Plenary talks

Here are the plenary talks from our 8th Annual Conference. Please note that these have been converted into PDF, so there may be some formatting errors.

  • What are the consequences of prevention polices? – Dr Kathryn Oliver (University of Oxford, UK) Oliver
  • A fruity story of attaining and maintaining quality in an evidence-based programme – Dr Mihela Erjavec (Bangor University, UK) Erjavec
  • What is dead may never die: a case study of creating and implementing national quality policy in school prevention – Prof Michal Miovský (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic) Miovsky
  • How do we support a professional culture of quality in prevention? – Prof Harry Sumnall (Liverpool John Moores University, UK) Sumnall
  • Implementation of suicide prevention in existing measures of addiction prevention – Andreas Prenn (Supro–Werkstatt für Suchtprophylaxe, AT) Prenn
  • The Austrian school-based life skill program for addiction prevention – Gerhard Gollner (kontakt+co Suchtprävention Jugendrotkreuz, AT) Gollner
  • Rethinking the dynamics of primary prevention: mobilisation, implementation, and embeddedness in open systems – Prof Carl May (University of Southampton, UK) May

Reflection on the 8th EUSPR Conference

Society Treasurer, Andrew Brown, offers a personal reflection* of this year’s EUSPR conference

It’s so easy for all the great talks you hear at a multi-day conference like EUSPR’s annual get together to start to blur into each other, and that isn’t fair on the people who have presented.  All of them have carefully thought through the things they want to say and have practiced their presentations numerous times before the moment comes. But as a participant it’s two full days (three if you’ve been to the pre-conference workshops) of concentration, conversation and (convivial) catching up. 

So this – as I sit waiting for the plane back to London – is my attempt to capture some of the themes that stood out to me from our time in Vienna.

The first thing to say is just how much of an impact the paper chosen for last year’s President’s Award – ‘Dark logic’: theorising the harmful consequences of public health interventions – had on this year’s conference.  There were numerous references and reflections that I heard over the last two days.  It’s really clear that what Chris said to us in Berlin, and the way that he and his colleagues set out their arguments in the paper, have had a profound effect on a number of leading lights in the EUSPR. 

It seemed to me that the concept of “dark logic” articulates something that the prevention scientists and practitioners who make up EUSPR’s membership had been waiting for someone to articulate.  Of course all of us knew that there was the possibility of iatrogenic effects from interventions – Scared Straight is a salutary lesson for every programme developer.  But this paper took us to a different level.

In conversation with numerous people over the last two days it’s come up as part of a conversation and I’ve tried to reflect on why that might have been.  I went back to a talk given by Kasia Okulicz-Kozaryn in Paris a few years ago about why the Strengthening Families intervention hadn’t worked in her native Poland.  In my mind at least that talk opened up a stream of reflective and subtle conversations about what was going on in well evidenced programmes that we took out of their original settings and found didn’t perform as well as might have been hoped for. 

So this year, whether it was Rosaria Galanti saying that we should never put together a logic model that doesn’t include dark logic ever again, or Nick Axford talking about how they’d used the concept to help practitioners to think through why an intervention hadn’t had the intended outcome, it was never far from our minds.

The second big idea that I think will stick with people is around the idea of a culture of prevention, as articulated by Harry Sumnall, but touched on by a number of speakers.  Harry suggests that we need to think more about what the idea of a prevention culture might look like as it has profound effects on how interventions are conceived and implemented.  A number of presentations by practitioners that I saw also touched on this indirectly; talking about the need to build a culture of advocacy for prevention. For example Rachele Donini and Marian Quinn gave contrasting presentations reflecting on the lack of that advocacy at a European level and what a difference it made in Ireland, respectively.

There’s also a cross over to the talk that Carl May made which walked us through Normalisation Process Theory and what it can bring to understanding what happens when we move from testing an intervention to implementing it.  He argued that by understanding implementation processes we move towards changing what people do (rather than what they believe); we can change the rules, resources and relationships that we bring together to mobilise action; and we can appreciate action in context (where context is dynamic rather than obdurate obstacles).  I took this to mean that we should try to develop our understanding of how people impact on our interventions and work with that rather than trying to remove human agency.

Kathryn Oliver’s keynote talk asked us to think about different perspectives on outcomes and how that impacts on prevention policy.  She pointed out that the intentions of policy makers and the environment into which interventions are introduced may contribute to their success or failure.  She also emphasised that that actors in the process  may weigh outcomes quite differently. As with other talks, Kathryn explored unexpected outcomes some of which may be deeply harmful to recipients of interventions.

