Dr Ian Kellar

Dr Ian Kellar


Ian is a health/social psychologist developing and evaluating interventions that use behaviour change techniques He is currently working on interventions related to medication adherence, restraint reduction, self-management of long term conditions, tobacco cessation, and tooth brushing. Ian is an Associate Professor of Health Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds. He was a principal collaborator on the NIHR CLAHRC-YH Evidence-Based Transformation theme, and a match-funded collaborator on the NIHR CLAHRC-YH Mental Health and Co-Morbidities theme. Ian was an NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire & Humber Fellow (2014 - 2015). 

Since 2012, Ian has been an investigator on research attracting over £11.5 million of funding. He is the intervention modelling work package lead on a NIHR programme grant to improve the use of prescribed medicines at transitions, and intervention development and testing workstream lead on a NIHR programme grant to develop and evaluate a diabetes self-management intervention for people with severe mental illness. His research has been funded by Cancer Research UK, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, ESRC, Health Foundation, HS & DR, HTA, MRC (PHIND, JGHT, Trial), NHS England SBRI, NIHR, and the (ESRC) White Rose Consortium.

Ian attained chartered status as a health psychologist in 2006. Ian has served on the editorial board of the British Journal of Health Psychology since 2006, the Journal of Patient Preference and Adherence since 2015, and as an academic editor for PLOS ONE from 2015-2019. He served on the UKSBM executive committee in the role of publicity officer from 2007-2011, on behalf of whom he submitted evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology committee on behaviour change. He rejoined UKSBM exec committee in 2018, in the role of Social Media Officer. He served as lead of the Behaviour Change Grand Challenge within the School of Psychology from 2013-2016.

Ian has supervised 5 PhD students to completion, all of whom remain active within academia. He currently supervises 2 PhD students within the School of Psychology, and co-supervises 2 PhD students and 1 NIHR pre-doctoral fellow elsewhere within the University of Leeds, 1 MPhil student elsewhere within the UK, and is a dissertation committee member for 1 PhD student in the USA and 1 elsewhere in the UK.


After graduating with a BA in Social Psychology from the University of Sussex, Ian undertook a D.Phil. entitled “Evaluating Brief Theory-Based Interventions to Promote Health Behaviours”, supervised by Professor Charles Abraham, and funded by an ESRC studentship award. Ian then accepted a post as Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Care Research at the University of Brighton, co-authoring a scoping exercise for the National Co-ordinating Centre for NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R&D, entitled “Concordance, Adherence and Compliance in Medicine Taking” with Professor Rob Horne. Ian subsequently joined the Primary Care Unit at the University of Cambridge, lead by Professor Ann-Louise Kinmonth, in the role of research psychologist, developing behaviour change interventions on a series of randomised controlled trials related to medication adherence, diabetes screening, and self-monitoring & physical activity.

Research interests

I'm interested in helping people do what they say they want to do This is typically in the context of developing and evaluating interventions to promote health behaviour change. I employ evidence synthesis techniques and qualitative and quantitative approaches in the development of behaviour change interventions and test their acceptability, deliverability, and efficacy in feasibility and phase 2 randomised controlled trials. I have an interest in employing mHealth apps, mobile sensing, wearables and objective measurement in their evaluation.

Ongoing funded projects

Siddiqi, K., Sheik, A., Hewitt, C., Kanaan, M., Parrott, S., Kellar, I., Jackson, C., Iqbal, R., Rizvi, N., Khan, J., Huque, R., Pardhan, A., Ferdous, T., Pervin, M., Readshaw, A. (2020-2023) Children Learning About Second-hand Smoke: Cluster randomised-controlled trial. MRC Joint Global Health Trials scheme. (£1,224,737)

Baker, J. Berzins, K., McDougall, T., Goldson, B., Kellar, I., Wright, J. (2019-2020) Establishing components of interventions to reduce restrictive practices with children and young people: an evidence synthesis. NIHR HS&DR. (£246,088) 

Knapp, P., Martin-Kerry, J., Phillips, B., Blower, S., Torgerson, D., Swallow, V., Dimitri, P., Marshman, Z., Stones, S., Kellar, I., Curtis, P., Higgins, S., Mills, N. (2018-2019) Identifying and understanding the most effective way to inform children and young people with long-term conditions about technology interventions to promote optimum healthcare. University of York University Research Priming. (£14,994)

Siddiqi, N., Taylor, J., Hewitt, C., Shiers, D., Kellar, I., Ali, S., Parrott, S., Holt, R., Gilbody, S., Doherty, P., Ajjan, R., Osborn, D., Long, S., Coventry, P., Boehnke, J., Alderson, S. (2018-2023) Developing and evaluating a diabetes self-management intervention for people with severe mental illness: The DIAMONDS programme (Diabetes and Mental Illness, Improving Outcomes and Self-management). NIHR PGfAR. (£2,484,546)

