Our people

The PIRU Management Team comprises Nicholas Mays (Director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)), Bob Erens (Deputy Director, LSHTM), Martin Knapp (London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)), James Barlow (Imperial College London), Ellen Nolte (LSHTM and LSE), Mark Petticrew (LSHTM) and Elizabeth Eastmure (LSHTM).

As well as its own research staff, the Unit is able to call on a broad range of expertise in the collaborating institutions. It also has call-off contracts with a further panel of 'preferred providers' to support its responsive research capacity.

Senior Investigators

Nick Mays photo Nicholas Mays, Director of PIRU
Nicholas Mays has over 35 years’ experience in undertaking health policy research and providing health policy advice, with particular expertise in policy and programme evaluation, policy analysis, mixed method systematic reviews of qualitative and quantitative evidence, and international comparisons of policies and reforms. He is Professor of Health Policy at LSHTM as well as a Senior Associate of the Nuffield Trust. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Health Services Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He continues to advise the NZ Government. He is a Board Member and Trustee of the Centre for Ageing Better, one of the 'What Works Centres' established with funding from the Big Lottery. Read more >>
Bob Erens

Bob Erens, Deputy Director of PIRU
Bob Erens is PIRU lead for survey methods in evaluation. Bob Erens has 35+ years’ experience of applied research and evaluation in the fields of health services, public health and survey methodological research. He previously worked at the National Centre for Social Research for 24 years, where he was Director of the Health Research Group and the Survey Methods Unit, and where he led a number of large national studies including the Health Survey for England. He is a Trustee of the Social Research Association and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Martin Knapp Martin Knapp
Martin Knapp is PIRU co-lead for evaluation of social care and lead for mental health and health care of older people. Martin has 40 years’ experience in social care, mental health and other health research. Since 1996 he has directed PSSRU at LSE, and in 2009 he became director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research (and will continue until 2024). His work has informed policy on psychiatric hospital closure, social care markets, personal budgets, prevention, psychological therapies and dementia care. His current research interests are primarily in adult social care, dementia, child and adult mental health and autism. He has expertise in application of economic methods to social and health care issues and a wealth of experience of undertaking rigorous yet responsive, policy-relevant research. Read more >>
Mark Petticrew Mark Petticrew
Mark Petticrew is the PIRU co-lead for the evaluation of public health policies and programmes. Mark is an authority on evaluation of health policy interventions outside the health system. He was a co-founder and is a member of the Cochrane/Campbell Health Equity Field which has developed methods for incorporating an equity perspective into systematic reviews. He is Director of the DHSC PRP-funded Public Health Research Consortium (phrc.lshtm.ac.uk) and is co-Director of the NIHR School for Public Health Research at LSHTM. Read more >>
Ellen Nolte Ellen Nolte
Ellen Nolte is the PIRU co-lead for horizon scanning and for health services policy and programme evaluation. Ellen has extensive experience in health systems research, international health care comparisons and performance assessment. She led the Department of Health, PRP-funded 'On-call Facility for International Healthcare Comparisons' (2005-2014), which provided evidence on international developments to inform policy in England. Over the past decade she has developed an internationally recognised research portfolio around innovative service models that seek to better meet the needs of people with complex and long-term health problems, with a particular focus on care coordination and integration within and across sectors. Read more >>
James Barlow James Barlow
James Barlow is the PIRU lead for understanding dynamics of innovations in health and care and futures work, and co-lead for horizon scanning. James is an expert in innovation in healthcare, particularly the relationship between the design, planning and sustainable implementation of complex technology, service and infrastructure-based innovations. James was Principal Investigator of the EPSRC Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre (HaCIRIC), 2006-13, and co-director of the Innovation Studies Centre at Imperial College Business School, (2003-2006).
Richard Richard Grieve
Richard Grieve is PIRU’s lead for quantitative methodological development and for health economic evaluation methods. Richard is an expert on quantitative evaluation from an economics perspective. Richard has extended methods for using non-randomised data to evaluate new health policies. He has also improved methods for analysing data from cluster randomised trials which are often used to evaluate organisational innovations. Read more >>
Raphael Wittenberg Raphael Wittenberg
Raphael Wittenberg is the PIRU lead for economic modelling and co-lead for evaluation of social care policies and programmes. Raphael is an associate professorial research fellow at PSSRU at the London School of Economics and Political Science and deputy director of the CHSEO research centre at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. Previously, he was a senior economist at DHSC. He has led the design and construction of a number of projection models of long-term care demand and expenditure. He has expertise in the economics of long-term care, funding of social care, dementia care, unpaid care, personalisation in long-term care and the social care workforce. Read more >>
Juliette Malley
Juliette Malley is PIRU lead on outcome assessment and co-lead on evaluation of social care policies and programmes. Juliette has substantial expertise in outcomes measurement in social care and was a core contributor to the ASCOT quality of life measure. She uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in her research and has significant experience of modelling survey and administrative data to support social care policy development, and in designing and conducting primary research with social care users. Her particular interests are in assessing the performance and quality of long-term care systems, and the regulation and financing of long-term care systems.
Stefanie Ettelt
Stefanie Ettelt is PIRU co-lead for mixed method evaluation and policy analysis, and lead for understanding the dynamics of policy pilots and their local implementation. Stefanie has a particular interest in the role of pilots in policy development and how local implementers shape their results. She has published guidelines for policy-makers on how to organise policy pilots and was a contributor to the DH-funded ‘On-call Facility for International Healthcare Comparisons’ between 2005 and 2010. She is a political scientist and policy analyst by training and holds a Doctorate in Public Health.
Cécile Knai
Cecile Knai is PIRU co-lead for evaluation of public health policies and programmes and co-lead for mixed method evaluation and policy analysis. Cecile specialises in the evaluation of public health policies and programmes in the field of food and nutrition. She conducts research on various aspects of public health policy, including food and nutrition policy, public health governance analysis, obesity and inequalities, and analyses of the impact of voluntary and other policy options on public health. Cécile recently established a Research Alliance on Public Health Governance to conduct cross-disciplinary research on public health policies, including organisations involved and their interests; distribution of power; formal and informal mechanisms through which state and non-state actors (such as unhealthy commodity industries) gain agency and shape relevant policy at local, national and international levels. Prior to joining LSHTM she worked at the World Health Organization's Regional Office for Europe (Copenhagen, Denmark) as a technical officer in the food and nutrition unit. Read more >>

Lay Researchers and PPI Advisors

Jennifer Bostock
Jennifer Bostock is PIRU co-lead on public and patient involvement. Jennifer has experience of strategy for public involvement in research via QORU and the NIHR School of Public Health & NETScc; PPI training as PPI Chair and training lead of the Research Design Service Public Advisory Group; and dissemination via academic and popular media. Jennifer will ensure that the Unit’s PPI strategy exhibits best practice. Jennifer is the current ethics lead for the Research Design Service (RDS) and is a former Wellcome Biomedical Ethics Scholar. Her background in research ethics (as Vice Chair of an NHS REC & Deputy Chair of an International REC), NHS primary care commissioning, regulation (as a former CQC inspector) and health and social care quality improvement (via NAGCAE, HQIP & NICE) will add a set of independent skills to the team. Her own disability living with a long-term condition and her personal experience as a carer will help root the work of the Unit in the reality of service provision.

Matthew Baker
Matthew Baker is PIRU co-lead on public and patient involvement. Matthew has particular expertise in cancer research, advising on clinical trials and prevention studies and has worked extensively with NCRI and CRUK. He has collaborated with a number of research teams concerned with aspects of cancer patients’ experience, particularly in relation to widening patient participation in clinical trials. He is a member of the NCRI Consumer Forum Steering Group and a member of QORU’s Public Involvement Implementation Group.

Core Research Team

Elizabeth Eastmure LSHTM, is an Honorary Research Fellow with experience in health policy research. Her background is in policy analysis and project/programme management. Previous work includes policy and research projects with the Nuffield Trust, NHS organisations and the former Healthcare Commission.

Paula Fry Administrator for PIRU

Mustafa Al-Haboubi LSHTM

Nick Douglas LSHTM

Mary-Alison Durand LSHTM

Alec Fraser LSHTM

Rebecca Glover LSHTM

Tommaso Manacorda LSHTM

Stefanie Tan LSHTM

Lorraine Williams LSHTM

Key Collaborators

Gerald Wistow LSE

Martin Bardsley The Health Foundation

As well as its own research staff, the Unit is able to call on a broad range of expertise in the collaborating institutions. It also has call-off contracts with a further panel of 'preferred providers' to support its responsive research capacity.