Nick Axford had four reflections on the conference (over on Twitter) which I’d echo. He says he saw:

Personally, I also had some great and wide ranging conversations: with Frederick Groeger-Roth about the second life of evidence based registries;  Henrik Jungaberle about popularising prevention; Hanno Petras and Michael Marks about Social Impact Bonds and dynamic systems; Paul Weaver about crypto currency and timebanks as an addendum to our welfare system; Simon Moore about data lakes; Pierre Arwidson about One You; and  Larissa Sandoval about cultural adaptation, love and boundaries. 

So I come home tired, but exhilarated by the state of our Society and wanting more of the stimulation that meeting with friends and colleagues at EUSPR always brings out.  Roll on next year!

*This blog represents Andrew’s personal views only, and not that of his employer(s)



2017 programme

Return to conference homepage

The final online programme with oral session and poster allocations can be found here.

A PDF of the final printed programme can be found here.

Printed copies of the programme will also be available in your delgate packs.

Wednesday 20th September 2017

Pre-conference workshops/meetings 

Pre-conference events take place in the offices of Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG)(Map) 

1) Publishing addiction science in practice. Full day workshop convened by Profs Miovský, Pates, and Gabrhelík (International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE))

  • Hours: 0900-1530
  • Location: Room GÖG 1+2 

2) Developing evidence-based prevention in Ukraine. Open meeting to discuss the prevention situation in Ukraine and potential opportunities for collaborative prevention practice and research

  • Hours: 0930-1230
  • Location: Room GÖG 3+4

EUSPR Members’ Meeting

  • Hours: 16:00-18:00
  • Location: GÖG 1+2+3

Early Careers Networking event

Main conference programme

Please see the following link for further details of the plenary session speakers: Meet the speakers

Important Note:

Plenary sessions all take place in the Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs (BMGFMap) (see their website for further details) 

Parallel sessions take place in both BMGF and GÖG so please take note in the prgramme of where your selected sessions are being held.

Thursday September 21

08:00-09:00: Conference Registration 


09:00-09:30: Conference opening


  • Dignitaries
  • Prof David Foxcroft (EUSPR Board President)

09:30-11:00 Plenary Session 1


  • What are the consequences of prevention polices? – Dr Kathryn Oliver (University of Oxford, UK)
  • A fruity story of attaining and maintaining quality in an evidence-based programme – Dr Mihela Erjavec (Bangor University, UK)

11:00-11:30: Coffee Break


11:30-13:00 Plenary Session 2


  • What is dead may never die: a case study of creating and implementing national quality policy in school prevention – Prof Michal Miovský (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
  • How do we support a professional culture of quality in prevention? – Prof Harry Sumnall (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)

13:00-14:30: Lunch and Poster Viewing


14:30-16:00: Parallel Sessions 1


4 x themed streams dedicated to delegate papers

16:00-16:30: Coffee Break


16:30-18:00: Parallel Sessions 2


4 x themed streams dedicated to delegate papers

19:30-23:00: Conference Dinner

Restaurant Otto Wagner   – booking required

Friday September 22

09:30-11:00: Parallel Sessions 3


4 x themed streams dedicated to delegate papers

11:00-11:30: Coffee Break


11:30-13:00: Parallel Sessions 4


4 x themed streams dedicated to delegate papers

13:00-14:30: Lunch and Poster Viewing


14:30-16:00: Plenary Session 3


  •  Implementation of suicide prevention in existing measures of addiction prevention – Andreas Prenn (Supro–Werkstatt für Suchtprophylaxe, AT)
  • The Austrian school-based life skill program for addiction prevention – Gerhard Gollner (kontakt+co Suchtprävention Jugendrotkreuz, AT)

16:00-16:30: Coffee Break


16:30-18:00: Plenary Session 4 


  • Rethinking the dynamics of primary prevention: mobilisation, implementation, and embeddedness in open systems – Prof Carl May (University of Southampton, UK)
  • Prize giving and conference close – including Early Career Prize; Presidents’ Award; Sloboda Medal; and the EUSPR Practitioners Prize


2019 Conference bank transfer

If you would like to pay for your conference tickets by bank transfer, then please choose the invoice option on Eventbrite and check out. Then transfer the correct fee (in Euros) using the bank details below. Please note, your transfer must also include the correct bank transfer fees*, we will not be able to process your order if you have not included the fee:

Our bank details are:

Account name: Sociedad Europea para la Investigación en Prevención
Name of bank: CAIXABANK
IBAN of the account: ES8221000207520200427488

Then please email us to confirm that you have sent payment so that we can cross reference your payment. 

