and assessments from several courses (MPH, BMedSc, Public Health Intercalation)

Postgraduate supervision

He is co-supervisor of three PhD students (chronic kidney disease, type 1 diabetes and lung cancer).


Acute Kidney Outreach to Reduce Deterioration and Death (AKORDD) - A pilot study to look at enhancing patient care, improving patient outcomes and reducing NHS Costs.  NIHR Research for Patient Benefit 2012-2014 PB-PG-1111-26038 (£249,985). Mark Thomas, George Dowswell, Mark Temple, Gavin Perkins, Jyoti Baharani, Alice Sitch, Helen Stokes-Lampard, Hema Mistry. Co-applicant.  

ColoRectal Early Diagnosis: Information Based Local Evaluation (CREDIBLE) [To investigate the feasibility of a system of information technology prompted early referral of suspected colorectal cancer in primary care using electronic primary care records.] National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative. Department of Health, National Cancer Action Team, and Cancer Research UK. 2011-2014 (£612,573) Tom Marshall, Sue Wilson, George Dowswell, Dion Morton, Willie Hamilton, Sheila Greenfield, Alex Macherianakis.  Co-applicant.

Diet and physical activity to prevent recurrence of high risk adenomas: a feasibility study. National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit Programme 2009-2012. (£242,315). Aliki Taylor, KK Cheng, Sue Wilson, Dion Morton, Matt Brookes, Amanda Daley, Nick Freemantle, George Dowswell.  Acting Chief Investigator.

Using a participant-completed questionnaire to identify symptoms that predict lung cancer: a feasibility study. NIHR National School of Primary Care Research, 2009-12 (£126,043) Wilson S, Brindle L, Corner J, George S, Hamilton W .  Acting Chief Investigator. 

Reduction of Surgical Site Infection using a Novel Intervention - The ROSSINI Trial. NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (2010-13) Dion Morton, Sue Wilson, Haney Youssef, Tom Pinkney, David Leaper, Mel Calvert, Gareth Harrison, George Dowswell.  Co-applicant. 

Increasing physical exercise to preserve beta cell function in adult patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM): a pilot study (ExTOD). NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme 2011-14 Parth Narendran, Rob Andrews, Amanda Daley, Sue Wilson, George Dowswell, Dylan Thompson, Keith Stokes Co-applicant.

Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care -  Birmingham and the Black Country. NIHR CLAHRC. 2008-13 Theme One: from Structure to Function. Co-investigator.

Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care -  Birmingham and the Black Country. NIHR CLAHRC. 2008-13 Theme Six: Investment in Prevention. Co-investigator.

Erectile dysfunction following treatment for colorectal cancer. NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) PB-PG-0407-13245; Sue Wilson, Sheila Greenfield, Tariq Ismail, Nigel Suggett, Roger Holder, Subramonian Kesavapilla, Christine Gratus. Co-investigator

The use of herbal medicines by cancer patients and survivors. Macmillan. 2009-11 Sue Wilson, Sheila Greenfield, Christin Gratus. Co-investigator

West Midlands Research Design Service. (2009-2012) Front line advisor


George Dowswell, Angela Ryan, Aliki Taylor, Amanda Daley, Nick Freemantle, Matthew Brookes, Janet Jones, Richard Haslop, Chloe Grimmett, KK Cheng and Sue Wilson. Designing an intervention to help people with colorectal adenomas reduce their intake of red and processed meat and increase their levels of physical activity: a qualitative study BMC Cancer BMC Cancer 2012, 12:255 doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-255

Gheorghe, Adrian; Calvert, Melanie; Pinkney, Thomas D.; Fletcher, Benjamin R.; Bartlett, David C.; Hawkins, William J.; Mak, Tony; Youssef, Haney; Wilson, Sue on behalf of the West Midlands Research Collaborative and ROSSINI Trial Management Group.  Systematic Review of the Clinical Effectiveness of Wound-edge Protection Devices in Reducing Surgical Site Infection in Patients Undergoing Open Abdominal Surgery. Annals of Surgery. 255(6):1017-1029, June 2012

S Wilson, S Damery, D D Stocken, G Dowswell, R Holder, S T Ward, V Redman, M J Wakelam, J James, F D R Hobbs and T Ismail. Serum matrix metalloproteinase 9 and colorectal neoplasia: a community-based evaluation of a potential diagnostic test. British Journal of Cancer 2012, 106(8):1431-8

Thomas D Pinkney, David C Bartlett, William Hawkins, Tony Mak, Haney Youssef, Kaori Futaba, Gareth J Harrison, Adrian Gheorghe, Jennifer M Bradbury, Melanie J Calvert, George Dowswell, Laura Magill, Val Redman, Sue Wilson, David Leaper, Dion G Morton and West Midlands Research Collaborative (WMRC) (2011) Reduction Of Surgical Site Infection using a Novel Intervention (ROSSINI): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial BMC Trials 2011, 12: 217 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-12-217 http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/12/1/217

Dowswell G, Ismail T, Greenfield S, Clifford C, Hancock B, Wilson S. Men’s experiences of erectile dysfunction after treatment for colorectal cancer: qualitative interview study. BMJ 2011;343:d5824

Bagshaw R, Wall E, Dowswell G, Martin T, Smith M. (2011)  Hearing impairment in otitis media with effusion: A cross-sectional study based in Pokhara, Nepal, Int. J. Pediatr. Otorhinolaryngol. doi:10.1016/j.ijporl.2011.09.013

Damery S, Gratus C, Grieve R, Warmington S, Jones J, Routledge P, Greenfield S, Dowswell G, Sherriff J, Wilson S. The use of herbal medicines by people with cancer: a cross-sectional survey. British Journal of Cancer 2011; 104(6): 927-933

Thomas M, Sitch A, Dowswell G. The initial development and assessment of an automatic alert warning of acute kidney injury. Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfq710 First published online: December 8, 2010

Pollitt C, Harrison S, Dowswell G, Jerak_Zuiderent J and Bal R. (2010) Performance regimes in health care: Institutions, critical junctures and the logic of escalation in England and The Netherlands. (2010) Evaluation 16 (1): 13-29.

Hearn J, Lawler J, Dowswell G (2003) Qualitative evaluations, combined methods and key challenges. Evaluation 9(1): 30-54

Harrison S, Dowswell G (2002) ‘Autonomy and bureaucratic accountability in primary care: what English General Practitioners say’ Sociology of Health and Illness 24(2): 208-26

Dowswell G, Harrison S (2011) “Implementing clinical guidelines: a case study of research in context”. In Shaping Health Policy: case study methods and analysis (Eds Exworthy M, Peckham S, Powell M, Hann M ). Chapter 15. Bristol, Policy Press.

Milewa T, Dowswell G, Harrison S (2003) ‘Primary care organisations, public involvement and democratic accountability’ in The New Primary Care: Modern, Dependable, Successful? ( Eds, B Dowling, C Glendinning) Buckingham: Open University Press

Russell Mannion, Huw Davies, Stephen Harrison, Frederick Konteh, Ian Greener, Ruth McDonald, George Dowswell, Kieran Walshe, Naomi Fulop, Rhiannon Walters, Rowena Jacobs, Paula Hyde (2010) Changing management cultures and organisational performance in the NHS [NCCSDO]