Professor Carl Thompson

Professor Carl Thompson


Professor Thompson has an academic background in social policy, health services research, and evidence-based practice.  He is a registered nurse who has worked in a diverse portfolio of NHS roles ranging from nursing assistant to non-executive director of an NHS foundation trust. Prior to coming to Leeds in 2015, Professor Thompson held a personal chair in health sciences at the University of York. He has published 3 books and more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles on subjects ranging from evidence-based practice to clinical decision making to the application of social network theory in health services. Broadly speaking, his research can be characterised as "how people use information in clinical practice and policy making". His work has attracted more than £5m in research income and he has been part of collaborations that have attracted more than £20m from funders such as the UK NIHR, MRC and ESRC.  Currently, his research includes a national evaluation of values based recruitment in the NHS and higher education (£400k, DH Policy Research Programme); the relationship between staffing and quality in care homes (STaRQ study, £1m, NIHR, HSDR); Nurturing Innovation in Care Homes (NiCHE Leeds; Leeds Care Home Association and University of Maastricht); machine learning of routine data for decision making and implementation in dermatology (£25k, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN).

He is a member of the NIHR Yorkshire and Humber CLAHRC "Improvement Science" theme, and was formerly the theme lead for the region's first CLAHRC's Translating Research into Practice in Leeds and Bradford (TRiPLaB) theme. 

He has supervised a number of PhD students in the area of clinical decision making and judgement (Dr Una Adderley, currently National Lead for Wound Care, NHS Improve; Dr Huiqin Yang, currently Deputy Director, PenTAG Health Technology Assessment Group, University of Exeter; and Dr Ana Castro; Chilean Government Studentship.

Current students include:

  • Lucy Hall, decision making in chronic wound care (Lucy Hall, with Leeds Teaching Hospital and the CLAHRC Cardinal scheme) 
  • Jo James, exploring choices in care home selection by families and carers.

Professor Thompson welcomes applications from prospective students. 

Professor Thompson sits on a number of national and overseas funding panels/boards including the NIHR's Prioritisation Panel for HSDR; the Irish Health Research Board and the Northern Irish HSC R&D.  He is a visiting professor at the Universities of Alberta (Canada) and East Anglia (UK). He collaborates with colleagues in Australia, the Netherlands, the US and Canada and welcomes approaches from colleagues interested in implementation science and clinical decision making/judgment. 

He is currently Director of Research in the School of Healthcare at Leeds. 


  • Director of Research


  • DPhil, Social Policy, University of York, 1996
  • BSc Hons (1st class with distinction), Social Policy, University of York, 1993
  • RN, York College of Nursing, 1989

Student education

I teach a range of sessions in areas of medical informatics, decision making and judgement and leadership in the faculty of medicine and health. I supervise undergraduate research dissertations and support students as part of the NIHR's Fellowship Scheme (from Pre Doctoral to Post Doctoral) and those undertaking masters level study.  

Research groups and institutes

  • People, systems and services

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>