Janet Harris BA MSW PhD

Reader in Knowledge Mobilisation


Section of Public Health
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
The University of Sheffield
Regent Court
30 Regent Street
S1 4DA

Office: Room 2032, 2nd Floor, Regent Court

Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 2980
Fax: (+44) (0)114 222 0749

email : janet.harris@sheffield.ac.uk

ORCiD: 0000-0002-0754-7223


I worked as a health care provider in Canada and England for eight years after obtaining my Bachelors degree. After completing a Masters in Community Organisation, Management & Planning I moved into public health, working as a public health manager and commissioner in the United States for ten years. After returning to England in 1992, I helped to set up the Department of Health Policy and Public Health at the University of Hull, and moved on to direct the Masters and DPhil programmes in Evidence Based Health Care at Oxford University. In 2007, I went to Norway to establish a new Masters in Evidence Based Practice. I joined ScHARR in October 2009 to direct the Masters in International Public Health Management and Leadership. Since 2015, I have been working on projects aiming to document the contribution of community-based support to promoting wellbeing and the management of long term and multiple complex needs.

Research Interests

I am interested in the relationships between community development and health and wellbeing, specifically focusing on

• Community organization: how community-based participatory approaches can be used to promote health and well  being in neighbourhoods, with a particular focus on health inequalities.
• Knowledge mobilisation: how primary research and systematic reviews can be designed to promote moblisation of knowledge.
• Co-production: How co-production contributes to the development of relevant research that can be used to inform policy decisions.
• Development and application of methods for realist evaluation, transdisciplinary research, and realist review and synthesis.

Teaching Interests

I was director for the MPH Management & Leadership programme from 2009 – 2016, Director of the MSc in Health Management & Leadership from 2012-2017 and currently direct the Health Track for the Executive MBA. I teach health management, health policy and knowledge mobilisation.

Professional Activities

I am a Registered Art Therapist and a member of

• Cochrane Qualitative Research Methods Group
• International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research
• UK Participatory Research Network
• Centre for Realist Evaluation and Synthesis
• Centre for Evidence Based Medicine

Current Research Projects

• NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Fellowship 2015 - 2018: Under this Fellowship, I am working with knowledge brokers across Sheffield to establish an evidence base for community services supporting health and wellbeing. The Fellowship is sponsored by Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, ScHARR, Manor & Castle Development Trust, and SOAR (Southey Owlerton Area Regeneration).
• People Keeping Well in the Community 2015 – 2017: An evaluation of the feasibility of implementing a community link worker programme in Sheffield to shift non-medical demand from primary care to other community sources of support. I lead on the evaluation.
• Disability Sheffield Disability Payment Support Scheme 2016-2017: This project researched the issues with implementing the current scheme and made recommendations for improvement. I evaluated the process of co-production across Disability Sheffield and Sheffield City Council.
• South Yorkshire Housing Authority Co:Create 2016-2019: The Co:Create programme aims to facilitate co-production across commissioners, providers and service users in South Yorkshire. I lead on creating methods for evaluating the process of co-production within and across their projects.
• Timebuilders 2016-2019: I am a member of team that is co-producing an evaluation of the Timebuilders credit sharing scheme.
• Norwegian Research Council 2015 – 2017: I am leading on a review that assesses how and when involvement in diabetes research contributes to the relevance of diabetes interventions and whether involvement at different stages is associated with achievement of health outcomes.

Recent Projects

International Evaluation of WHO Presence in Countries 2015: I was a member of the team assessing how the World Health Organisation contributes o management of health in WHO member states.

Creating an Evaluation Framework for Community Wellbeing in Sheffield 2015-2016: In this project I coordinated the review of wellbeing tools, their utility and acceptability across 14 community organisations in Sheffield.

Community-Based Peer Support 2013-2015: I led on a participatory realist review of how peer support works, for whom and in what circumstances which involved 200 providers, service users and academics in establishing the effectiveness of peer support in different contexts.

Modifying a weight management intervention for people with intellectual disabilities 2014-2016: I was a member of a tem using participatory approaches to work with people with intellectual disabilities to evaluate the barriers and facilitators to participating in weight loss programmes.

Promoting self management of chronic pain in the community 2011-2014: I was the lead evaluator assessing the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing a Health Trainer programme for people with chronic pain in Sheffield.

Recent Publications (last 5 years)

Harris, J. The challenges of reviewing participation in health research. In Wright, M. and Kongats, K. (eds) Participatory Health Research: Voices from around the world. Springer Publishing. 2018.

