Professor Philip Wilson
Professor Philip Wilson

Professor Philip Wilson


Director of Centre for Rural Health


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 and started work as an honorary sessional GP in the Cairn Medical Practice in Inverness.

 Phil's research interests are:

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

Much of his recent research has involved early identification of child development problems and interventions to address them but he remains involved in a wide range of research fields.

Esteem factors

  • Visiting professor of child health in general practice, Department of General Practice, Copenhagen University
  • Honorary Professor, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow
  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board, Growing Up Scotland Cohort Study


  • MB BChir Medicine 
    1983 - University of Cambridge 
  • MA Physiology 
    1977 - University of Oxford 
  • DPhil Neurochemistry 
    1983 - University of Oxford 
  • FRCGP General practice 
    1997 - RCGP 
  • FRCPCH Paediatrics 
    2016 - RCPCH 

External Memberships

Professor of child health in general practice, University of Copenhagen

Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow

Prizes and Awards

Winner of RCGP Grant Thornton Prize for Innovation in General Practice, 1999.

Winner of RCGP Research Paper of the Year 2004

Winner of RCGP Health Services Research Paper of the Year Award 2020


Research Areas

Applied Health Sciences

Research Specialisms

  • Health Sciences
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Child Psychology
  • Paediatrics

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.


Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Sahlgrenska Institute, University of Gothenburg.

Departments of general practice and epidemiology, University of Copenhagen.

Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow.



Andrea Williamson (University of Glasgow) “Patients repeatedly removed from GP lists: a mixed methods study of "revolving door" patients in general practice” – First supervisor. Successful defence 2011

Louise Marryat (University of Glasgow) “Modelling social, emotional and behavioural development in the first three years of school: what impact do schools have?” – first supervisor. Successful defence 2014

Fiona Sim (University of Aberdeen) “An evaluation of preschool population neurodevelopmental screening”  – first supervisor. Successful defence 2018

Rod Sampson (University of Aberdeen) “Developing and evaluating an educational complex intervention at the primary/secondary care interface” – first supervisor. Successful defence 2018

Alistair Appleby (University of Aberdeen) “General Practitioners’ Perceptions of Spirituality” – first supervisor. Successful defence 2019

Vivienne Blackhall (University of Aberdeen) “A mixed methods study of clinician experience with two innovative skills training interventions” – first supervisor. Successful defence 2019

Daria Antipova (University of Aberdeen) “Developing a prognostic model combining transcranial ultrasound and clinical assessment for pre-hospital triage of patients with suspected acute stroke”  – first supervisor. Successful defence 2020

Jessica Tanner (University of Aberdeen) “The impact of social context and group process on engagement with and outcomes from an attachment-based group parenting intervention for mothers experiencing psychological stress” – second supervisor. Began studies October 2019

Campbell MacLeod (University of Aberdeen) “Evaluating colon capsule endoscopy use in Scotland and the implications for patients and the NHS” – first supervisor. Began studies June 2020

Theadora Koller (University of Aberdeen) “A framework for equity-oriented “rural proofing” national health policies, strategies and plans in LMIC” – first supervisor. Began studies July 2020

Ida Scheel Rasmussen (University of Copenhagen) “Maternal social stress/social support and the early mother-infant relationship” – first supervisor. Began studies September 2019.

Funding and Grants

Cleland J, Locock L, Evans J, Hollick R, Murchie P, Skåtun D, Skea Z, Watson V, Wilson P, Denison A.  Enhancing Recruitment And Retention Of Rural Doctors In Scotland: A Mixed-Methods Study. CSO HIPS, £298,984, June 2020-May 2022.

Wilson P, Kragstrup J, Graungaard, Lykke K, Overbeck G, Thompson L, Gillberg C, Reventlow S. Småbørnsfamiliers trivsel og den praktiserende læge (Wellbeing of young children and the family doctor) DKr 14,279,670.  Tryg Foundation (via University of Copenhagen). September 2018-2023.

Turner S, Wilson P, Hoddinott P, France E, Aucott L, Malcolm C, Kyle R. Understanding/Slowing the flow of zero day admissions to hospital: data linkage to inform priorities for future intervention along paediatric referral pathways.  CSO HIPS/18/09.£291,358 Awarded July 2018. 01/01/2019 – 30/06/2021

Abildsnes E, Boe T, Mølland E, Vigsnes K, Wilson P. Nye mønstre – Et forskingsstøttet innovasjonsprosjekt (Innovasjonsprosjekt i offentlig sektor FORKOMMUNE). Norsk Forskningsråd. NKr7,000,000. January 2020-December 2023.

Wilson P, Thompson L, Norrie J, Wight D, McTaggart J, McGowan I, MacBeth A, Shen J, van Woerden H, Simpson C, Russel S, Law J, Marryat L.  Does "Mellow Babies" improve the psychosocial health of mothers and their children? The Mellow Babies Trial.  NIHR, £1,182,314. 2018-

Væver M, Lange T, Wilson P.  Who Benefits and How Does It Work? A process evaluation of moderators, mediators and implementation of an indicated parent program in Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Project (CIMHP). Tryg Foundation, DKr 3,758,088. 2017-20.

Thompson L, Wilson P. Developing and evaluating a clinical and research tool for assessing parent-child interaction.  Grant Foundation, £30,000, April 2016-March 2018.

Tiezzi F, Eadie L, Wilson P et al.  SatCare: randomised trial of ambulance-based ultrasound in prehospital care.  Funded by European Space Agency, UoA component £516,819, 2015-2021

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

Henderson M; Calam R; Wilson P, McGee E; Sanders M; Thompson L; Fenwick L; O'Dowd J, Law J, Minnis H, Wight D; Puckering C; 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, Fitzpatrick B, Boyd K, Mackintosh E, McConnachie A, Messow M, Henderson M, Wilson P, Gillberg C, Watson N, Scott S, Forde M, Rahilly T, Miller S, Carter A.  The Best Services Trial (BeST?): Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the New Orleans Intervention Model for Infant Mental Health.  NIHR, 2015-2023. £3,330,894.60

Williamson A, Ellis D, Wilson P.  Serial missed appointments in the NHS: a pathfinder linkage project to inform future interventions.  CSO, £179k total.  September 2015-September 2017.

Auyeung B, Lombardo V, Murray A, Marryat L, Thompson L, Minnis H, Wilson P. Understanding the effects of prenatal maternal infections on developmental outcomes, autism spectrum disorder and learning disabilities. Bailey Thomas Charitable Foundation, £150,000. 2018-2020.

Bjørvig S, Egnell P-O, Borgen M, Tossavainen K, Kumpulainen K, Gard G,  Kostenius C, Lindström M, Zingmark K, Bykachev K, Lindgren E, Wilson P.  eHealth service for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  (UoA component €406,073.96) Northern Periphery and Arctic fund.  October 2015-September 2018.

Wilson P, Kragstrup J, Graungaard A, Gillberg C.  GP focus on family resilience, Tryg Foundation.  DKr 976,500. September 2017-August 2018.

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

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

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

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.


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