Dr Maria Bryant

Dr Maria Bryant

Profile

Qualifications

PhD Nutrition and Psychology, University of Leeds, 2004

BSc (Hons) 1st Class, Nutrition, Kings College London, 1999

Topic expertise: Diet, nutrition, obesity, public health evaluation, pregnancy, infant and child growth and health, home environments

Design experience: childhood obesity treatment or prevention trials (pilot, feasibility or phase III definitive trials); outcome measure development and appraisal; systematic reviews; intervention development (including ethnography); cohort studies

Other associated research: development and evaluation of interventions in families of South Asian origins; use of routine data in research; measurement of obesity and appropriate cut-offs for populations of South Asian origin; epidemiological research, implementation research, public health evaluation

Current and previous roles

2018 – date, Associate Professor, Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research, University of Leeds: Lead for Diet, Obesity and Lifestyle portfolio

2012 – 2018, Senior Research Fellow, Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research, University of Leeds: Lead for Diet, Obesity and Lifestyle portfolio

2015 – 2019, National Institute for Health Research Career Development Fellow, Development and evaluation of a public engagement intervention (national definitive trial) and feasibility trial of clinical effectiveness of HENRY (community based parenting intervention aiming to prevent childhood obesity)

2015 – date, University of Leeds University Academic Fellow, Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research, University of Leeds

2006 – 2012, Research Fellow and Trial Manager, Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research, University of Leeds

2004 – 2006, Post-doctoral Fellow (childhood obesity: intervention development, trials and implementation research), Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UNC, USA

2005 – 2006, Postgraduate Instructor (part time), Obesity Epidemiology, Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UNC, USA

 

Grants

2019 - 2024 Co-applicant: ActEarly (Evaluation Chair; lead for Food): A City Collaboratory approach to early promotion of good health and wellbeing. MRCPRP £7M

2019 – 2025 Co-Investigator: (Lead for implementation evaluation) Air pollution, outdoor air quality and health. NIHR PHR 18/14 £966,980

2020 – 2020  Named collaborator. Peer2Peer: understanding ‘Raised in Yorkshire’: understanding its influence on health and life opportunities. Oral Health-White Rose Consortium (OH-WRC) (Sheffield and York). £10,109

2019 – 2024   Co-investigator: Better Start Bradford phase II Innovation Hub: Improving life chances of babies and children; to improve social and emotional development, nutrition, language and communication development; and to enact a system change. Big Lottery, £2M

2018 - 2020 Chief Investigator (UK (Int lead: Deb Tate)): RCT of WWFlex: An international study to determine effectiveness. WWInt £220,000 (UK)

2019 - 2024  Named collaborator: NIHR Applied Research Collaboration: Yorkshire and Humber. £9 million. Early Life and Prevention theme. NIHR £9M

2019 - 2019 Chief Investigator: Creative community workshop to inform decision making for air quality interventions.  University of Leeds Public Engagement fund (Wellcome Trust Small Grant award). £500.00

2018 - 2020 Co-applicant: ActEarly UKPRP Network Development Grant £50,000

2017 - 2019 Co-applicant: Talking Together: Feasibility study to evaluate a home-based language support programme for families of children aged 2 years. Nuffield Foundation, £243,623

2020 – 2023 Chief Investigator: PhD contribution funds to support project: ‘Ethnography of a Better Start Bradford’. Bradford Trident £40,531.

2018 - 2019  Chief Investigator: Development of a video clip for public engagement in routine data. Connected Health Cities (CHC) funds. £750

2015 – 2020: Chief Investigator: Development and evaluation of a public engagement intervention (national definitive trial) and feasibility trial of clinical effectiveness of HENRY, a community-based programme aimed at preventing obesity in preschool children. NIHR CDF (CDF-2014-07-052), £622,563

2015 – 2020: Chief Investigator: University of Leeds Academic Fellowship, £50,000 (project set-up funds)

2015 – 2016: Chief Investigator: Raising community awareness of a complex programme of work through artistic interpretation: The Child Cosmos Sculpture project. Wellcome Trust Small grant scheme, £1995