Fredriksen EH, Moland KM, Harris J. How do Health Professionals acknowledge Web-based knowledge in pregnancy consultations? Health Care for Women International. 2018 doi/full/10.1080/07399332.2017.1423314

Fredriksen EH, Moland KM, Harris J. How do Health Professionals acknowledge Web-based knowledge in pregnancy consultations? Health Care for Women International. 2018 doi/full/10.1080/07399332.2017.1423314

Harris J, Cook T, Gibbs L, Oetzel J, Salsberg J, Shinn C, Springett J, Wallerstein N, & Wright M. Searching for the Impact of Participation in Health and Health Research: Challenges and Methods. 2018 BioMed Research International https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9427452

Cargo M, Harris J, Pantoja T, Booth A, Harden A, Hannes K, Thomas J, Flemming K, Garside R, Noyes J. Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group Guidance Paper 3: Methods for Assessing Evidence on Intervention Implementation. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2017 doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2017.11.028.

Harden A, Thomas J, Cargo M, Harris J, Pantoja T, Flemming K, Booth A, Garside R, Hannes K, Noyes J, Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group Guidance Paper 4: Methods for integrating qualitative and implementation evidence within intervention effectiveness reviews. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2018 doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2017.11.029.

Harris J, Booth A, Cargo M, Hannes K, Harden A, Flemming K, Garside R, Pantoja T, Thomas J, Noyes J, Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group Guidance series - paper 6: Methods for question formulation, searching and protocol development for qualitative evidence synthesis, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2018, doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2017.10.023.

Akparibo R, Harris J, Blank L, Campbell MJ, Holdsworth M. Severe acute malnutrition in children aged under 5 years can be successfully managed in a non‐emergency routine community healthcare setting in Ghana. Maternal & Child Nutrition. 2017 Jan 1. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12417

Abma TA, Cook T, Rämgård M, Kleba E, Harris J, Wallerstein N. Social impact of participatory health research: collaborative non-linear processes of knowledge mobilization. Educational Action Research. 2017 Aug 8;25(4):489-505.

Such E, Walton E, Delaney B, Harris J. and Salway S. Adapting primary care for new migrants: a formative assessment, BJGP Open, 2017 BJGP-2016-0620

Sriharan A, Harris J, Davis D, Clarke M. Global health partnerships for continuing medical education: lessons from successful partnerships. Health Systems & Reform. 2016 Jul 2;2(3):241-53.

Gavens L, Goyder E, Hock ES, Harris J, and Meier PS, Alcohol consumption after health deterioration in older adults: a mixed-methods study. Public Health. 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2016.05.016

Harris J, Springett J, Croot L, Thompson J. 2016. How stakeholder participation can contribute to systematic reviews of complex interventions. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 70:207-214 doi:10.1136/jech-2015-205701

Fredriksen EH, Harris J, Moland K M. “This advice is often better than advice from health professionals”: Online Discussion Forums on Pregnancy Complaints and Maternal Health Literacy in Norway. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2010, 18(5):e113

Harris J, Graue M, Dunning T, Haltbakk J, Austrheim G, Skille N, Rokne B, Kirkevold M. Involving people with diabetes and the wider community in diabetes research: a realist review protocol. Systematic Reviews. 2015 4(1):146. 10.1186/s13643-015-0127-y

Spjeldnaes, I. O., Moland, K. M., Harris, J., & Sam, D. L. Responsible Mothering in Limpopo, South Africa: Perspectives of Adolescents. Psychology, Society and Education, 2015, 11:57

Harris J, Springett J, Booth A, Croot E, Campbell F, Thompson J, Goyder E, VanCleemput P, Wilkins E, & Yang Y. Can community-based peer support promote health literacy and reduce inequalities? A realist review. Public Health Research, 2014, 3(3).

Harris, J., Williams, T., Hart, O., Hanson, C., Johnstone, G., Muthana, A., & Nield, C. Using health trainers to promote self-management of chronic pain: can it work? British Journal of Pain 2014, 8(1), 27-33.

Fredriksen, E. H., Harris, J., Moland, K. M., & Sundby, J. . “They Ask Whether This Is Real or Fake”: A Qualitative Norwegian Study of Pregnancy Complaints and Access to Social Benefits. Health Care Women International 2014, 35(3):266-84.

Hannes, K., Booth, A., Harris, J., & Noyes, J. (2013). Celebrating methodological challenges and changes: reflecting on the emergence and importance of the role of qualitative evidence in Cochrane reviews. Systematic Reviews, 2(1), 84.

Booth, A., Harris, J., Croot, E., Springett, J., Campbell, F., & Wilkins, E. (2013). Towards a methodology for cluster searching to provide conceptual and contextual richness. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 13(1), 118. 10.1186/1471-2288-13-118

Rohrbasser, A., Mickan, S., & Harris, J. Exploring why quality circles work in primary health care: a realist review protocol. Systematic Reviews 2013 2(1), 110. DOI: 10.1186/2046-4053-2-110

Wright MT, Brito I, Cook T, Harris J, Kleba ME, Madsen W, Springett J, Wakeford T. What is Participatory Health Research. Position Paper. 2013(1).

Hole, G.O., Harris, J., Larsen, A.K. The co-construction of knowledge: Reflections on developing an online international community work course. Larsen, A. K., Sewpaul, V., & Hole, G. O. (Eds.). (2013). Participation in Community Work: International Perspectives. Routledge.