The European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) will advance the science base of environmental, universal, selective and indicated prevention aimed at improving human health and well-being and addressing health inequalities.
Cornerstones of this advancement are: cross-disciplinary networks of scientists; decision, opinion and policy makers and practitioners; methodology development; promotion of higher education and career development in prevention and implementation research, and advocacy for evidence-based prevention.
See the EUSPR flyer for further details of the Society:
Membership of the Society is open to any qualified worker in a discipline relevant to prevention, including all European and international researchers, professionals, practitioners, decision, opinion and policy makers and students who share the Society’s aims. Although we are primarily a European Society we encourage membership from all countries, particularly those professionals who wish to develop collaborative links with European researchers and decision makers engaged in science-based prevention.
Please see the membership page for details on how to join the EUSPR:
Why the EUSPR was established
In the European countries there is a growing interest for evidence-based prevention to tackle determinants of non-communicable disease and ill-health, which is not paralleled by investment in human resources, interventions and policies, training and education.
Consequently, this sector of research is not on the top agenda of most universities and institutions. Prevention scientists work in a rather isolated and mono-disciplinary world, while good quality research in this field requires cooperation and methodological development beyond the borders of traditional academic disciplines such as medicine, psychology, epidemiology, biostatistics, social scientists, anthropology.
There are no scientific societies in Europe that include these very specific themes. The EUSPR was born to fill this gap, and has since grown into an advisory body for national and European institutions such as the EMCDDA and EUCPN to safeguard scientific caution, independence and prudence in the assessment of interventions, training contents and innovations.
On the 30th of December 2010 the Society was formally approved and registered by the Polish authorities as an international not-for-profit organisation, based at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw. An amended set of by-laws was agreed during the Members Meeting on 9th December 2011 in Lisbon, Portugal. A further set of amended by-laws was agreed during the Members Meeting on 16th October 2014 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
The core mission of the Society as sanctioned in the Statute can be summarised as follows:
The European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) promotes the development of prevention science, and its application to practice so as to promote human health and well-being through high quality research, evidence based interventions, policies and practices as well as advocacy for evidence-based policies in prevention.
EUSPR delivers its mission through the following aims:
- To build capacity and capability for high quality research by developing a positive environment for collaborative research, networking, and exchanges between EUSPR members in European and non-European countries.
- To convene regular conferences, meetings, seminars and workshops for EUSPR members, including symposia, courses, trainings and workshops for prevention scientists (researchers, policy makers and practitioners who take a science or evidence based approach to their work).
- To emphasise the development of early career prevention scientists through targeted communications, networks, trainings, technical support, reduced EUSPR fees for student members and other financial support.
- To maintain the highest levels of ethical standards in scientific research and professional practice, ensuring that EUSPR members declare and take steps to avoid conflicts of interest.
- To reach out and engage with the broader prevention community, including non- members, national and international organizations to develop prevention research, policy and practice and to grow the EUSPR membership.
EUSPR Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the governing body of the Society. The Board are all volunteers and comprise:
Dr Gregor Burkhart, MD, MPH
Senior Scientific Analyst, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Portugal
Since 1996, Gregor has been responsible for prevention responses at the EMCDDA. He has developed databases on best practice examples (EDDRA), evaluation tools (EIB) the Prevention and Evaluation Resource Kit (PERK) and the Prevention profiles on the EMCDDA’s website. His main activities include the development of common European indicators on the implementation of prevention policies in Member States and the promotion of a better understanding of universal, selective, indicated as well as environmental prevention in Europe. Gregor works on methodologies for monitoring prevention responses as well as how to improve and evaluate them.
Prof Elena Gervilla
Associate Professor, Faculty of Psychology, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
Elena Gervilla is an Associate Professor and works at the Faculty of Psychology (Area of Methodology of Behavioural Sciences) at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB, Spain). In addition, Elena is a researcher in the Research Group in Data Analysis at the UIB. The research she develops focuses on adolescent and youth drug use prevention. She is especially interested in the improvement of the quality of the data collection as well as the implementation of data mining techniques that allow to model substance use behaviour in the social natural environment. She also collaborates closely with the European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA, Spain) in the development and implementation of research projects.
Project management, European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA), Spain
Mariàngels is the European Project Manager at the European Institute of Studies on Prevention network. She has been actively involved in research in risk behaviours and implementation of prevention programmes coordinating several EU funded projects (see http://www.irefrea.eu for projects and publications). She is actively involved in networks like the Club Health initiative and the Civil Society Forum on Drugs, and actively collaborates in the launching of the Platform on Best Practice promoted by the Spanish National Plan on Drugs.
