Professional Involvement in TRUUD

What is the research?

Our aim is to improve health and prevent non-communicable diseases (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, mental health) by changing the way urban development decisions are made.  To do this, we are working with people who influence and facilitate change to the urban environment and those most affected by it.   We are seeking to engage with representatives from all sectors: public, private, NGOs and local communities.

How could I get involved?

We are inviting professionals to participate in 3 ways:


Annual conferences

We are planning annual conferences, starting in 2021, over the course of the programme.  If you are interested in attending, please register your interest here.

The annual conferences will provide an opportunity to share and develop ideas to improve the urban environment to prevent non-communicable disease in the future.



Some upstream decision makers will be invited to participate in interviews for TRUUD.  Some participants will be asked to take part in 2-3 interviews spread across the 5 year programme.  Initially we will ask questions to help us to map the complex systems of urban planning and development.  In the second and third interviews, the focus will be on the suggested changes that will be developed by the study team, based on information gathered in phase one.

Interviews would take place (in private) at a time / place convenient for the interviewee, this may be via online video-conferencing.  The discussion is likely to last approximately 60 minutes, depending on your time availability. You will be asked to give your written or recorded verbal consent to participate, prior to undertaking the interview.

If you would like to help us better understand how urban development decisions are made, and the role that health prevention plays in those decisions, please either respond to the researcher who contacted you, or register your interest using this form.


Focus Groups

The purpose of the focus groups is to enable broader discussions and interaction between stakeholders to enable exploration of new areas that would be otherwise inaccessible via individual interviews. Initially the focus will be on mapping the complex systems of urban planning and development.  Later discussions will focus on suggested changes to the system that will be developed by the study team, based on information gathered in phase one.

Focus groups are likely to take place in Greater Manchester, Bristol or online.  They are expected to last 2-4 hours, depending on the topics to be covered.  Each focus group will be conducted in private / securely (if online) and we will ensure the conversations cannot be overheard.  You will be asked to give your written or recorded verbal consent to participate, prior to undertaking the interview.

If you would like to help us better understand how urban development decisions are made, and the role that health prevention plays in those decisions, please either respond to the researcher who contacted you, or register your interest using this form.

For additional information about participating in interviews or focus groups , please click the ‘Read more’ button below: 


Will my travel expenses and time be covered? 

We will cover reasonable travel expenses. We will not be able to pay for your time unless there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. community or social enterprise representatives who are unable to attend without cost of time being covered). 

Travel or time expenses will not be covered for attending the annual conferences.


Will my responses be confidential and anonymous? 

We will record the discussion on an encrypted digital recorder, or using online recording facilities, these recordings will be kept securely. What you say will be kept confidential – no one (at your organisation or elsewhere) will be told that you have been interviewed, or what you have said. We will report what has been said in interviews as anonymised quotes in reports and publications; no names of individuals or organisations will be attached to the text once it has been written up. Your de-identified data will be shared with other researchers in the TRUUD consortium across the five partner universities. 


If political or commercial sensitivities should arise, we will follow a set procedure, which will include confirmation and discussion across the research team including at senior level (in conformity with the 2012 Concordat to Support Research Integrity).  The fundamental principles of the concordat are honesty, rigour, transparency, care and respect. If deemed necessary (e.g. for example, if the full extent of political, commercial or other sensitivity is not clear), we will check with the relevant interviewee.  


If you have any questions about data security, anonymity or any issues relating to political, commercial or other sensitivity, we would be happy to discuss this and provide more details.  


What happens if I don’t want to take part or if I change my mind? 

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part.  If you want to take part, please respond to the researcher who contacted you to tell them your decision, or contact the research team via the “contact us” form on our website.  If you do take part, you can ask to be withdrawn from the study and for your information to be removed from the analysis up to two weeks after your interview date. 


We do not have any reason to expect that participants would become distressed in interviews for TRUUD.  In the unlikely event that this does happen, the interviewer would pause the interview to discuss the area of concern and then check whether you want to continue or stop the interview.  If the interviewer has concerns that you, or someone else, is at immediate risk of harm then they may break confidentiality to involve the necessary authorities.  The content of the interview will remain confidential. If any criminal activities are brought to the attention of the researcher, they would be obliged to report these to the police. 


How will my data be stored? 

Each interview recording will be stored under a unique code in a password protected file.  This number will link to your initials in a separate password protected file.  A further password protected file will then link your initials to your full name.  Access to the passwords and your identifiable information will be restricted to members of the TRUUD research team at the institution(s) where your interviewer(s) is employed. This will ensure that data is stored without identifiers but can also be retrieved should you wish to withdraw from the study.  


Recordings will be transcribed, de-identified and uploaded directly on a secure storage facility. Transcriptions will be completed using university approved transcription services: these may be third parties (who have signed a confidentiality agreement) or automated transcription services (e.g. on Teams).  All transcriptions will be checked by the researcher who conducted the interview.  Your anonymised data will be shared with the TRUUD consortium for analysis. 


In compliance with Article 6.1(e) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (the ‘UK GDPR’) and data protection requirements, the legal basis for TRUUD collecting and processing your personal data is because the research is in the public interest. This means your rights to have your data (collected for the research) deleted or provided to you, are limited to the conditions laid out in this information sheet. If you provide any special category data, we are permitted to collect and process this under Articles 9.2(i) and (j), which permit its processing when for the purposes of scientific research or public health in the public interest. 


After the end of the study, research data will be archived in accordance with UKRI procedures.  Through this archive, information will be made available under restricted access, so only approved researchers can apply to use it in future work. With your consent, we will include your anonymised data in the archived material.  


What are the benefits and risks associated with taking part in this study? 

This research aims to transform the urban planning and development system to significantly reduce illness related to poor quality urban environments. Those involved in this research will benefit by engaging directly with this large research consortium and other stakeholders, including experts in a wide range of related disciplines. Beneficiaries of this kind of whole system approach include:  

a) key decision-makers improving the quality of what they offer (e.g. local government could benefit by evidencing societal benefit; progressive investors and developers could gain by differentiating and improving their ‘product’ offering);  

b) in the medium to longer term, those living in the affected areas should be positively affected by better urban environments (e.g. reduced air pollution, better quality green infrastructure, improved housing); and  

c) taxpayers and central government over the long-term, due to decreased health burden on the NHS and increased levels of productivity.  


We do not anticipate risks to you because of participating in this research, although there is a small risk that commercial or political sensitivities may be identified through the research.  However, careful mitigation strategies have been implemented to ensure that all participants are protected.  The research has been approved by ethics committees at the participating universities.


We will keep you informed of the research and its findings via regular (i.e. annual) newsletters, and we will be communicating findings via a range of channels: our website, annual conferences, academic papers, and policy briefing notes. 


Contact for complaints 

Should you wish to make a complaint you can contact the member of the research team who contacted you, or contact

Alternatively, if you wish to make a formal complaint to someone who is independent of TRUUD, or if you are not satisfied with the response you have gained from the researchers in the first instance, please contact

Read more