Innes, N., Marshman, Z., Pavitt, S., Kellar, I., Day, P., Stevens, K., Betton, V., Torgerson, D., Gilcrest, F., Buckley, H., Hewitt, C., Chestnutt, I., Jones, C., Cooper, D., Shah, S., Pollard, L. (2017 - 2022) BRIGHT Trial: Brushing RemInder 4 Good oral HealTh: the clinical and cost -effectiveness of a Short Messaging Service behaviour change programme to improve the oral health of young people living in deprived areas. HTA Primary Research. (£1,915,701)

Siddiqi, K., Hewitt, C., Parrott, S., Fairhurst, C., Semple, S., Huque, R., Aziz, S., Kellar, I., Jackson, C. (2016-2020) Muslim Communities Learning About Second-hand Smoke in Bangladesh (MCLASS II): An effectiveness-implementation hybrid study. MRC Research Grant. (£746,636)

Blenkinsopp A., Armitage G., Turner, R., Gardner, P., Kellar, I., Farrin, A., Wright, J., Longo, R., Kirkpatrick, I., Silcock, J., Holloway, I., Aldred, D., Mohammed, M., Gale, C., Alderson, S., Raynor, T. (2015-2021) Improving the safety and continuity of medicines management at care transitions (ISCOMAT). NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research. (£2,074,179)

Previously funded projects

Weighall, A., Kellar, I., Nash, H., McDaid, C., Hewitt, C., Elphick, H., Dawson, V. (2018) Characterising and Evaluating a Complex Behavioural Intervention to Improve Sleep in Children with Sleep Difficulties. RDSYH Public Involvement in Grant Applications Funding Award – CALL 34. NIHR Research Design Service - Yorkshire & The Humber. (£484)

Presseau, J., Grimshaw, J., Squires, J., Gaudreau, P., Witteman, H., Rhodes, R., Sneihotta, F., Conner, M., Kellar, I., Armitage, C., Patey, A., McClearyN., Thavorn, K., Taljaard, M., Ivers, N., Desroches, S., Horsley, T., Lavoie, K., Bacon, S. (2018) Social Science for Public Health: Using ‘brain hacks’ for multiple health behaviour change and planning the first-in-Canada evaluation of implementation intentions at scale. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. (C$20,000)

Burke, S., Campbell, J., Kellar, I., Gilbert, S. (2017-2018) Investigating the feasibility and acceptability of geocaching for promoting physical activity in childhood cancer patients and their families.  Cancer Research UK BUPA Foundation Fund Innovation Grant. (£20,059)

Hassall, C., Kellar, I.,  Dallimer, M. (2016) Interactions between urban children and their school grounds to evaluate the use of school-based green space. LSSI Seed Corn Funding for Social Science/STEM Collaborations. (£1,730)

Eaglesham, J., Bramwell, S., Tiley, P., Jones, H., Dallard, N., Kellar, I., Petty, D.,  Betton, V., Aldawoud, T., Dawson, R., Husain, W., Gaston, T., Southall, L., Belsey, J., Turner, R., Stewart, I. (2015-2016) Meds Companion Phase 2 Demonstrator. Small Business Research Initiatives Healthcare NHS England competition for development contracts. (£1,000,000)

Nash, H. Weighall, A. Kellar, I. & Blackwell, J. (2015) Using a portable, objective measure of sleep to investigate the relationship between sleep, cognition and psychosocial well-being in paediatric narcolepsy. Child Brain Research ‘Seedcorn’ funding. (£7,500)

Eaglesham, J., Kellar, I., Power, E., Turner, R., Jones, S. (2014-2015) Meds Companion. Small Business Research Initiatives Healthcare NHS England competition for development contracts. (£100,000)

Lawton, R., Kellar, I., Prestwich, Moore, S., Finch, L., Kotze, A. (2014-2015) Pre-operative behaviour change. NIHR CLAHRC YH Research Capability Funding. (£59,159)

Siddiqi, K., Jackson, C., Kellar, I., Thomson, H., Dogar, O. (2014-2015). Adapting a behavioural support intervention for smokeless tobacco cessation in South Asians. MRC Public Health Intervention Development Scheme. (£149,955)

Kellar, I., Howell, S., Kotze, A., Lawton, R., McCooe, M. (2014) [PPI in the development of pre-operative behaviour change interventions for high-risk patients to reduce perioperative risk] RDSYH Public Involvement in Grant Applications Funding Award – CALL 17. NIHR Research Design Service - Yorkshire & The Humber. (£450)

Demain, S.H., Foster, C., Latter, S., Hankins, M., Kennedy, A., Boger, E., Jones, F., Kellar, I. (2013-2015). What self-management outcomes matter most to patients, family care-givers, healthcare professionals and commissioners? Exploring consensus and difference. The Health Foundation. (£238,282)

Prestwich, A., Conner, M.T., Kellar, I.J., Lawton, R.J., Gardner, P.H. (2012-2013). Alcohol reviews. NHS Leeds. (£48,622)

Professional memberships

  • UK Society for Behavioural Medicine (Exec committee member)
  • British Sleep Society
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