Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care

Dr Daisy Fancourt

Dr Daisy Fancourt

Associate Professor

Behavioural Science and Health

Institute of Epidemiology & Health

Joined UCL
14th Aug 2017

Research summary

Daisy and her team explore:

1. The effects social factors on health outcomes

2. The psychological, biological, social & behavioural mechanisms underlying these effects

3. The modifying role of individual and group-level characteristics on effects

4. Differential patterns, barriers and enablers of engagement amongst different groups


Research is carried out under four core programmes:

1. Mechanism studies (incl. psychological, neuroendocrine, neuro-immune and cardiometabolic responses to loneliness, isolation, social & cultural participation, and wellbeing)

2. Behavioural studies (incl. qualitative studies and behaviour change interventions)

3. Intervention studies (incl. RCTs, natural experiments and implementation science studies)

4. Population studies (incl. analysing cohort studies and NHS electronic patient records)


The team also works on impact and engagement programmes including public engagement events, media work, early career development (www.artshealthecrn.org), the translation of research into evidence-based practice, and policy development across the UK, US, Europe and with WHO.

Teaching summary

Daisy supervises postgraduate and doctoral students in social epidemiology, health and social psychology, psychoneuroimmunology and behavioural science and teaches across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at UCL.


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2015


Daisy Fancourt is Associate Professor of Psychobiology & Epidemiology and Head of the Social Biobehavioural Research Group at UCL (www.sbbresearch.org). Daisy studied at Oxford University and King’s College London before completing her PhD in psychoneuroimmunology at UCL and postdoctoral work at Imperial College London/RCM alongside working in the NHS. Her research focuses on the effects of social connections and behaviours on health, including social deficits (e.g. loneliness and social isolation) and social assets (e.g. community engagement, arts & cultural activities, and social prescribing). 

Daisy is Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Arts and Health as well as a member of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on cultural and behavioural insights on health and an Expert Scientific Advisory to DCMS. She is past-director of the UKRI MARCH Mental Health Research Network (www.marchlegacy.org). 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Daisy is leading the UK’s largest study into the psychological and social impact of the virus (www.covidsocialstudy.org). She also directs the COVID-Minds Network: an international network of longitudinal studies exploring the global mental health impact of the pandemic (www.covidminds.org). Daisy is a member of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission and the World Health Organisation Expert Group on mental health in COVID-19.

Daisy has received over £27 million in research funding as Principal and Co-Investigator and her research has been recognised by fellowships from Wellcome and British Academy and awards from the British Science Association, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome, British Academy, British Federation of Women Graduates, American Psychosomatic Society, AHRC, Royal Society for Public Health and NHS England. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and Royal Society of Arts and has been named a BBC New Generation Thinker and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.