Chair – Prevention of chronic diseases : from theory to implementation (INSERM, Bordeaux, 3 years)


The chair project is dedicated to developing methods to improve prevention of chronic diseases. It is very much in line with the Inserm strategy concerning public health and clinical research, and specifically the objective of developing interventional research, a primary goal highlighted in the Inserm strategic plan for 2021-2025 as well as in a collective expertise led by Inserm in 2019, which concluded that improving prevention of chronic diseases is a major public health emergency.
Additionally, this topic is in line with the goals of projects supported by the University of Bordeaux initiative of excellence, notably “HOPE” (Understanding Human Well-being and Behavior for better Policies & Societies), a multidisciplinary programme aiming to understand human well-being and behavior to improve society and public decisions.

The hosting laboratory is the Bordeaux Population Health research center (BPH, INSERM U1219), in the PHARes (Population Health trAnslational Research) team. The BPH comprises 10 teams (~500 staff members in total) dedicated to research on various public health priorities. The PHARes team aims at developing research around three objects considered as the core of translational population health research:

  • Health status, health determinants and inequalities (observational research),
  • Population health interventions (especially in prevention and health promotion), whether they consist of policy, outreach, or organizations within and outside the health care setting (intervention research),
  • Methodological research to better apprehend the complexity of the first two objects (meta-research).

Through the association of these three objects, this team combines complementary types of expertise and disciplines to develop population health interventions, one of the cornerstones of the PHARes team. This research is conducted with a strong focus on the system in which the
interventions are implemented, whether they are in or out of the healthcare environment (public realm: media, opinions, policies, professional practices, etc.), and the complex nature of population health interventions (individual, ecological, collective, regulatory, etc.). The ambitious and innovative program of the team needs reinforcement by a talented researcher that will contribute to improving methods for chronic disease prevention.

Chronic diseases prevention requires a better understanding of the determinants of health, from the most proximal (individual, behavioral, access to care determinants) to the most distal (structural social determinants: education, social cohesion, urban planning, employment) known as the most equitable. Prevention requires interventions both within and outside the health system (i.e. other societal sectors). For prevention to be effective, this requires assessing the effect mechanisms of interventions (effectiveness, acceptability, transferability) and the factors favoring their dissemination and scaling up (knowledge transfer research). This research therefore studies specifically the contexts and conditions in which interventions have an effect. It relies on multiple theoretical models and diversified evaluation paradigms (e.g. theory-based evaluation, realistic evaluation, adaptation of trials to real conditions, natural experiments, mixed methods studies, etc.) to assess the contextual elements as determinants of the outcomes and produce some transferable and acceptable conclusions from decision makers’ and stakeholders’ points of view.

The project here is to develop this applied research, especially the interventions acting on the structural determinants of health, and to develop the meta-research needed for this development, by clarifying the most relevant methods for assessing the complexity and systemic nature of these interventions and drawing conclusions on the conditions of their transferability.

The chair will be offered to teach at Bordeaux University within both the Master of public health in Health Promotion and the University Diploma Prevention and health promotion of Bordeaux School of Public Health (ISPED). The teaching team needs to be strengthened through this chair with the following competencies:

  • Theoretical frameworks inherent to prevention and health promotion, whether individual, structural or social,
  • Issues and new approaches in prevention and health promotion including intervention in non-health areas (housing, urban planning, employment, social cohesion, etc.),
  • Methodology of Population health interventions research

Funding: ANR
Duration: 3 years

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