Dr Taylor Coffey

Dr Taylor Coffey
Dr Taylor Coffey
Dr Taylor Coffey


Research Fellow



Taylor started his PhD with the University of Aberdeen in October of 2019, having now successfully defended his thesis in November of 2022. He comes to us from Chicago, where he had worked for a number of years as a clinical research project coordinator at Northwestern University. He earned his Master's Degree in psychology and neuroscience from King's College London.


His PhD work focused on the application of behavioural science to issues within clinical trial recruitment and retention. This has culminated in an exploration of the barriers and facilitators to communicating important information about completing a trial during its consent process. These insights have fed into a behavioural intervention that aims to restructure trial staff's views on their role within retention and improve their communication of vital information during consent.


Taylor has also recently begun working as a research fellow under Dr Katie Gillies investigating the challenges that clinical trials units face in implementing the findings from trials methods research.


  • PhD Applied Health Sciences 
    2022 - University of Aberdeen 
  • AFHEA Higher Education 
    2022 - AdvanceHE 
  • MSc Psychology and neuroscience 
    2017 - King's College London 
  • BSc Psychology and neuroscience 
    2014 - Loyola University Chicago 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Aberdeen Health Psychology Group

External Memberships

 Association of British Science Writers

Latest Publications

View My Publications


Research Overview

Taylor's research interests primarily lie with how theoretical/behavioural approaches can be used in the context of improvement to clinical trials.

Research Areas

Applied Health Sciences

Research Specialisms

  • Neuroscience
  • Health Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Health Sciences

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

Behavioural Optimisation and Operational Strategies for Trials: The BOOST Approach: This research fellowship aims to develop methods to improve the design and conduct of clinical trials.  It will specifically look at how people’s behaviours (what they do and how) affect the success of clinical trials and what we can do to improve this.


The Trials Research Implementation Project (TRIP): The overall aim of this study is to generate evidence on what challenges and opportunities trialists perceive with regard to implementation of results from trials methods research that target the design, conduct, analysis or reporting of trials.


Past Research

Taylor has completed a PhD project with Drs. Katie Gillies, Eilidh Duncan, and Heather Morgan on applying behavioural science to understand issues within clinical trial recruitment and retention. 

This work has involved a mapping review of the past applications of behavioural science to trial recruitment and retention, published in BMJ open. Primarily, it has involved an original project titled, "Trial Recruiter Approaches to Communication of RETention At INformed consent" (TRAC-RETAIN). This project aimed to address a general gap within trial methods research by contributing to research on retention, as well as research done with trial staff rather than participants. Staff involved in recruiting to trials were asked through theory-informed interviews for views and experiences regarding how they communicate information about retention to potential participants. The barriers and facilitators identified were then analysed for behavioural components that were amenable to change through behaviour change techniques (BCTs). BCTs are the "smallest active ingredient" when attempting to change behaviours and are aligned to specific barriers to behaviour. These BCTs were packaged into an intervention aimed at reprioritising retention to trial staff so that it is more consistently communicated during consent. The interventions were developed with the collaboration of trial staff and public partners to address these barriers effectively whilst respecting the autonomy of these stakeholders.


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Contributions to Conferences

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