Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Fran Harkness

Frances picture

My PhD Title: Mastery in older age: life time predictors and the consequences for ageing well

Supervisor: Annie Britton, Rachel Cooper, Marcus Richards

Lay summary: Personal mastery is the subjective feeling of control over the events in one's own life. It is associated with many markers of healthy ageing, including better cardio-metabolic health, immune function and physical functioning in older age. With the intention of informing public health interventions, it is important to fully understand the determinants of mastery. I'm looking into these as well as the physical health outcomes associated with mastery. My focus is on physical performance, functional limitations and disability.

My Background Before I started my PhD I worked as a support worker in mental healthcare settings (children and older adults). I've always been interested in the interaction between thoughts, physical health and behaviour. I'm particularly interested in maximising the potential of people to have a good quality of life which is why I enjoy researching healthy ageing.


Psychology BSc Sheffield University

Research Methods in Psychology Goldsmiths University of London


UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences 3MT winner 2017


Internship at the MRC External Affairs department April-June 2018

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