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Cambridge Public Health


Dr Dolly Theis gives insights on public health policy involvement for early-career researchers, February 2023

In this recorded webinar Dr Dolly Theis talks about her experiences as a public health researcher who has successfully crossed the research - policy divide, having been actively involved in the world of politics and policymaking for over 15 years. 

In this webinar, Dolly discusses:

  • what it is like working in government policymaking: what kind of roles there are, and how to get them;
  • the difference between politics and policy, and what both mean for public health; 
  • government policy on obesity in England - demonstrating why policy does not necessarily lead to problems being solved and how public health policies are made in practice.

Dolly Theis is a Visiting Researcher at Cambridge University's MRC Epidemiology Unit where she completed her PhD examining what influences government obesity policy. Her research focuses on how government policymaking works in reality, how governments use and understand scientific research, and the particular role policy entrepreneurs play. 

Alongside her research, Dolly runs her own policy consultancy business that helps turn policy ideas into reality. This includes helping implement the recent National Food Strategy, an independent review led by restauranteur and policy advisor Henry Dimbleby, which was commissioned by the government in 2019.  

Prior to her PhD, Dolly led the childhood obesity and grassroots sport research at the Centre for Social Justice think tank and was a parliamentary researcher in the House of Lords. Dolly co-founded 50:50 Parliament's cross-party #AskHerToStand campaign which helps women get selected and elected. She is an ambassador of military veterans’ charity Forward Assist and ex-offenders’ employment charity Tempus Novo.

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