New starters for DECIPHer (part 4)

The start of a new academic year often signals change and new beginnings, and this year is no exception for DECIPHer. A cohort of DECIPHer PhD students are finishing and moving on to new things, new research projects are getting underway, and our website and blog have had a very swish makeover. We’ve also been lucky enough to welcome a number of new staff to DECIPHer in recent months, two of whom have joined our Cardiff team:

Britt Hallingberg has recently taken up the position of research associate for PHIRN, the Public Health Improvement Research Network, and will be working on the development of new research proposals for the evaluation of complex interventions. She will be responsible for identifying research opportunities, developing partnerships within policy and practice, and contributing to research funding applications.

Britt isn’t entirely new to DECIPHer; she has taken up this role following a PhD with DECIPHer and Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry. This investigated adolescents’ participation in organised activities (OAs) such as sports and special interest groups that take place outside school hours. By applying psychological theories of adolescent risk-taking behaviours to an ecological framework, she aimed to identify who participated in OAs during adolescence and whether participation in particular types of OAs was associated with adolescent alcohol use. Britt has blogged about her PhD research on this very blog, here.

Hailing from New York (via Sweden), Britt has been at Cardiff University since starting her undergraduate degree here eight years ago. She has previously worked as a research assistant in the Department of Psychological Medicine and School of Psychology, and is a member of the university’s Violence and Society Research Group.

Britt is looking forward to building on the research from her PhD, and looking at how sport can be used to improve adolescent health.


Ria Poole joined DECIPHer in October as the Trial Manager for the Filter FE Challenge, a pilot trial and process evaluation of a multi-level smoking prevention intervention in further education settings.  Prior to joining us, Ria worked as a researcher at the South East Wales Trials Unit and conducted her PhD at the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff University.  She was also the Project Manager for C21 – Cardiff University’s new undergraduate medical curriculum, and is involved with developing and lecturing on the evidence-based medicine and professionalism curricula within the School of Medicine.Ria Poole

With a background in Psychology, clinical trials and complex interventions, Ria has worked across different areas of health research using mixed methods approaches.  She has experience of conducting mixed methods process evaluations for various health promotion and relapse prevention interventions, including Beating Bipolar (an online psychoeducation intervention for people with bipolar disorder), Bipolar Education Programme Cymru (a group-based psychoeducation programme) and the Building Blocks Study (mapping services available to first-time pregnant teenagers in England).  She has also conducted large-scale qualitative research into service-users’ experiences of out-of-hours primary car

Ria is keen to work on the process evaluation of the Filter FE project and to develop new research ideas with the DECIPHer team.  Her research interests include: behaviour change, complex interventions, motivational interviewing, qualitative research, mixed methods, relapse prevention, addictions, sexual health, health promotion, mindfulness, wellbeing and psychoeducation.

For a full list of DECIPHer staff and students at Cardiff, Bristol and Swansea Universities, see our people page. For more on the latest DECIPHer news, have a look at our autumn newsletter or sign up to our monthly e-bulletin by emailing

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