2014 – 2024: Co-investigator: (Theme lead for Implementation evaluation): Better Start Bradford: Improving life chances of babies and children; to improve social and emotional development, nutrition, language and communication development; and to enact a system change. Big Lottery, £49M

2010 – 2012: Chief Investigator: Systematic review to identify and appraise outcome measures used to evaluate childhood obesity treatment interventions: evidence of purpose, application, validity, reliability and sensitivity. NIHR HTA (09-129-07), £169,000

2008 – 2013: Named collaborator: Measuring, investigating and preventing childhood obesity in a multi-ethnic community, NIHR PGfAR (RP-PG-0407-10044) £1,655,344

2009 – 2010: Chief Investigator: VIP award. Wellcome Trust, University of Leeds salary support

2009 – 2011: Co-investigator: HomeSTEAD childhood obesity home environment measure. NIH (PAR-03-009), £232,348

 

Responsibilities

  • Portfolio lead: Diet, Obesity and Lifestyle
  • Honorary contract: Bradford Institute for Health Research (Director of Nutrition Research)

Research interests

I am a nutritionist and methodologist with a particular interest in research that supports the optimisation of obesity and lifestyle interventions in public health and their robust evaluation. My work straddles the disciplines of nutrition, applied health research and clinical trials research, whilst providing leadership for the development of evidence-based intervention delivery and robust evaluation. I am driven to identify and test approaches to optimise the impact of existing interventions and to provide an evidence of their performance and feasibility from high quality randomised controlled trials.

My current research activities are divided between those associated with the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Leeds and work within the Bradford Institute of Health Research. Within the Leeds CTRU, I am the strategic lead of a portfolio of research focused around obesity, dietary intake and lifestyle. Within Bradford, I am the Director of Food Research for BiB,  the lead for implementation evaluation for a Better Start Bradford and the evaluation Chair for ActEarly. This work encompasses establishing key university, national and international strategic partnerships to support grant application activity and public health project delivery within the areas: (i) outcome measure identification and appraisal (ii) outcome measurement development and (iii) early phase clinical trial design and delivery (iv) definitive trials of effectiveness and (v) implementation research. This is achieved through a multi-disciplinary team, including members of the public.

External roles: Chair of the Association for the Study of Obesity, Lead for a national Early Career Researcher Network and the Chair for the UK Congress of Obesity (UKCO2019), Invited member of the European Association for the Study of Obesity programme committee 2019

 

 

Qualifications

  • PhD Nutrition and Menstrual Health (2004)
  • BSc Nutrition (1st Class hons) (1999)

Professional memberships

  • Chair: Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)
  • Associate editor for BMC Obesity
  • Invited expert partner: ESRC Strategic Network in Obesity
  • Local Organising Committee ECO 2019
  • Chair: Local organising committee UKCO2019

Student education

Teaching

I am module lead for Clinical Trials (MEDR5180M) and teach on the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research (MEDR5310M)

Supervised Students

Vishal Sharma (co-supervisors Prof J Nixon, Dr S Coleman, Prof L Sharples, Prof J Hamilton-Shield): Developing an obesity co-morbidities screening tool for children and adolescents (aged 5-18) Graduated

Wendy Burton (co-supervisors Prof J Brown, Dr M Twiddy, Prof P Sahota): The development and evaluation of an optimisation strategy to support children’s centres to implement a public health programme

Laura McLarty (co-supervisors Dr R McEachan, Dr S Coleman and G Thornton): Ethnography of a Better Start Bradford 

Louise Padgett: Impact of parent attendance at weight management programmes on child outcomes (Msc)

Sam Mahoney: Association between dietary intake and growth during infancy. MSc Graduated with distinction 2016 .

Studentship Opportunities

I am interested in hearing from potential PhD candidates with an interest in trials or related methodology in Public health, Obesity, Diet, Lifestyle or implementation research within these areas. Funding is currently not available and will need to be sought in advance.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research

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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>