Dr Vanessa Er

Research Fellow

Room 147

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom


I am a Research Fellow with the NIHR School for Public Health Research at LSHTM. I have an academic background in nutrition and have expertise in mixed method research. I am currently working on the evaluation of advertising restrictions on high fat, salt and sugar foods and drinks on the Transport for London network.

My research interests include ethnic minority health and health inequalities. I am also interested in the application of systems theory and complexity science in public health research.

My interest in public health originated from my work experience at Bristol Public Health, working mainly in deprived areas of Bristol. Prior to LSHTM, I completed my doctoral research on diet and prostate cancer, and carried out research on children and young people's health with NIHR SPHR at the University of Bristol and DECIPHer: Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement.




Department of Health Services Research and Policy
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


Centre for Evaluation
Centre for Global Chronic Conditions
Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)
Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre
Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health


I am a seminar leader on the Principles and Practice of Public Health and Issues in Public Health modules. I am also a tutor on the MSc Public Health and MSc Nutrition for Global Health programmes.


I am interested in policy evaluation. I currently lead the process evaluation of the advertising restrictions on HFSS foods and drinks on the TfL network. I also co-lead a pilot project exploring the impact of housing on health using Photovoice with residents of Tower Hamlets living in private, social and temporary accommodation.

My research interest in the application of a systems-lens to evaluation include work on systems-level evaluation guidance for public health practitioners, and an upcoming critical review on systems apporaches to evaluation in public health.

While working at the University of Bristol, my research was mainly on children and young people's health.  I have experience conducting process evaluation of a school-based drug prevention intervention, systematic review of interventions for preventing multiple risk behaviours among young people, and dietary analysis for an intervention to increase healthy eating and physical activity among pre-school children.

I am also interested in using technology and participatory approaches to research. Since completing my doctoral degree, I have obtained funding to: 1. Capture the contextual factors associated with eating (tempting moments) in real-time using wearable cameras and mobile phone surveys. 2. Engage with Somali parents about the impact of neighbourhood environment on the health of pre-school children through photography and walkabout. 3. Carry out scoping work with a Women's Football Club in Hargeisa, Somaliland on women's health, focusing on physical activity and nutrition.


Research Area
Child health
Complex interventions
Health inequalities
Health policy
Health promotion
Public health
Social and structural determinants of health
Systematic reviews
Adolescent health
Global Health
Impact evaluation
Mixed methods
Mobile technologies
Physical activity
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Mental health
Non-communicable diseases
United Kingdom
Europe & Central Asia (all income levels)
Least developed countries: UN classification
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

NIHR SPHR Guidance on Systems Approaches to Local Public Health Evaluation. Part 1: Introducing systems thinking.
Egan M; McGill E; Penney T; Anderson de Cuevas R; Er V; Orton L; Lock K; Popay J; Savona N; Cummins S
NIHR SPHR Guidance on Systems Approaches to Local Public Health Evaluation. Part 1: Introducing systems thinking.
NIHR SPHR Guidance on Systems Approaches to Local Public Health Evaluation. Part 2: What to consider when planning a systems evaluation.
Egan M; McGill E; Penney T; Anderson de Cuevas R; Er V; Orton L; White M; Lock K; Cummins S; Savona N
Child-care self-assessment to improve physical activity, oral health and nutrition for 2- to 4-year-olds: a feasibility cluster RCT
Kipping R; Langford R; Brockman R; Wells S; Metcalfe C; Papadaki A; White J; Hollingworth W; Moore L; Ward D
Public Health Research
Complex systems for evaluation of public health interventions: a critical review
Egan M; McGill E; Penney T; Meier PS; Savona N; de Vocht F; Popay J; Cummins S; Smith R; White M
Association of diet in nurseries and physical activity with zBMI in 2-4-year olds in England: a cross-sectional study.
Er V; Dias KI; Papadaki A; White J; Wells S; Ward DS; Metcalfe C; Jago R; Kipping R
ProDiet: A Phase II Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial of Green Tea Catechins and Lycopene in Men at Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer.
Lane JA; Er V; Avery KNL; Horwood J; Cantwell M; Caro GP; Crozier A; Smith GD; Donovan JL; Down L
Individual-, family-, and school-level interventions targeting multiple risk behaviours in young people.
MacArthur G; Caldwell DM; Redmore J; Watkins SH; Kipping R; White J; Chittleborough C; Langford R; Er V; Lingam R
Cochrane database of systematic reviews
See more Publications