Dr Laura Kudrna

Laura Kudrna

Institute of Applied Health Research
Assistant Professor

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Laura Kudrna is an Assistant Professor in Health Research Methods at the University of Birmingham.  She researches behaviour change and wellbeing and has specific interests in topics related to workplaces, income and inequalities. 


  • PhD Social Policy, London School of Economics, 2018
  • Year 1 Post-Graduate Certification in Higher Education, 2017
  • MSc Social Research Methodology, London School of Economics, 2012
  • BSc Psychology, University of Westminster, 2009


Laura previously held postdoctoral research posts at the University of Birmingham on the Applied Research Collaboration (2020-2022), University of Warwick Medical School (2018-2020), and London School of Economics' (LSE) Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (2017-2018).

Laura led an ARC project evaluating the effectiveness of NHS training sessions about better use of data to improve patient care. She continues to lead NIHR-funded cross-regional mixed methods work investigating whether and how workplace health and wellbeing initiatives across the UK shape staff health and wellbeing.

Her further research projects include topics related to screening and vaccination behaviours, the impact of surgical trials on surgical practice, patient uptake of video consultations, improving communication with ethnic minority pregnant women and people, and better understanding and measuring community wellbeing.

At Warwick, she contributed to a mixed-methods evaluation of a workplace health and wellbeing intervention that was funded by the Department of Work and Pensions. This was a cluster trial with 100 small and medium-sized enterprises enrolled in a health and wellbeing initiative delivered by local government.

At LSE, she co-developed and evaluated a mobile phone application that tracks mood and behaviour on a John Templeton Foundation Happiness and Wellbeing Programme grant. She also contributed to research about narrating moments of meaning at work, time use and wellbeing, and wellbeing valuations of culture and sport for government.

Funders of Laura’s work include the NIHR National Priority Area Research Consortium for Prevention, NHS Race and Health Observatory, Public Health England, and What Works Centre for Wellbeing with Centre for Ageing Better and Spirit of 2012. Her PhD on relative income and wellbeing was fully funded by a prestigious LSE School Scholarship. 

Laura is passionate about conducting impactful research and has twice been awarded funding for impact projects. Her work attracts national and international media attention, and she has appeared on National Public Radio and BBC World News Television. Her research has been featured in news outlets such as the Guardian, Financial Times, and Times of India. Recently she was featured as an Up and Coming Voice in the Science of Behaviour Change by the Association for Psychological Science.

Prior to academia, Laura worked in the private sector in medical, financial, and technology research, including project management, recruitment and training, and quality control. 

Better use of data to improve patient care
Money does not always buy happiness, but are richer people less happy in their daily lives?


Postgraduate supervision

Laura is available to supervise doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Behaviour change programmes that apply established frameworks (COM-B, Mindspace) to affect health and wellbeing
  • Workplace health and wellbeing research, including meaningful work and subjective perceptions of wellbeing
  • Diary-based and time use approaches to tracking behaviour and wellbeing

If you are interested in studying any of these subject areas please contact Laura directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk


Research interests

Behavioural science, wellbeing, quality of life, healthcare, workplaces, implementation science, psychology, social policy, inequality

Current selected projects

  • NHS Race and Health Observatory (£100K) - Promoting effective and respectful communication with ethnic minority women and pregnant people, 2022-2023, co-PI
  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Prevent Funding (£297K) – Pilot evaluation of a behaviour change support intervention for employers in the Thrive at Work health and wellbeing programme, 2021-2023, PI
  • Research England Quality-Related Impact Funding (£20K)  – Aligning investigative recommendations with statistical findings in healthcare, 2021, co-I
  • What Works Centre for Wellbeing (£47K) – Different People, Same Place: Understanding and modelling the relationship between individual and place-based community wellbeing, 2020-2021, co-PI
  • Public Health England (£78K) – Core Standards in Screening, 2020-2021, co-I
  • Warwick Institute of Advanced Study (£3K) – Field Experiment to Understand Behavioural Spillovers 2019), co-I
  • LSE Knowledge Exchange and Impact (KEI) (£78,387) – Time Use Wellbeing App, 2016/17
  • LSE PhD studentship (2013-2017). Awarded LSE PhD Studentship for four years of fees and living expenses.

