New project will supercharge co-creation and train scientists of the future

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Professor Sebastien Chastin is leading a new Europe-wide project aimed at developing co-creation into a scientific method and training the next generation of public health researchers.

The €4 million EU-funded Marie Curie project Health CASCADE will train 15 talented PhD researchers throughout Europe and turn them into leaders in the field of public health research.

They will join an international network of scientific experts tackling the biggest global public health challenges from obesity to pandemics, cancer to dementia – magnified by climate change and increasing inequality.

Professor Chastin is a Professor of Health Behaviour Dynamics in the School of Health and Life Sciences at GCU and in the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences at Ghent University in Belgium.

GCU is the main contributor to the project and involves fellow researchers from the Department of Physiotherapy and Paramedicine, Professor of Ageing and Health Dawn Skelton and Senior Research Fellow Dr Philippa Dall.

A range of PhD Fellowships are on offer at a number of academic institutions, including GCU and Ghent universities, all based around co-creating evidence-based science. Students will produce a manual and training course so they can share this expert knowledge world-wide at the end of the project.

Professor Chastin said he was “very excited” about this new Health CASCADE project and honoured to be leading on it.

He added: “This is an incredibly exciting new project. Co-creation is the new buzz word. Everybody wants to co-create but we have no robust methodology or evidence that it actually works. The aim is to elevate co-creation into an evidence-based science for public health. We want to create the science, the technology and test it to make co-creation an effective tool in fighting complex public health problems.

“We are going to train 15 talented PhD students throughout Europe and make them the leaders of this new field of research. The PhD students will write a manual and training course that they will own at the end of it to cascade this knowledge.”

Health CASCADE is a consortium of high-profile universities, research institutions and companies. A co-ordinated effort by seven beneficiaries and 14 partner organisations from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden providing a pan-European multidisciplinary approach.

Professor Chastin has a BSc in metrology and applied physics, a Master in Applied Physics, a Master in Rehabilitation Sciences and a PhD in Non-linear physics. He is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. Previously he had post at the British Antarctic Survey, Oxford and Edinburgh University. His research focuses on dynamics of health behaviour in relation to ageing, places and systems.

Find out more about the Health CASCADE project here.

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