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BANK CHARGES*: In some cases banks may deduct a transfer fee from the instructed amount, for example if your account is not in Euro or if your country is not part of the EU. Please consider these charges when initiating the bank transfer to ensure that the correct amount enters our bank account. Your bank will be able to tell you the correct transfer fee. 

Health Promotion Core Competencies Survey

Barbara Battel-Kirk, a PhD student at National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), invites you to take part in a survey which aims to evaluate the usage and impact of core competencies on Health Promotion practice and education in Europe between 2012 and 2017. This survey forms the first stage of her PhD research within the Discipline of Health Promotion.

Your experience and opinions in relation to competencies in Health Promotion are a valuable source for her research, so your input will be much appreciated. The findings from her research will be published and will be used in strengthening competency – based quality assurance in Health Promotion practice and education in Europe and globally.  

The questionnaire should take you between 20 and 30 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential and no names or contact details of respondents will be used in the reporting of the results. You can access the questionnaire at

Early Career Bursaries EUSPR 2019

We are offering 20 bursaries of €300 to Early Career participants to assist in covering conference and post-conference workshop expenses for our 2019 conference being held in Ghent (Belgium) 16th – 18th September 2019, with the post-conference workshops held on 18th September.

Please note that bursaries will be paid shortly after the conference. If you would like to apply for a bursary please complete the form below and return it by Monday 8th July to



Bursaries are available to researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers working in the prevention field who meet the eligibility criteria below. Please read these carefully to avoid disappointment.

  • Bursaries are only available to early career For the current call, “early career” includes those who entered the prevention field through first job or commencing doctoral studies from 1st January 2011 or later; as well as current Masters and Doctoral students in a prevention-related discipline.
  • Bursaries are available for EUSPR Members only. If you are not yet a member, you can join at the same time as conference registration (or before). The bursary will not be paid if the recipient is not a member of the EUSPR on the first day of the conference. Please do not apply for the bursary if you do not intend to become a EUSPR Member as this would be unfair toward other applicants.
  • You will be asked to sign a registration form to prove attendance at the conference. The bursary will not be paid if the recipient fails to attend and sign in.
  • You may be asked to contribute small administrative tasks at the conference such as helping with registration, stewarding, or poster session organisation. These tasks will not interfere with your attendance at conference sessions.


Bursary application form 2019

Meet our 2018 plenary speakers

Presentation titleShort biography
John Toumbourou
Cluster randomised trial of Communities That Care in Australia: Translating research into prevention practiceProfessor Toumbourou is based at Deakin University, Australia. He is the Chair in Health Psychology and the Leader in Translation Sciences within the Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development (SEED: He serves as the voluntary Chief Executive Officer of the not for profit company Communities That Care Ltd ( He also serves as the Chair of the International Committee for the Society for Prevention Research. He is a prominent researcher and social advocate in areas related to child and adolescent mental health promotion and the prevention of alcohol and drug problems (
Christiane Spiel
Improving the use of evidence in prevention practice - lessons learned from violence prevention in AustriaChristiane Spiel is Professor of Bildung-Psychology and Evaluation at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna. Her research topics are on lifelong learning, bullying prevention, gender stereotypes in education, evaluation research, and implementing interventions into public policy. She has published more than 250 original papers and headed about 40 third party funded projects. She has got several awards as e.g., the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Arts first class. Currently she is e.g., coordinating lead author of the chapter on education of the International Panel on Social Progress and chair of several scientific advisory boards.
Frederick Groeger-RothUse of Evidence-based Prevention Programmes in Communities. A Practice-based Taxonomy of Barriers and Possible SolutionsFrederick Groeger-Roth studied Sociology, Psychology and Political Sciences in Bielefeld and Berlin. He has researched on youth violence in deprived urban areas and worked for NGO’s on regional and national level in the area of urban development. Since 2009 he joined the Crime Prevention Council of Lower Saxony (CPC) / Ministry of Justice of Lower Saxony. He has leaded the first “Communities That Care – CTC” pilot in Germany, and is at present head of the CPC working unit on community-based prevention.
James White
Co-producing and prototyping interventions James White is the Deputy Director of Population Health Trials in the Centre for Trials Research, a Senior Lecturer based at DECIPHer (Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Public Health Interventions) a UK CRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence in Cardiff University, UK. James funded research has led to the design and evaluation of interventions to prevent: illicit drug use, obesity, and teenage pregnancy; and has used record-linked ‘big data’ studies to evaluate the health impacts of UK government policy. James currently leads a multi-centre randomised control trial to evaluate FRANK friends, a school-based peer-led drug prevention intervention. James is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol.
Harry Rutter
Chess, not chequersHarry Rutter is professor of global public health at the University of Bath, senior academic adviser to Public Health England, and holds adjunct positions in Norway and Ireland. He was founder director of the English National Obesity Observatory, led the development of the English National Child Measurement Programme, and chaired the NICE group on walking and cycling. He sits on two WHO Europe steering groups, and chairs a number of other committees. His research is focused on effective mechanisms for improving the research, policy and practice responses to complex system problems in public health, with a particular focus on obesity.
Kirsten MehligChildren’s propensity to consume sugar and fat predicts regular alcohol consumption in adolescenceKirsten Mehlig studied physics and mathematical statistics in Germany and Sweden, and is associate professor of Epidemiology at the University Gothenburg, Sweden. As researcher and consultant, she is active in several population-based studies, for instance in two large European childrens’ studies, the IDEFICS-study (Identification and prevention of dietary- and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants, 2007-2011), and the I.Family study (Investigating the determinants of eating behavior, lifestyle, and health in European children, adolescents and their parents, 2012-2017). Another example is the population study of women in Gothenburg, which started in 1968 and allows to investigate midlife risk factors for diseases of high age such as dementia (



