Professor Petra Meier PhD (Manchester), MSc (Hertfordshire), Vordiplom (Heidelberg)

  • Professor of Public Health


Section of Public Health
University of Sheffield
Regent Court
30 Regent Street
Sheffield S1 4D

Office: Room G033c, Ground Floor, Regent Court

Tel: (+44) (0) 114 222 0735
Fax: (+44) (0) 114 222 0749

email :

ORCiD: 0000-0001-5354-1933


I studied psychology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, before completing an MSc by Res in Child Health (University of Hertfordshire) and a PhD in Epidemiology & Health Sciences (University of Manchester).

I was a Lecturer in Psychology for two years after my doctorate, before joining the University of Sheffield in 2006 where I am now Professor of Public Health.

I am the Director of the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, a leading international centre for alcohol policy modelling research with 16 team members, funded by grants from MRC, ESRC, EU, NIHR, DH, Scottish, Irish and Welsh Government, Cancer Research UK and Alcohol Research UK

I am also the Director of the University of Sheffield’s new Wellcome Trust PhD Scholarships in Public Health Economics and Decision Science and took over as ScHARR's Director of Postgraduate Research in early 2016.

Research Interests

  • Alcohol policies and their effectiveness
  • Health inequalities, and their link to environmental and behavioural factors
  • Determinants of transitions between substance use, misuse and dependence
  • Treatment process and outcome evaluation, especially with regard to drug and alcohol treatment

Administrative Roles and Professional Activities

  • Senior Editor of the journal Addiction and editorial board member of Drugs: Education, Prevention, Policy.
  • Member of Public Health England’s Alcohol Licensing Network and Alcohol Leadership Board
  • Member of the Chief Medical Officer for England’s Drinking Guidelines Review Group (2013-15)
  • Expert witness to Health Select Committees in England, Scotland and Western Australia, House of Lords European Sub-Committee
  • Key note speaker at WHO Summit on Alcohol Policy
  • Invited briefings to Prime Minister’s Special Advisors and Scottish Ministerial Advisory Committee on Alcohol
  • Invited briefing to previous Chief Medical Officer

Research grants and outputs

  • International reputation for multi-disciplinary research into the effectiveness of alcohol policy interventions, informing governments both nationally (UK, Scotland) and internationally (Canada, New Zealand, Australia, EU Commission, WHO, ROI) on evidence-based decision making in public health
  • Over 80 publications
  • Current and recent UK grants: NIHR PHR SYNTAX (£727k), NIHR SPHR (£20m split between 8 centres, 2017-2022); NHS Scotland Minimum Unit Pricing Evaluation (£600k, 2017-2020); DH PRP Tobacco Control Evaluation (£490k, 2017-2019); NIHR HTA Smoking relapse prevention RCT (£1.2m, 2017-2020), NIHR PHR NWMUP (£287k, 2017-2019); NIHR PHR Drinking Guidelines Evaluation (£590k, 2016-2018), NIHR HSDR Alcohol Treatment Centres evaluation (£740k, 2015-2018); ESRC UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS) £4.3m (2013-2017); NIHR School of Public Health Centre Grant £2.15m (2013-2016); MRC NPRI Adult Drinkers in Scotland and England APISE £1.2m (2012-16); MRC NPRI Health in Early Feeding Scheme RCT £1.5m (2012-16); ARUK Drinking cultures £60k (2013-15); DH Alcohol treatment capacity modelling (2013-15) £250k.
  • Current and recent international grants: CASCADE (£1.4million, funded by US NIH, 2016-2021); Two EU FP7 grants, ALICE RAP (EUR 10m, work programme lead, 2011-17) and ODHIN (EUR 4m, 2011-15); Northern Ireland and ROI Government co-funded SAPM model adaptation for Ireland (£250k, 2013-14), Public Health Foundation India – grant to help build local capacity for policy modelling (£16k, 2013-15)
  • Recently completed large initiatives including the MRC-funded Alcohol Policy Research Programme (Principal investigator: £1.1m, 2010-14), MRC NPRI U@Uni Trial, £550k (2012-14); New Dynamics of Aging/ESRC funded MINA project (2009-11), NICE Public Health Collaborating Centre (2008-12), and South Yorkshire CLAHRC Health Inequalities and Obesity strands (2008-13)
  • Previous grants as principal investigator of Department of Health Policy Research Programme grant on Alcohol Pricing and Promotion Policies (£260k with follow-on contracts, 2007-9), a systematic review on the alcohol-crime relationship for the Home Office (£37k, 2010), three policy appraisals for the Scottish Executive (£170k, 2009/11), and an EPSRC-funded methodology study on modelling gun crime (£270k) funded under the Ideas Factories funding stream, which encourages highly innovative, trans-disciplinary and risk accepting research (2006-7).

Key Publications

Meier, P.S., Warde, A., Holmes, J. (2017). All drinking is not equal: How a social practice theory lens could enhance public health research on alcohol and other health behaviours. Addiction online early.

