Dr Rebecca French


Associate Professor
of Sexual and Reproductive Health Research

Room 226

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 20 7927 2047

 I joined the Faculty of Public Health and Policy in January 2009. Prior to this I was working at the Centre for Sexual Health & HIV Research at UCL, where I also did my PhD. My background is in health services research and I have been involved in national evaluations, including the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Evaluation and the Evaluation of One-Stop Shop Models of Sexual Health Care. My main research interests are in the areas of contraception, fertility choices and sexual health service delivery.


Public Health, Environments and Society
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


 I am involved in in-house teaching for the Masters programme, including Sexual Health and Family Planning Programmes and supervise Public Health MSc students. I am Chair of the Distance Learning MSc in Public Health Exam Board. I am currently supervising four doctoral students.


Research interests are related to how preferences and vaules affect sexual and reproductive health behaviour choices, specifically around contraceptive and pregnancy decision-making, and how new technologies can be used to promote better sexual and reproductive health. Current projects include:

  • A mulit-site cluster randomised trial of an interactive film-based intervention to reduce teenage pregnancy to promote better sexual and reproductive ealth funded by NIHR
  • A randomised controlled trial of an intervention to increase safer sex behaviours in young people through use of text messaging funded by the NIHR
  • A qualitative study of users' and their partners' views and experiences of a fertility awareness app (Natural Cycles) to help plan pregnancy.

I am Chair of the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Health Clinical Studies Group and a member of the European Society for Contraception.

Research Area
Decision analysis
Health services research
Public health
Sexual health
Adolescent health
Behaviour change
Evidence use
Reproductive health
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Mental health
Sexually transmitted infection
United Kingdom
Euro area

Selected Publications

Safetxt: a safer sex intervention delivered by mobile phone messaging on sexually transmitted infections (STI) among young people in the UK - protocol for a randomised controlled trial.
Free C; McCarthy OL; Palmer MJ; Knight R; Edwards P; French R; Baraitser P; Hickson FCI; Wellings K; Roberts I
Where do women and men in Britain obtain contraception? Findings from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3).
French RS; Geary R; Jones K; Glasier A; Mercer CH; Datta J; Macdowall W; Palmer M; Johnson AM; Wellings K
BMJ Sex Reprod Health
Actual and preferred contraceptive sources among young people: findings from the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles.
Geary RS; Tomes C; Jones KG; Glasier A; Macdowall W; Datta J; Sonnenberg P; Wellings K; French RS; Mercer CH
BMJ open
Safetxt: a pilot randomised controlled trial of an intervention delivered by mobile phone to increase safer sex behaviours in young people.
McCarthy OL; French RS; Baraitser P; Roberts I; Rathod SD; Devries K; Bailey JV; Edwards P; Wellings K; Michie S
BMJ open
Decisional support for young people who self-harm: protocol for a feasibility trial.
Rowe SL; French RS; Henderson C; Ougrin D; Slade M; Moran P
BMJ open
See more Publications