Photo of Prof Rebecca Harris

Prof Rebecca Harris BDS PhD

Dean of the Institute of Population Health Sciences and Professor / Honorary Consultant Dental Public Health Health Services Research


    Personal Statement

    I qualified in Dentistry from Bristol University, and then moved between clinical roles (including Clinical Director of Salaried Services in South Glamorgan) and academia (Kings College London), before joining the University of Liverpool in 1996. I am now Professor and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health; and also Dean of the Institute of Population Health Sciences which includes the Department of Public Health and Policy and the Department of Health Service Research (this includes researchers from a range of disciplines and settings such as general medical practice, mental health, vision services, palliative care, bioethics etc). The Institute is committed to improving lives through developments in health services, through population studies, and through impacting services, systems and policy at the heart of health and social care, both locally and globally.

    My research work covers organisational aspects of the delivery of primary dental care such as the factors which influence responses to dental contracts (NIHR HSDR project 09/1801/1055) and delivery of preventive care in dental practice (e.g. NIHR HSDR project 13/33/45 – the PREFER trial and ethnography on presenting information on risk to patients).

    My research interests are in programmes and policies to tackle inequalities in health and health care. I am current leading a NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research which is developing and testing an intervention to reduce inequalities in the use of routine dental service.

    For more information on this please see the study website at

    I am particularly interested in the challenges of implementing and evaluating community-level interventions and in public involvement in research, especially in disadvantaged areas.

    My professional roles have included Past President of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (BASCD) which is the UK’s professional association for the science, philosophy and practice of promoting the oral health of populations and groups in society, and as an Oral Health topic expert on NICE Public Health Advisory Committees. In 2019 I was appointed Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee inquiry into dentistry.

    Prizes or Honours

    • Giddon Award for Distinguished Research in the Behavioural Sciences. This award recognizes a single research paper published/in press in 2012 - 2013 in the field of behavioural science, which includes social or cultural anthropology. For the paper: Harris R & Holt R. Interacting logics in general dental practice. Social Science and Medicine 2013; 94: 63-70. (The International Association for Dental Research, 2014)