Professor Kate Jolly MBChB, MSc, PhD, MFPH

Professor Kate Jolly

Institute of Applied Health Research
Professor of Public Health and Primary Care
Deputy Director of the Institute of Applied Health Research
Head of Department of Public Health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Contact details

Public Health Building
Institute of Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Kate Jolly is a Professor of Public Health and Primary Care.

Her main research interests are on the prevention and management of important non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular and respiratory conditions; behaviour change to reduce obesity and increase physical activity and maternal and child health.


Professor of Public Health

  • PhD in Public Health 2008
  • Membership of the Faculty of Public Health 1998
  • MSc in Public Health Medicine 1992
  • Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners 1990
  • MBChB 1986


Kate Jolly qualified in medicine from Bristol University in 1986. She firstly trained in general practice, then in public health medicine. Her academic training took place at the Universities of Southampton and Birmingham. Kate completed her training in public health in 1999 and became a senior lecturer in 2004. In 2011 she took on the role of clinical lead for public health in the School of Health and Population Sciences and was promoted to chair in 2012. 


Postgraduate supervision

Kate is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Behavioural change programmes for rehabilitation, and primary prevention of disease in the whole population and minority ethnic groups
  • Evaluation of lay or peer support or home-based interventions.  

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Kate on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.   


Maternal and child health

Work in this field has involved the use of high quality study designs to evaluate service innovations in maternity and child health services. Completed studies include:

  • A randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a pregnancy outreach worker service to see whether it improves antenatal care engagement, psychological health and infant outcomes of multi-ethnic women with social risk.
  • An RCT of the effectiveness of physical activity for reducing postnatal depression.
  • Feasibility of trial of preventing obesity in pregnancy (POPS). 
  • An RCT of a breastfeeding peer support service on breastfeeding initiation and continuation rates (HoBBIT).
  • Systematic reviews on the effects of peer support on breastfeeding peer support and the effectiveness and safety of interventions to limit weight gain in overweight and obese pregnant women.

Population-based behaviour change

Completed trials include:

  • RCT evaluating the effectiveness of a range of commercial and NHS provided weight management programmes for people in primary care (Lighten Up) and
  • An evaluation of a self-determination theory approach to an exercise referral programme (EMPOWER).
  • RCT of brief interventions for weight management in primary care led by Professor Paul Aveyard (Oxford).
  • Lighten Up Plus – a text supported weight maintenance programme ‘Lighten Up Plus’ following a weight reduction programme: randomised controlled trial

Ongoing studies:

  • Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids UK: a cultural adaptation and feasibility study of a weight management programme for fathers of younger children (funded by NIHR PHR)
  • Interventions to enhance engagement in exercise referral schemes. Led by Prof Adrian Taylor in Plymouth – funded by NIHR HTA)
  • Development of a culturally adapted weight management programme for children of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin. (Led by Dr Miranda Pallan – funded by NIHR HTA)

Rehabilitation and secondary prevention of chronic disease.

Work in this field has involves RCTs of cardiac rehabilitation and a home-based exercise programme for people with heart failure. Systematic reviews of rehabilitation and self-management of COPD and evaluation of a chronic disease education programme for people from a multi-ethnic population.

Ongoing studies:

  • Self-management for COPD in primary care: RCT of telephone coaching for people with mildly symptomatic COPD. (Funded by NIHR SPCR)
  • Rehabilitation Enablement in Chronic Heart Failure. (Led by Professors Rod Taylor and Hayes Dalal, University of Exeter and Royal Cornwall Hospital - NIHR Programme Grant)
  • Preventing Obesity in Pregnancy Study (POPS). (Led by Dr Amanda Daley – funded by NIHR SPCR)
  • Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care - Prevention and Detection theme.
  • COPD in primary care: from case finding to improving patient outcomes. (Led by Professors Peymane Adab and David Fitzmaurice – funded by NIHR Programme grant)

 Research groups and Centres:

 Centre for Women's and Newborn Health




Other activities

  • Honorary clinical contract held with Public Health England.



Selected recent publications

Sidhu M, Daley AJ, Jolly K. Evaluation of a text supported weight maintenance programme ‘Lighten Up Plus’ following a weight reduction programme: randomised controlled trial. IJBNPA 2016;13:19.

Kenyon S, Jolly K, Hemming K, Hope L, Blissett J, Dann S, Lilford R, MacArthur C. Lay support for pregnant women with social risk: randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2016;6:e009203.

Daley AJ, Jolly K, Jebb SA, Lewis AL, Clifford S, Roalfe AK, Kenyon S, Aveyard P. Feasibility and acceptability of regular weighing, setting weight gain limits and providing feedback by community midwives to prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy: randomised controlled trial and qualitative study. BMC Obesity 2015;2:35.

Taylor RS, Dalal H, Jolly K, Zawada A, Dean SG, Cowie A, Norton RJ.  Home-based versus centre-based cardiac rehabilitation.  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD007130.;jsessionid=62C5CF7A5456BC77B15295C3617DDE00.f02t03

Jolly K, Majothi S, Sitch AJ, Heneghan NR, Riley RD, Moore DJ, Bates EJ, Turner AM, Bayliss S, Price M, Singh SJ, Adab P, Fitzmaurice DA, Jordan RE.Self-management of health care behaviours for COPD: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of COPD 2016;11:305-326.

Madigan CD, Daley AJ, Lewis AL, Aveyard P, Jolly K. Is self-weighing an effective tool for weight loss: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis. IJBNPA 2015;12:104.

Monahan M, Boelaert K. Jolly K, Chan S. Barton P, Roberts TE.Iodine, IQ and Income: Exploring the potential costs and benefits of iodine supplementation for pregnant women in a mildly/moderately iodine deficient population. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 2015;3(9):715-722.

Daley AJ, Blamey RV, Jolly K, Roalfe AK, Turner KM, Coleman S, McGuiness M, Sharp DJ, MacArthur C. A pragmatic randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a facilitated exercise intervention as a treatment for postnatal depression: the PAM-PeRS trial. Psychological Medicine 2015; doi:10.1017/S0033291715000409.

Madigan CD, Jolly K, Lewis AL, Aveyard Paul, Daley AJ. A randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of self-weighing as an isolated weight loss intervention. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2014;11:125.

Mitchell KE, Johnson-Warrington V, Apps LD1, Bankart J, Sewell L, Williams JE, Rees K, Jolly K, Steiner M, Morgan M, Singh SJ. A self-management programme for COPD: a randomised controlled trial. Eur Resp J 2014;44:1538-47.

Duda JL, Williams GC, Ntoumanis N, Daley A, Eves FF, Mutrie N, Rouse PC, Lodhia R, Blamey RV, Jolly K. Effects of a standard provision versus an autonomy supportive exercise referral programme on physical activity, quality of life and well-being indicators: a cluster randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and physical activity 2014;11:10.