Professor Niamh Fitzgerald


Institute for Social Marketing University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Professor Niamh Fitzgerald

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About me

My research and teaching interests are primarily in alcohol policy, in particular mixed-method, interdisciplinary studies of population-level policies, and commercial determinants of health including product marketing, conflicts of interest and policy processes. I am involved in the supervision of several PhD students and am open to enquiries from anyone interested in a research degree on these topics.

I am one of two Deputy Directors of the SPECTRUM (Shaping Public hEalth poliCies To Reduce ineqUalities and harM) Consortium which focuses on commercial determinants of health in relation to alcohol, tobacco and food. SPECTRUM is funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (2019-2024) and includes 10 universities and multiple policy/practice partners. My role is to lead on impact, knowledge exchange and public engagement for the consortium - co-ordinating knowledge exchange events (including annual courses for ECRs, policymakers and practitioners) and overseeing public involvement groups at the Universities of Stirling and Nottingham and King's College London. Academics wishing to consult the public on alcohol/tobacco/food research can get in touch to arrange to meet with these groups.

I originally trained as a pharmacist, working primarily in community pharmacy, but also addiction services and the pharmaceutical industry. I received my PhD in 2003 from Robert Gordon University (RGU), Aberdeen, Scotland, for a qualitative study of policy, planning and practice in school-based drug education.  After my PhD I held a training role at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, then worked for 10 years as an independent consultant.

From 2007-2011, I was heavily involved in the national alcohol brief intervention programme in Scotland, and have worked extensively on this topic including internationally. I recently authored two training manuals on alcohol brief interventions (in primary care and trauma settings) for the WHO-Europe office for NCD prevention.

I sit on the board of ICARA - the International Confederation of ATOD (Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug) Research Associations ( as immediate past president. ICARA works to support research associations with governance and capacity building particularly in low and middle income countries.

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