Other activities

  • Co-director of the Centre for Urban Wellbeing with Professor Jessica Pykett, leading on the theme of Wellbeing Economies
  • Deputy Director of Training and Development for Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands
  • Supporting School for Public Health Research – Healthy Places, Healthy Planet and Health Inequalities themes
  • Supporting Midlands Policy Commission on Health Inequalities
  • Review Editor for Frontiers in Psychology – Health Psychology


Recent publications


Rees, K, Takeda, A, Court, R, Kudrna, L, Hartley, L & Ernst, E 2024, 'Meditation for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Review)', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 2024, no. 2, CD013358. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013358.pub2

Busili, A, Kumar, K, Kudrna, L & Busaily, I 2024, 'The risk factors for mental health disorders in patients with type 2 diabetes: An umbrella review of systematic reviews with and without meta-analysis', Heliyon, vol. 10, no. 7, e28782. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e28782

Al-Khudairy, L, Akram, Y, Watson, SI, Kudrna, L, Hofman, J, Nightingale, M, Alidu, L, Rudge, A, Rawdin, C, Ghosh, I, Mason, F, Perera, C, Wright, J, Boachie, J, Hemming, K, Vlaev, I, Russell, S & Lilford, RJ 2023, 'Evaluation of an organisational-level monetary incentive to promote the health and wellbeing of workers in small and medium-sized enterprises: a mixed-methods cluster randomised controlled trial', PLOS Global Public Health, vol. 3, no. 7, e0001381. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgph.0001381

Melios, G, Laffan, K, Kudrna, L & Dolan, P 2023, 'Les Misérables: An analysis of suffering and misery across the world', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 14, 1107939. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1107939

Morris, SG, Kudrna, L & Martin, J 2023, 'Mental health and wellbeing life satisfaction among those advised to shield during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: a secondary analysis of the Understanding Society longitudinal study', Frontiers in public health, vol. 11, 1235903. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2023.1235903

Prevention Workplace Collaboration West Midlands 2023, 'Protocol for a cluster randomised waitlist-controlled trial of a goal-based behaviour change intervention for employees in workplaces enrolled in health and wellbeing initiatives', PLoS ONE, vol. 18, no. 9, e0282848. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0282848

National Institute for Health and Care Research Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery, Kudrna, L, Nankivell, P & Li, E 2023, 'Reducing the environmental impact of surgery on a global scale: systematic review and co-prioritization with healthcare workers in 132 countries', British Journal of Surgery, vol. 110, no. 7, pp. 804–817. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjs/znad092

Kudrna, L 2023, 'Reference Groups and Relative Effects on Well‐Being', The Review of Income and Wealth. https://doi.org/10.1111/roiw.12656

Schmidtke, KA, Aujla, N, Marshall, T, Hussain, A, Hodgkinson, GP, Arheart, KL, Birnbach, DJ, Kudrna, L & Vlaev, I 2022, 'A Crossover Randomized Controlled Trial of Priming Interventions to Increase Hand Hygiene at Ward Entrances', Frontiers in public health, vol. 9, 781359. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.781359

Schmidtke, KA, Skrybant, M, Kudrna, L, Russell, S, Ding, IL & Clarke, A 2022, 'A workshop to co-design messages that may increase uptake of vaccines: a case study', Vaccine, vol. 40, no. 37, pp. 5407-5412. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.07.053

Schmidtke, KA, Kudrna, L, Noufaily, A, Stallard, N, Skrybant, M, Russell, S & Clarke, A 2022, 'Evaluating the relationship between moral values and vaccine hesitancy in Great Britain during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey', Social Science & Medicine, vol. 308, 115218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.115218

Tyldesley-Marshall, N, Grove, A, Ghosh, I, Kudrna, L, Ayorinde, AA, Singh, M, Mehaan, E, Clarke, A, Taylor-Phillips, S & Al-Khudairy, L 2022, 'Investigating informed choice in screening programmes: a mixed methods analysis', BMC Public Health, vol. 22, 2319. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-14685-6

Kudrna, L & Kushlev, K 2022, 'Money does not always buy happiness, but are richer people less happy in their daily lives? It depends on how you analyze income', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13, 883137. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.883137


Kudrna, L, Lilford, R, Adebajo, A & Kumar, K 2024, 'Peer review of funding applications for health research in ethnic minority groups must improve', BMJ, vol. 384, q274. <https://www.bmj.com/content/384/bmj.q274>

Review article

Ledda, V, George, C, Glasbey, J, Labib, P, Li, E, Lu, A, Kudrna, L, Nepogodiev, D, Picciochi, M, Williams, I & Bhangu, A 2024, 'Uncertainties and opportunities in delivering environmentally sustainable surgery: the surgeons' view', Anaesthesia, vol. 79, no. 3, pp. 293-300. https://doi.org/10.1111/anae.16195

View all publications in research portal