Advice Leading to Public Health Advancement (ALPHA), Cardiff, Bristol and Swansea universities

Group type: 3. Institution or initiative-specific

Contact details

Named contact: Peter Gee

Email address:

Telephone:  029 2068 7218


1 – 3 Museum Place


CF10 3BD

Remit of the group

ALPHA is a group of young people aged 14-21 who advise researchers from DECIPHer (the Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement) by discussing and debating their views on public health topics and the research the centre plans to carry out.

Young people learn through fun workshops about research and public health, to enable them to meaningfully advise on research. Their input helps ensure DECIPHer research is relevant, acceptable and understandable to young people.

Since the group started in 2010, ALPHA has been involved in a variety of projects, including research on alcohol advertising, drug prevention, school-based health promotion, sexual health, and suicide and self-harm.

Frequency of meetings

10 three hour meetings a year and a weekend residential are scheduled for the group.  We avoid meetings in May due to school and college exams.

Who can consult the group?

Researchers on all DECIPHer-adopted projects relating to young people are automatically offered the opportunity to attend an ALPHA session, to discuss the research during bid development. Researchers on DECIPHer projects can receive additional input from the group but must cover costs for this.

If you want to work with ALPHA but DECIPHer adoption is not appropriate, it may be possible to work with ALPHA as an outside organisation.  These decisions are made by DECIPHer on a case by case basis, and will depend on your target population and if the work is aligned to ALPHA’s purpose as a public health research advisory group.  All costs for working with ALPHA, pre- and post-bid, must be covered by the outside organisation.

If you would like more information about DECIPHer adoption or working with ALPHA as an outside organisation please contact Hayley Reed.


Twitter – @ALPHA_DECIPHer


Links to blogs about the group are listed below, including blogs co-authored by young people.

Reed, H. et al. 2014. The reality of research in schools: young people’s perspectives [Online]. Cardiff: DECIPHer . Available at:

Reed, H. et al. 2013. ALPHA gets involved in the HBSC study [Online]. Cardiff: DECIPHer. Available at:

Reed, H. 2012. Building bridges between young people and researchers [Online]. Cardiff: Cardiff University. Available at:

Reed, H. 2012. ALPHA keep diaries to inform seminar on health improvement [Online]. Cardiff: DECIPHer . Available at:

More about the group (optional)