Professor Philip Wilson

Professor Philip Wilson

Director of Centre for Rural Health

Professor Philip Wilson
Professor Philip Wilson

Contact Details

The University of Aberdeen Centre for Rural Health University Of Aberdeen Centre for Health Science Old Perth Road Inverness IV2 3JH Telephone: 01463 255085



Phil Wilson studied physiology at Balliol College, Oxford, followed by a Wellcome Foundation doctoral studentship in the Department of Anatomy at Oxford, where he worked on serotonin metabolism in the hypothalamus and its interaction with the neuroendocrine system. He then went to Cambridge to become a clinical medical student. Three years after qualifying, he became a partner in a small practice in Battlefield, in South East Glasgow. In 1997 this practice became one of the first five CSO-funded research practices in Scotland.

In 1995, he began to work one day per week in the then Department of General Practice at the University of Glasgow. Between 1998 and May 2001, he was medical director of WestNet, the West of Scotland Primary Care Research Network. He was appointed a primary care career scientist by the Chief Scientist Office in October 2003, with a programme of research involving the role of primary care in improving the mental health of pre-school children. He was also clinical advisor to the Medical Research Coucil Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow between 2001 and 2012.

In August 2012 he was appointed University of Aberdeen Professor of Primary Care and Rural Health.

 Phil's research interests are:

  • Development and evaluation of complex interventions to improve health
  • The primary care/secondary care interface
  • Primary care paediatrics
  • Mental health
  • Evaluating digital technologies in rural healthcare

Most of his recent research has involved early identification of childhood neurodevelopmental problems and interventions to address them.

Esteem factors

  • Visiting Professor, Department of General Practice, Copenhagen University
  • Visiting Professor, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow
  • Visiting Professor at the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre at Gothenburg University.
  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board, Growing Up Scotland Cohort Study
  • Member of Editorial Board, BMC Family Practice.
  • Medical advisor to the MRC 2007 Cohort Study of Social Variation and Illness.
  • Chair, Trial Steering Committee for the multi-centre project “Reducing time to presentation with symptoms of lung cancer; phase II complex intervention study” funded by Cancer Research UK, 2007.
  • Joint winner of 2004 RCGP and Boots the Chemist Research Paper of the Year Award.
  • RCGP West of Scotland Faculty Research Convenor from 2002-2012.
  • Member, Primary Care Complex Interventions Working Group of the MRC Co-operative for Study of Behaviour Change in Chronic Disease 2004-2007.
  • Member, Scottish Needs Assessment Programme Group on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 2000-2004
  • Member, HeadsUpScotland, Short Life Working Group on Infant Mental Health, 2005-2007.
  • Member, Audit Scotland Mental Health Services Steering Group, 2008-2009
  • Winner of RCGP Grant Thornton Prize for Innovation in General Practice, 1999.


Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Sahlgrenska Institute, University of Gothenburg.

Research Grants

Mort A, Wilson P.  Ultrasound in rural stroke diagnosis.  TSB Space/Life Science Catapult/HIE/UKRC.  £75,000, Jan 2014-Sept 2004.

Wilson P.  Evaluation of Paediatric Unscheduled Care Pilot.  Northern Health Commissioning Group.  August 2013-April 2014.  £11,000

National Records of Scotland data linkage pathfinder project.  Conway D, Elliot L, Wilson P, Milligan I, Connelly G, Macpherson L, McMahon A, Wood R, van der Sluijs W. Linking Looked After Children Data and NHS Dental Data.  March 2013 - Sept 2014.  £135,105

Wilson P, Thompson L, Reynolds, L, McClung M, Wood R. Enhancing health visiting information systems to support children’s health and development: exploring options in Glasgow. Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (MRC/Scottish Government) seed funding.  £39,998.

Wilson P.  Glasgow City Parenting Support Framework evaluation.  £220,000 Jan 2011-March 2013, NHS GGC

Wilson P, O’Dowd J, Gillberg C, Thompson L, Law J.  Characterising neurodevelopmental problems identified at a universal nurse contact with 30-months-old children.   NHSGGC, £39,532.  June 2011-May 2012

Henderson M, Haw S; Wilson P; Bond L; Elliott L; Levin K; Wight D; Jackson C; McConnachie A.  Social and Emotional Education and Development (SEED): a Stratified, Cluster Randomised Trial of a Multi-component Primary School Intervention that follows the Pupils’ Transition into Secondary School.  NIHR HTA.  £868,796,

Minnis H, Wilson P, Morton L, Follan M, Messow M, Zeanah C, Gillberg C, Norrie J, Bryce G, Donaldson J.  Evaluation of the New Orleans Intervention Model for Infant Mental Health in Glasgow. CSO £222,921

Wilson P, Puckering C, Thompson L, Clarke A, MacBeth A, McAlees S, Henderson M.  Antenatal parenting support for women vulnerable in pregnancy: an exploratory randomised controlled trial of Mellow Bumps.  Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy.  November 2011-March 2013. £73,165

Henderson M; Calam R; Wilson P, McGee E; Thompson L; Fenwick L; O'Dowd J, Law J, Minnis H, Wight D; Wittkowski A; McConnachie A; Loureiro T,. Trial of Healthy Relationship Initiatives for the Very Early-years (THRIVE): a Three-Arm Randomised Control Trial for Mothers Identified as Vulnerable in Pregnancy and their Babies who are at High Risk of Maltreatment. NIHR HTA. £2,683,666.00

Minnis H, Briggs A, Wilson P, Gillberg C, McConnachie A.  Autism and Reactive Attachment Disorder symptoms in the Scottish Population: associations with health and service use. CSO, full application, £49,624 June 2012-Dec 2014

Edwards P, Farrington J et al.  dot.rural: digital economy in rural areas.  UKRC, £11M.  2010-2015.

Further Info

External Responsibilities

Visiting Professor, University of Gothenburg

Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow