Forbes, Gillian


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Personal profile


Gill is a behavioural and implementation scientist who joined the School of Health Sciences in 2023. 

She graduated with a MA (Hons) in Psychology at the University of Dundee in 2007. She then worked in Dental Public Health, NHS Fife as a research and administrative assistant for two years before moving to the University of St Andrews to work as a research assistant on the Childsmile Dental Public Health programme. She completed a part-time MPhil from the University of St Andrews in 2012. Then Gill returned to the University of Dundee as a research fellow within the Dental school and NHS Education for Scotland for a year before receiving a part-time PhD Fellowship in Improvement Science from the Health Foundation and graduating in 2019.

From 2018 to 2023, Gill was based at the Centre of Behaviour Change, University College London as a senior research fellow.


Gill’s research focuses on the use of behavioural science frameworks and mixed-methods to design and develop theoretical, evidence-based behaviour change interventions. She also has methodological expertise and interest in the use of behavioural change frameworks in systematic reviews to identify influences on behaviour and behaviour change interventions and in process evaluations of complex interventions, particularly in the assessment of implementation outcomes.

Gill has experience in formative research, intervention development and piloting, and process evaluation in the areas of antibiotic use and antimicrobial stewardship, postpartum haemorrhage and post-stroke rehabilitation. This research was conducted across multiple sites, in different countries and collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams.

Gill Forbes is a member of the Living Well with Long Term Conditions Research group and is currently taking new self-funded PhD students. Prospective PhD students can contact Gill directly by email to discuss research ideas but should first visit the Living Well with Long Term Conditions Research research group webpage via this link to see currently relevant topics of interest to supervisors. 

Research interests

Gill is keen to develop behavioural systems mapping as a method to understand complex systems and to identify where to place behaviour change interventions within healthcare systems.

At the Centre of Behaviour Change, UCL she was a mentor on the Applied Principles and Practice of Behaviour Change training course.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The development of a theoretically informed intervention to improve the antibiotic prescribing of dentists in primary care in Scotland

Award Date: 31 Oct 2019


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