Marina Alves de Souza
Global Head of Legal
Marina has been involved in and supporting EUSPR with legal assistance since 2010. She provided ad hoc legal counselling, wrote the EUSPR bylaws and, more recently, she drafted its its code of ethics and grievance procedures. She has been volunteering for two years as treasurer of WISTA – Women in Shipping and Trading Association (Switzerland unit), a global organisation formed in 1974 connecting female executives and decision-makers around the world, and she is also Global Head of Legal of an international enterprise.
Lead of the EUSPR Early Careers Forum
Project Manager, Université de Lyon, Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, France
Boris is currently working as a project manager at Lyon University, Jean Monnet University, Saint-Etienne, France. Boris has been a member of EUSPR since 2015 and has been particularly active within the Early Careers Forum. Coming from a training background integrating Psychology and Public Health, he applies Marketing approaches to his main research interests that lie in the media’s influence on health-related behaviour.
Board members at large
Prof Zila Sanchez
Professor at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo
Zila has been a professor in Brazil, since 2013, and she has been working on evaluating and disseminating European programs in her country. In that year, she started her participation in EUSPR activities. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Prevention, the Oficial Journal of the European Society for Prevention Research, for the quinquennium 2022-2026.
Board members at large
Health Expert in the Austrian National Public Health Institute
Angelina is a Sociologist and a Health Expert at the Addiction Competence Centre of the Austrian National Public Health Institute in Vienna; as well as the prevention expert within Austria’s REITOX National Focal Point to the EMCDDA. She has been working in the development and promotion of the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS), as published by the EMCDDA, and she has also contributed to the UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention.
Board members at large
Dr Nick Axford
Associate Professor, University of Plymouth, UK
Nick is an Associate Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Plymouth, UK, and a Senior Associate of the Dartington Service Design Lab. He has worked in prevention and early intervention research for over 20 years, focusing on how to improve psychosocial outcomes for children and families in a range of subject areas (e.g. bullying, behaviour, social-emotional learning, maltreatment).
Board members at large
Dr Ina Koning
Assistant Professor, Amsterdam University, Netherlands
Ina is an Assistant Professor at Interdisciplinary Social Science, Youth Studies at Utrecht University. She has made a significant contribution to research on youth risk behavior in interaction with the social context, applied to both substance addiction as well as behavioral addictions. She has made a significant contribution to research on parenting and the prevention of adolescent substance use and problematic online behaviour; including intervention development and translation, implementation, and evaluation. She highly values the translation of her work to practice, and has a history of disseminating her work to utilize the knowledge gained in the most comprehensive way possible.
Board members at large
Dr Rachele Donini
Head of the Prevention and Health Promotion, ASL2 Savonese, Italy
Since 2007, Rachele has been at the Head of the Prevention and Health Promotion Unit in the mental health and addiction Department of ASL 2 in Savona (Italy). She collaborates with the manager to run the addiction Department and her specific mission is planning and implementing drug prevention interventions with the main local, regional and national stakeholders. Part of her work is addressed to train teachers and students and to offer knowledge and expertise to public and private institutions about prevention planning and interventions. At the moment, Rachele is the Scientific Coordinator of the European project “ASAP-Training” aiming to disseminate and train European Master Trainers on the most updated and effective prevention science interventions.
Board members at large
Dr Samuel Tomczyk
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Greifswald, Germany
Samuel has been a member of the EUSPR since 2017. He completed his doctorate in Psychology at the University of Kiel, focusing on multiple substance use in adolescents, and started his postdoctoral research on prevention in civil protection at the University of Greifswald. In addition to his research, he has worked on the development, implementation, and evaluation of school-based prevention projects. His main interests include health across the life span, substance use, and methodology in prevention research.
Prof Federico Leguizamo
Professor at the University of the Balearic Islands
Human performance psychologist and professor at the University of the Balearic Islands. Federico actively participates as a researcher at the Behavior and Technology Laboratory (BATLAB), the Data Analysis Research Group (GRAD) of the Universitat de les Illes Balears, and the Statistical and Psychometric Procedures Applied in Health Sciences (PSICOMEST) of the Health Research Institute (IdISBa).
Dr Karin Streinmann
Researcher in the Children and Youth Unit, National Institute for Health Development, Estonia
Karin Streimann is a researcher in Estonian National Institute for Health Development and a guest lecturer in Tallinn and Tartu University. She has educational background in social work. Her work and research are interdisciplinary, involving the educational, social and health sector in the prevention of behavioural health problems such as externalizing and internalizing problems as well as substance use.
Dr Giovanni Aresi
Researcher at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
Giovanni is a researcher and professor of Community Health Psychology at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy. His research focuses on young people’s healthy behaviours (from substance use to dietary patterns), with a primary emphasis on the adoption of a participatory approach in conducting research and intervention evaluation.
Administrative support to the Board of Directors
Predoctoral researcher, European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA), Spain
Yasmina is currently developing her PhD in Psychology at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB, Spain). Since 2018, she has been working in the development and implementation of research projects at the European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA).