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Emma Simpson

CDT Student

Emma Simpson

I have an undergraduate degree in Food and Human Nutrition, MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research and MRes in Digital Civics.

My research interests are around the impact of digitally collected data on public health and public health service provision. I’m currently working on two case studies to support this research.

Firstly, using FeedFinder (a mobile application to support breastfeeding women to find, rate and review places according to how breastfeeding friendly they are) alongside breastfeeding peer support networks in understanding how they might use the data to impact on service provision for breastfeeding support in Newcastle.

The second case study is a collaborative action research project involving community representatives from Elswick, Newcastle. We are interested in the impact of collective action and how this might influence the wider food environment. The first part of the project focusses our attention to the increased proliferation of takeaway food outlets in Elswick and how we might encourage healthier offerings at an affordable cost for the community. I have a particular interest around food security and food poverty.

My research pre-PhD (Research Assistant – Human Nutrition Research Centre, Newcastle University) focussed primarily on dietary assessment, and I was involved in the development and evaluation of INTAKE24, a 24hr dietary recall system for large scale population studies. The system is currently undergoing further development and translation into different languages for international use. Other projects included dietary analysis for the Hairy Dieters, dietary assessment in young children for Change4Life West Newcastle and an investigation into food advertisements in women’s popular monthly magazines in the UK.

I also love baking.

Thesis title

Understanding the role of citizen-generated data in public health: a case study on breastfeeding and FeedFinder

After the PhD

Senior User Researcher, Ministry of Justice UK


  • NHS


The Digital Civics CDT is made possible by EPSRC funding under the project code EP/L016176/1