Meet the Team


Dr Denitza Williams

Principal Investigator

Denitza is the lead for this research project and has established expertise and portfolio within health services research and qualitative research methods, with a specific focus in women’s health (£9 million research grant funding/ 21 publications). Denitza has previously led a number of mixed-methods projects including needs assessment, development and evaluation of collaborative healthcare interventions in clinical settings (cervical screening, chronic kidney disease/breast cancer/ autoimmune rheumatic disease, cystic fibrosis). Denitza is particularly interested in supporting equitable cervical cancer screening through novel methods such as Human Papillomavirus self-sampling. She works in close collaboration with national and international organisations including Public Health Wales, Welsh Government and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Dr Elly Clarke

SUCCEED Research Assistant

Elly is a research Assistant with the SUCCEED study and is carrying out the interviews. She specialises in qualitative research in health, especially with under-represented groups of people.

Professor Adrian Edwards

Director of PRIME Centre Wales

Professor Adrian Edwards is Professor of General Practice at Cardiff University, Wales, UK. His main research interest is in shared decision making and decisions aids; he is the Director of PRIME Centre Wales, an all-Wales Centre for Primary and Emergency (including unscheduled research), and the Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre.

Professor Fiona Wood

Professor of Medical Sociology

Fiona is a professor of medical sociology and is supporting the SUCCEED study with advice on qualitative methods in relation to interviews with members of the public and health professionals. Fiona also has experience of co-producing interventions to improve healthcare. 

Professor Kate Brain

Personal Chair

Professor Kate Brain is a health psychologist and world leader in cancer early detection behavioural research. She has extensive experience in using complex interventions frameworks to optimise cancer early detection behaviour and address inequalities through novel community-based solutions. She co-chairs the US/UK Multi-Cancer Early Detection Consortium Health Equity work group (MCED Consortium). She is a senior member of Cancer Research UK’s Early Detection and Diagnosis Research Committee and advises NHS England on the Targeted Lung Health Check programme.

Since 2015 Kate has led the strategic direction of cancer behavioural science research in Wales, with infrastructure funding spanning the Wales Cancer Research Centre and Primary and Emergency Care Research Centre. Her research portfolio includes international studies of cancer awareness, understanding and addressing socioeconomic disparities in cancer help-seeking, lung cancer screening and smoking cessation among high-risk populations, and the impact of the pandemic on cancer attitudes and behaviours.

Kate holds a number of senior leadership roles including Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis Lead within the Division of Population Medicine, Associate Director of Cardiff University’s College of Biomedical and Life Sciences Population Health Research theme, and Cancer Research Strategy for Wales Senior Leadership Theme Lead for Population health-based cancer prevention and early diagnosis.

Dr Kate Lifford

Research Associate

Kate provides expertise in shared decision-making intervention development and supports the day to day running of the project.

Much of Kate’s recent research has focused on decision-making within cancer risk management, risk reduction and treatment. Of particular relevance to the SUCCEED study, Kate has expertise in the development and testing of patient decision aids, which are tools to support shared decision-making between patients and healthcare professionals.

Dr Natalie Joseph-Williams

Senior Lecturer in Improving Patient Care, Joint Academic Lead for Public Involvement and Engagement

Natalie is a Senior Lecturer in Improving Patient Care and Associate Director of the Health and Care Research Wales Evidence Centre.

She has a strong track record in shared decision making research, publishing findings that have informed national training programmes, NHS healthcare policy, and international guidelines.

To ensure research delivers benefits to patients, clinicians and healthcare organisations, Natalie works in close collaboration with national and international organisations. These include Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, NHS Wales, Health Education and Improvement Wales, the NICE Shared Decision Making Collaborative, and the International Patient Decision Aids Standards (IPDAS) Collaboration.

Dr Rhiannon Phillips

Reader in Health Psychology

Dr Rhiannon Phillips is a Reader in Health Psychology and is the Applied Psychology and Behaviour Change Research and Innovation Lead at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating complex interventions in the areas of women’s reproductive health and common infections, using mixed-methods and co-productive approaches. 

Public Involvement

There are three collaborator public involvement partners representing different experiences of participating in cervical screening for the SUCCEED project.  They have been involved from the start of the work and are an integral part of the research team. 

Lindsay Haywood

Public Involvement Partner

I am a public member from Swansea and I am honoured to be a part of this exciting research management group because as a woman who has had lots of pregnancy losses, I know the effect trauma can have on my engagement in screening activities and I was one of those women who didn’t want to engage in screening due to my losses and the trauma they caused.  This is why I got involved initially and I have been able to contribute to the development of and continued delivery of the research and I am looking forward to the results.  It is so important to have public members at all stages of the research to ensure that we are working as equal partners and co designing research that has impact.”   

Sally Killian

Public Involvement Partner

I am a woman in my 50s and work in the NHS as a Finance Manager. I got involved as I am a great believer in anything that makes healthcare / screening easier to access and feel strongly about LGBTQ+ representation.” 

Caroline Evans

Public Involvement Partner

“I have a background in Chemistry with a PhD in Organic Chemistry and currently work in the education sector. I have a general interest in this area and am keen to be involved” 


Cervical Screening Wales


Dr Jo Waller


Jo's research focuses on the psychological and behavioural aspects of cancer prevention, screening and early diagnosis. She has a particular interest in cervical cancer prevention, and has published extensively on barriers to screening uptake, the psychological impact of HPV testing, and attitudes to HPV vaccination. Jo is a member of the Advisory Committees for the NHS Breast and Cervical Screening programmes

Professoe Andrew Carson-Stevens


Andrew is a Professor of Patient Safety and Quality Improvement at Cardiff University. He is a practicing GP and brings clinical expertise to the SUCCEED study as well as his internationally recognised skills as a health services researcher in exploring patient safety concerns. Andrew proactively works to enable innovation in healthcare to improve patient safety globally through multidisciplinary and evidence-based work. He achieves this in many ways including as:

  • Founder and convenor of interdisciplinary working groups at Cardiff University (PISA and WESPA) of researchers and clinicians who research and evaluate healthcare services to enable innovation and implementation of practices to improve patient safety. 

  • Wales Primary Care Research Specialty Lead at Health and Care Research Wales.

  • The Patient Safety Work Package Lead at the PRIME Centre Wales (Wales Centre for Primary and Emergency Care Research). 

  • Scientific Advisor to NHS Education for Scotland's programme on 'Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Research and Educational Development' and a member of the Primary Care Reference Group for the Our Future Health genomics programme.

  • A long-standing adviser to the World Health Organization on patient safety and a methodological adviser to the OECD Working Group for Patient-reported Safety Outcomes

Jo's cervical cancer trust