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Dr Sarah Brand

Senior Research Fellow




I am a Senior Research Fellow in Implementation Science in PenARC. The PenARC Implementation Science Group support projects and partners in the University of Exeter and in social care, public health, and health care services in the SW and Nationally to conduct high quality implementation research. 

My research focuses on how to create and put in to practice the kind of rich evidence that will help our health and social care systems work better for the people who use and deliver them. A key aim is to encourage explicit and intentional evidence-based adaptation to context in implementation. I use mixed-method theory-led evaluation approaches to understand and articulate how interventions interact with setting and population. I have a particular interest in the use of realist and rapid realist approaches in formative and process evaluation to inform implementation (Brand et al., Building programme theory to develop more adaptable and scalable complex interventions: Realist formative process evaluation prior to full trial).


Research projects

Evidence-Based Supported Digital Intervention for Improving Wellbeing and Health of people living in Care Homes (WHELD) During COVID-19 (2020-2021) 

Role: Co-Investigator: implementation evaluation lead 

Funder: DHSC/UKRI COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative 

Principal Investigator: Ballard, Clive 

Implementation of the Healthy Parent Carers programme: a collaboration between the University of Exeter Medical School and the Council for Disabled Children (2020-2021) 

Role: Co-Investigator: methodologist 

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA): Strategic Initiative Fund 

Principal Investigator: Morris, Chris (PenCRU) 

Understanding the implementation of children’s social care policy in Wales: A Study of the new Child Sexual Exploitation Guidance (2020-2022) 

Role: Co-Investigator: methodologist 

Funder: Social Care Research Grants, Health and Care Research Wales (SCG-19-1677) 

Principal Investigator: Diaz, Clive (CASCADE, Cardiff University) 

Developing research resources And minimum data set for Care Homes' Adoption and use (the DACHA study) (2019-2023)  

Role: Co-Investigator: implementation methodologist 

Funder: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research commissioned call: 18/11 

Principal Investigator: Goodman, Claire (Herts) 

Time Credits as a Social Prescription: Coproduction of a Conceptual Framework, Programme Evaluation and Social Return on Investment (2019-2021) 

Role: Chief Investigator and co-Principal Investigator 

Funder: Social Care Research Grants, Health and Care Research Wales (SCG-17-1472) 

Prevention of mental health deterioration during transition from statutory care to independence: what works to support the mental health of care leavers, for whom, and under which circumstances (2019-2023) 

Role: PhD supervisor and lead applicant 

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership collaborative studentships


Supervision / Group

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