Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care

Dr Claire Garnett

Dr Claire Garnett

Senior Research Fellow

Behavioural Science and Health

Institute of Epidemiology & Health

Joined UCL
1st Feb 2017

Research summary

Claire Garnett is a researcher in the field of alcohol and smoking cessation, both in terms of the use of digital technologies to support behaviour change and the population level influences on these behaviours. Her research is underpinned by behavioural science and theory. She is a psychologist by background, completing her PhD in Health Psychology in 2017 before joining the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group as a Research Fellow. 

A major focus of her research is on digital interventions to reduce hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption. As part of her PhD research, they developed and evaluated a theory- and evidence-based smartphone application – Drink Less – to reduce alcohol consumption, using a systematic and iterative process drawing on evidence and theory to inform its content. Its evaluation in a preliminary trial assessed the effectiveness of individual modules. Based on these findings and user feedback, the app has been updated and improved. The Drink Less app is one of the leading alcohol reduction apps in the UK with over 55,000 unique users and an average 4.2 star rating in the Apple App Store. The app is being used to provide insights into engagement with digital interventions, predictors of alcohol reduction and what makes an effective digital intervention. She also conducts research to provide insights into population-wide influences on smoking and smoking cessation. For example: understanding the association between spontaneous quit attempts and smoking cessation success, and how smoker characteristics in England have changed over the last 10 years as smoking prevalence has fallen.

Her research contributions are indicated by a total of 34 outputs on UCL RPS in collaboration with 42 different co-authors. She has been successful in obtaining competitive funding as demonstrated by three grants as Principal or Co-Principal Investigator totalling £1,116,755 since 2018. 

She has served on the Digital Medicine Expert Advisory Panel for The Topol Review: Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future and participated in a roundtable discussion on the NICE Evidence for Effectiveness Standards for Digital Health Technologies, which led to the use of Drink Less as a published case study. 

Teaching summary

2019 –  Mentor on the Centre for Behaviour Change Summer School

2019 Guest lecturer on KCL Alcohol Problems, Policy and Practice MSc module

2018 – Lecturer on UCL BSc Population Health Sciences (Health Psychology module)

2018 – Personal tutor UCL MSc Health Psychology

2017 – Lecturer on UCL MSc Health Psychology (Statistics module)

2017 – Personal tutor UCL MSc Behaviour Change

2014 – 2015 Laboratory Demonstrator UCL BSc Psychology


2020 – Senior Research Fellow in UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group
2017 – 2020 Research Fellow in UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group

2017 - PhD, Health Psychology, University College London
2013 - MSc, Research Methods in Psychology, University College London
2012 - BA, Natural Sciences (Part II Psychology), University of Cambridge