Professor Paul Flowers


Research interests

Professor Flowers is Associate Dean Research within the School of Health and Life Sciences. He is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. He also holds a personal Chair as Professor of Sexual Health Psychology and is an HCPC registered Health Psychologist. He completed both his degree and PhD at the University of Sheffield. Throughout his career he has maintained a dual interest in both academic research and its applied value, influencing policy development through both his research and his charity work. He is currently a Trustee of the National AIDS Trust ( 

Across his career he has conducted a variety of studies concerned with improving and maintaining the sexual health of various groups of people. His work with gay men was the first in the UK to systematically evaluate peer education at the community level ( He has been involved with the development of the NHS QIS standards regarding HIV treatment and care ( and also the HIV action plan for Scotland ( and the UK guidelines for Sexual health advice within GUM clinics.

Previous awards have included grants from the ESRC - 'Transitions in HIV management' ( An Australian Research Council  award ($A300K, Davis, Stephenson and Flowers) 'Using a Biosocial Approach to Advance Pandemic Influenza Control'.

More recently he has been funded to evaluate a social marketing campaign targeting gay men ‘Evaluating a social marketing campaign targeting gay men in the West of Scotland (‘Make your position clear’) see (see And funded through the NIHR HTA for two awards, the HAUS project (led with colleagues at UCL) and recently, to lead 'The clinical effectiveness of behaviour change interventions to reduce risky sexual behaviour after a negative HIV test in men who have sex with men (MSM): a systematic review' (NIHR HTA, 129K).

Throughout his career to date Professor Flowers has been keen to explore methodological innovation. He has an interest in mixed methods and has been to explore the possibilities of using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) within the world of applied research ( He is co-author of the first book dedicated to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis ( He runs an IPA interest group for researchers across Scotland. This meets on the last Friday of each month and usually focuses upon critical reading of published IPA work and informal discussions relating to the use of IPA. Details can also be found on the IPA Yahoo group ( He runs the Scottish IPA interest Group which tends to meet on the last Friday of each month (contact to attend.

He is been on the editorial board of several journals and currently sits on the Editorial Board of 'Health: an interdiscplinary journal for the social study of health, illness and medicine', 'Psychology and Sexualities', 'The Journal of Health Pscyhology' and 'Health Psychology Open'. 

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Research areas