Janine Bestall


I’m a Senior Research Fellow in Applied Health Research in the Division of Health Services Research at the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences. I’m currently leading qualitative work on two projects, one focussed on prehabilitation for patients with lung cancer and the other focussed on patient experience of immunotherapy.

My other roles are in research design as the Deputy Director for the Research Design Service Yorkshire and Humber (RDS YH) and as an RDS YH Advisor. This involves strategic direction of the RDS at a national and regional level. Additionally, I work with three teams of methodologists in Leeds, York and Sheffield providing support to researchers and health professionals who are developing proposals for funding from NIHR, the Research Councils and medical research charities. I also lead a cross national team of methdologists for a new initiative called the Public Health Research Application and Design Advice (PHRADA) service supporting applicants applying to NIHR Public Health Research funding programme on specfic commissioned calls.

I’ve been a researcher for over twenty years and have experience of systematic reviews, clinical trials, qualitative methods, patient and public involvement and engagement among other methods. I completed my PhD at St Bartholomews and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and St Georges Hospital Medical School evaluating a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with moderate and severe COPD. I joined the Cochrane Collaboration undertaking systematic reviews as part of the Cochrane Airways group and following that became a research fellowworking  on projects in primary care and palliative care. In 2005 I joined Kirklees Primary Care Trust as a Public Health commissioning manager. My main roles there were commissioning and delivering services for patients with long term conditions and supporting the public health intelligence unit with the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment. I was the portfolio manager for a range of services for people with long term conditions to help them self-care. and developed a training programme for health professionals that encompassed brief intervention training, the House of Care for diabetes and cognitive behavioural therapy for managing pain and other symptoms.





  • Research Design Service (RDS YH) Deputy Director
  • Research Design Service Advisor
  • Qualitative researcher

Research interests

My research interests are integrated care models, self-care and long-term conditions, decision making in health, and patients understanding of risk. I’m interested in qualitative research. participatory research methods, co-production and public involvement and engagement. I work as part of a multidiscplinary team to answer high priority questions in healthcare.

My current role as the Deputy Director in the RDS YH has enabled me to use my skills at a strategic and operational level both nationally and regionally and to support the RDS YH Director to deliver the service and respond to new challenges.

Working as an RDS Advisor enables me to support early career researchers and those who are more experienced to design studies and answer research questions in a range of different topic areas. I provide generic advice about the application process, funding streams, impact, public involvement and engagement. I also provide specialist advice about qualitative methods. 

I review funding applications and reports as part of my role at NIHR and I am a reviewer for BMJ open.


  • PhD Respiratory Medicine
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology

Student education

I am a personal tutor for students on Masters courses at LIHS. I also mark masters projects and support the PhD transfer process. I provide one to one coaching and support for health professionals interested in obtaining research funding. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Health Services Research Division
  • Health services research
<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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>