Gavens L, Holmes J, Buehringer G, McLeod J, Neumann M, Lingford-Hughes A, Hock ES, Meier PS (2017) Interdisciplinary working in public health research: a proposed good practice checklist, Journal of Public Health, 14, 1-8. DOI:

Meier, P. S., Holmes, J., Angus, C., Ally, A. K., Meng, Y., & Brennan, A. (2016). Estimated Effects of Different Alcohol Taxation and Price Policies on Health Inequalities: A Mathematical Modelling Study. PLOS Medicine, 13(2), e1001963. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001963

Ally, A., Lovatt, M., Meier, P., Brennan, A., & Holmes, J. (2016). Developing a social practice-based latent class typology of British drinking culture in 2009-2011: Implications for alcohol policy analysis. Addiction. doi:10.1111/add.13397

Sadler S, Angus C, Gavens L, Gillespie D, Holmes J, Hamilton J, Brennan A, Meier P (2016) Understanding the alcohol harm paradox: an analysis of sex- and condition-specific hospital admissions by socioeconomic group for alcohol-associated conditions in England, Addiction, 112(5):808-817. DOI: 10.1111/add.13726

Brennan, A., Meier, P., Purshouse, R., Rafia, R., Meng, Y., & Hill-Macmanus, D. (2016). Developing policy analytics for public health strategy and decisions—the Sheffield alcohol policy model framework. Annals of Operations Research, 236(1), 149-176. doi:10.1007/s10479-013-1451-z

Gavens, L., Goyder, E., Hock, E. S., Harris, J., & Meier, P. S. (2016). Alcohol consumption after health deterioration in older adults: a mixed-methods study. Public Health. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2016.05.016

Lovatt, M., Eadie, D., Meier, P. S., Li, J., Bauld, L., Hastings, G., & Holmes, J. (2015). Lay epidemiology and the interpretation of low-risk drinking guidelines by adults in the United Kingdom. Addiction, 110(12), 1912-1919. doi:10.1111/add.13072Holmes, J., Angus, C. and Meier, P.S. (2015) 'UK alcohol industry's "billion units pledge": interim evaluation flawed', British Medical Journal, DOI:10.1136.bmj.h1301

Holmes J, Meng Y, Meier PS, Brennan A, Angus C, Campbell-Burton A, Guo Y, Hill-McManus D & Purshouse RC (2014) Effects of minimum unit pricing for alcohol on different income and socioeconomic groups: a modelling study.. Lancet, 383(9929), 1655-1664.

Brennan A, Meng Y, Holmes J, Hill-McManus D & Meier PS (2014) Potential benefits of minimum unit pricing for alcohol versus a ban on below cost selling in England 2014: modelling study.. BMJ, 349, g5452. View this article in White Rose Research Online

Ally AK, Meng Y, Chakraborty R, Dobson PW, Seaton JS, Holmes J, Angus C, Guo Y, Hill-McManus D, Brennan A & Meier PS (2014)Alcohol tax pass-through across the product and price range: do retailers treat cheap alcohol differently?. Addiction, 109(12), 1994-2002.

Meng Y, Holmes J, Hill-McManus D, Brennan A & Meier PS (2014) Trend analysis and modelling of gender-specific age, period and birth cohort effects on alcohol abstention and consumption level for drinkers in Great Britain using the General Lifestyle Survey 1984-2009.. Addiction, 109(2), 206-215. View this article in White Rose Research Online

Meng Y, Brennan A, Purshouse R, Hill-McManus D, Angus C, Holmes J & Meier PS (2014) Estimation of own and cross price elasticities of alcohol demand in the UK-A pseudo-panel approach using the Living Costs and Food Survey 2001-2009.. J Health Econ, 34, 96-103. View this article in White Rose Research Online

Epton T, Norman P, Dadzie AS, Harris PR, Webb TL, Sheeran P, Julious SA, Ciravegna F, Brennan A, Meier PS, Naughton D, Petroczi A, Kruger J & Shah I (2014) A theory-based online health behaviour intervention for new university students (U@Uni): results from a randomised controlled trial.. BMC Public Health, 14, 563. View this article in White Rose Research Online

Meier PS, Meng Y, Holmes J, Baumberg B, Purshouse R, Hill-McManus D & Brennan A (2013) Adjusting for unrecorded consumption in survey and per capita sales data: quantification of impact on gender- and age-specific alcohol-attributable fractions for oral and pharyngeal cancers in Great Britain.. Alcohol Alcohol, 48(2), 241-249. View this article in White Rose Research Online

Holmes JD, Meier PSY, Booth A, Guo Y & Brennan A (2012) The temporal relationship between per capita alcohol consumption and harm: A systematic review of time lag specifications in aggregate time series analyses. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 123(1-3), 7-14.

Meier PS (2011) Alcohol marketing research: the need for a new agenda.. Addiction, 106(3), 466-471. View this article in White Rose Research Online

Purshouse RC, Meier PS, Brennan A, Taylor KB & Rafia R (2010) Estimated effect of alcohol pricing policies on health and health economic outcomes in England: an epidemiological model.. Lancet, 375(9723), 1355-1364.

Meier PS (2010) Polarized drinking patterns and alcohol deregulation. NAD Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 27(5), 383-408.

Meier PS, Purshouse R & Brennan A (2010) Policy options for alcohol price regulation: the importance of modelling population heterogeneity.. Addiction, 105(3), 383-393. View this article in White Rose Research Online