Dr Rebecca Johnson MPH SFHEA

Rebecca Johnson

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow

Contact details

Health Economics Unit
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Rebecca is a mixed methods researcher whose interests lie in implementation science spanning health and social care. She focuses on three areas of study: mixed methods data integration; the implementation and evaluation of health and social care interventions, and knowledge mobilisation: the movement of research knowledge into active practice-based use. Rebecca is interested in realist evaluation approaches to improve health services– seeking to understand what works, for whom in which circumstances.

Rebecca has published on subject areas including child obesity, mental wellbeing, health intervention effectiveness and implementation, knowledge mobilisation in health services, innovation in social care and in mixed methods research particularly around approaches to integrating quantitative and qualitative data.


  • PhD in Health Sciences 2014, University of Warwick
  • MPH 2008, University of Warwick
  • BA Sociology 2006, University of Minnesota
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Rebecca has been conducting research and teaching in the health sciences since 2008. She undertook her PhD from 2010 – 2013 studying the implementation and effectiveness of mental wellbeing interventions delivered in community settings. 

While working at Warwick Medical School as an NIHR Research Fellow as part of the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, West Midlands (CLAHRCs) she focused on population health and wellbeing research and strengthening partnerships between academic and local public health teams.

She began teaching in 2009 on health sciences and public health postgraduate modules. A particular area of interest for Rebecca is Mixed Methods. She led the Mixed Methods for the Health Sciences module at Warwick Medical School from 2015-2019, and has delivered numerous mixed methods workshops in the UK and Ireland. Rebecca founded and co-ordinated the Qualitative and Mixed Methods Interest group at the University of Warwick from 2015-2019. She has won awards for her innovative approach to Mixed Methods teaching and was Highly Commended in the 2018 Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence. Rebecca established and was Co-Director of the BSc Public Health (hons) at Coventry University from 2019-2021.


Rebecca currently works on the Wellcome Trust funded Wellbeing Investments in Schools and Employers (WISE) study led by Prof Hareth Al-Janabi. The WISE programme of work seeks to establish how schools and workplaces invest resources in mental wellbeing. This includes how money, time, and space are allocated to wellbeing interventions, staffing, culture, and infrastructure. The study will generate models of decision-making processes, establish how schools and workplaces can be best supported to make equitable and efficient decisions, and develop new research methods for studying investment decisions in organisations.

Rebecca is Co-I on a nationally collaborative ESRC-funded EXploring Innovation in Transition (EXIT) Study, looking at innovations in social care transitions for those leaving care. The study aims to support the development, implementation and diffusion of meaningful innovation for care leavers.  This four-year project involves partners in Warwick Business School, Newcastle, Bedfordshire, Birmingham, and Monash Universities as well as the Care Leavers’ Association.

Research groups and centres

Other activities

Advisory roles

  • Health Advisor, Coventry City of Culture Monitoring and Evaluation Team
  • Coventry City Council Public Health Research Advisor 

Previous Posts

  • Course Co-Director, BSc Public Health, Coventry University (2019-2021)
  • NIHR CLAHRC Research Fellow, Warwick University (2014-2019)
  • Research Associate, Warwick Medical School (2009-2010)
  • Research Assistant, Warwick Medical School (2008-2009)
  • Research Assistant, NHS Centre for Involvement (2008-2009)

Previous Teaching

  • Mixed Methods (Warwick University)
  • Globalisation and Health (Coventry University)
  • Research Methods (Coventry University)
  • Introduction to Public Health (Coventry University)
  • Public Mental Health and Wellbeing (Warwick University)


Selected Publications

  • Murphy, M., Boardman, F., Robertson, W., & Johnson, R. (2021). Children's perspectives and experiences of health, diet, physical activity and weight in an urban, multi‐ethnic UK population: A qualitative study. Child: Care, Health and Development.
  • Fraser, H., Geppert, J., Johnson, R., Johnson, S., Connock, M., Clarke, A., ... & Stinton, C. (2019). Evaluation of earlier versus later dietary management in long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase or mitochondrial trifunctional protein deficiency: a systematic review. Orphanet journal of rare diseases, 14(1), 1-18.
  • Johnson, R. E., Grove, A. L., & Clarke, A. (2019). Pillar integration process: A joint display technique to integrate data in mixed methods research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 13(3), 301-320.
  • Murphy, M., Johnson, R., Parsons, N. R., & Robertson, W. (2019). Understanding local ethnic inequalities in childhood BMI through cross-sectional analysis of routinely collected local data. BMC public health, 19(1), 1-15.
  • Johnson, R. E., Murphy, M., & Griffiths, F. (2019). Conveying troublesome concepts: Using an open-space learning activity to teach mixed-methods research in the health sciences. Methodological Innovations, 12(2), 2059799119863279.
  • Williamson, S., Patterson, J., Crosby, R., Johnson, R., Sandhu, H., Johnson, S., ... & Taylor-Phillips, S. (2019). Communication of cancer screening results by letter, telephone or in person: a mixed methods systematic review of the effect on attendee anxiety, understanding and preferences. Preventive medicine reports, 13, 189-195.
  • Johnson, R. E., Oyebode, O., Walker, S., Knowles, E., & Robertson, W. (2018). The difficult conversation: a qualitative evaluation of the ‘Eat Well Move More’family weight management service. BMC research notes, 11(1), 1-7.
  • Johnson, R., Grove, A., & Clarke, A. (2018). It’s hard to play ball: A qualitative study of knowledge exchange and silo effects in public health. BMC health services research, 18(1), 1-11.
  • Johnson, R., Robertson, W., Towey, M., Stewart-Brown, S., & Clarke, A. (2017). Changes over time in mental well-being, fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in a community-based lifestyle intervention: A before and after study. public health, 146, 118-125.
  • Johnson, R., Jenkinson, D., Stinton, C., Taylor-Phillips, S., Madan, J., Stewart-Brown, S., & Clarke, A. (2016). Where’s WALY?: A proof of concept study of the ‘wellbeing adjusted life year’using secondary analysis of cross-sectional survey data. Health and quality of life outcomes, 14(1), 1-9.

View all publications in research portal