Dr Jo Cairns

PhD, MA, BA(Hons)

Research Fellow

Role at Hull York Medical School

I am a Career Development Fellow as part of the TRANSFORM Project funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research.


I joined the Hull York Medical School as a Research Fellow in September 2019. I am based in the Academy of Primary Care and I am currently working on the TRANSFORM project funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research. Previously, I worked as a Lecturer in Health Promotion and Public Health at Canterbury Christ Church University (2017-2019), Senior Research & Policy Officer (Alcohol Research UK, 2016-2017). Post-Doctoral Research Associate and Teaching Fellow at Durham University (2012-2016). I completed my doctoral degree in 2012 at Durham University. My thesis was entitled ‘Defying the odds? Identifying and understanding the relationship between health and resilience’.

More details can be found on my Research Gate profile page.


My fellowship research will examine inequalities in cancer screening uptake in Yorkshire.


Full publication list:


Selected publications:

Hillier-Brown, F. Thomson, K., McGowan, V., Cairns, J., Eikemo, T., Gil-Gonzál, D. & Bambra, C. (2019) The effects of social protection policies on health inequalities: Evidence from systematic reviews. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 47: 655-65.

Todd, A., Akhter, N., Cairns, J., Kasim, A., Walton, N., Ellison, A., Chazot, P., Eldabe, S. and Bambra, C. (2018) The Pain Divide: A cross-sectional analysis of chronic pain prevalence, pain intensity and opioid utilisation in England. BMJ Open, 8:e02339.

Cairns, J. (2018) Inside and out: a critical analysis of social capital. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 25(3), 233-48.

Cairns, J. & Nicholls, J. (2018) Co-production in substance use research. Drugs and Alcohol Today, 18(1): 6-16.

Cairns, J., Graham, E. & Bambra, C. (2017) Area-level socioeconomic disadvantage and suicidal behaviour in Europe: A systematic review. Social Science & Medicine, 192:102-11.

Cairns, J., Bambra, C., Hillier-Brown, F., Moore, H. & Summerbell, C. (2014) Weighing up the evidence: A systematic review of the effectiveness of workplace interventions to tackle socio-economic inequalities in obesity. Journal of Public Health, 37(4): 659-70.

Cairns, J., Warren, J., Garthwaite, K., Greig, G & Bambra, C. (2014) Go slow: An umbrella review of the effects of 20 mph zones and limits on health and health inequalities. Journal of Public Health, 37(3): 515-20.

Hillier-Brown, F., Bambra, C., Cairns, J., Kasim, A., Moore, H. & Summerbell, C. (2014) A systematic review of the effectiveness of individual, community and societal-level interventions at reducing socio-economic inequalities in obesity among adults. International Journal of Obesity, 38: 1483-90.

Cairns-Nagi, J & Bambra, C. (2013) Defying the odds: A mixed-methods study of health resilience in deprived areas of England. Social Science & Medicine, 91:229-37.

Cairns, J, Curtis S & Bambra, C. (2012) Defying deprivation: A cross-sectional analysis of area level health resilience in England. Health & Place, 18(4): 928-33.

Postgraduate research supervision

I am interested in supervising students with interests in one or more of the following areas: early detection and diagnosis of cancer, health inequalities, social capital and substance use.

External roles

2016 – Current: I was invited to become a reviewer for a co-produced journal - Research Involvement & Engagement

2017-18: I was invited to become a Guest Editor for a special issue on ‘Co-production in substance use research’ in Drugs and Alcohol Today published in March 2018

2016: I was a reviewer for a distance-learning module that was set up by Oxford University Press (Epigeum) geared at final year dissertation students which was published May 2017

2012-Current: I am a reviewer for high ranking journals including Social Policy & Administration, Health & Place, Journal of Public Health, and Social Science and Medicine

Honours and awards

2019: NCRM Bursary for training (£240) to attend session on ‘Using Creative Research Methods'

2019-Current: Yorkshire Cancer Research Career Development Fellowship (£398,303)

2015: Wolfson Institute Small Research Grant (£1,500)

2015: Research Development Fund (£544.20) to present at an international 3rd Weight Stigma conference (Our symposium was entitled: ‘The use of a whole systems approach to reducing obesity intervention related weight stigma’)

2012: Fuse Sandpit for early career researchers (won £500 for group work whereby we developed a research grant proposal)

2008: Economic and Social Research Council funded 1 + 3 CASE Studentship