Eighth EUSPR Conference and Members’ Meeting, September 20th – 22nd 2017, Vienna, Austria

Quality in Prevention

The online programme with oral sessions and poster allocations can be found here.

Registration is now closed

ProgrammeKeynotesPlenary Talks

Over the previous decade, there have been important achievements in the field of prevention science. Our understanding of the development of health and social behaviours, and refinement of new research methodologies, quality standards and  programmes, has allowed us to better respond to the needs of target populations. Most European countries now deliver some form of preventive actions across different policy domains, although some actions are less well developed than others. However, implementation science (the study of methods that influence the integration of evidence-based interventions into policy and practice settings) is relatively under-utilised in Europe, and little centralised attention has been paid with regards to which interventions and components prevention strategies comprise, and how they are organised and delivered. Literature reviews and systems mapping, for example, suggest that effective interventions are in the minority of those that have been evaluated, and that these effective approaches are rarely implemented in practice. 

Furthermore, where effective programmes have been identified there are also concerns over adaptation and transferability to other cultures and geographies, and it is often difficult (and costly) to implement prevention programmes at a scale that would have an impact outside the confines of a research trial or local development process. Sustainable prevention actions require responsibilities for policy and actions to be held across multiple ministries or departments that address the needs of the public, and given that programming is delivered across a spectrum of organisational settings, prevention systems need to be inclusive of representative stakeholders including citizen groups, and delivered across multiple levels of society. Prevention also requires committed and long-term funding and strong supportive regulatory systems, and trained prevention practitioners and researchers to ensure high quality implementation. This has meant that whilst we are better able to understand the quality and effectiveness of individual prevention actions, particularly those embedded in research projects, it is uncertain whether the same level of quality is mirrored in the ‘real world’, and what the key facilitators and barriers to improving system-wide quality are. 

The main theme of this year’s EUSPR conference focuses on improving quality in prevention. We encourage our keynote speakers and attendees to ask:

  • How can we improve the organisation of ambitious integrative actions that promote partnerships between researchers, practitioners, policy makers and the public?
  • How has our understanding of quality in prevention science developed, and how influential might initiatives such as the SPR standards for evidence for efficacy, effectiveness, and scale-up research be?
  • What does ‘high quality’ training and education in prevention look like?
  • What is the role of ethics in supporting the development of the prevention field?
  • How best can we promote the use of evidence in policy and practice whilst supporting diversity and innovation?
  • What do researchers and practitioners need to know in order to influence the policy making process, and should we be realistic about what we can achieve?
  • How has the field responded to quality standards and guidelines in prevention with respect to research priorities and practice?
  • How do we improve the identification and implementation of evidence based prevention programmes and actions?
  • What are some of the key methodological and conceptual developments that will advance the prevention field?

EUSPR conferences attract a diverse group of participants, not just from Europe, but internationally.  In addition to academics and researchers, policy and decision makers, practitioners and prevention coordinators are well represented and will benefit from attendance. 

We hope that you are able to join us at this year’s conference. Vienna has played a central role in European history, and boasts one of the world’s oldest Universities. Modern Vienna is cultured, dynamic, and is rich in music, architecture, arts and shopping. It is a truly international city, and hosts the United Nations at the Vienna International Centre (including the UNODC, holding responsibilities for drugs and crime).  



The full programme will be published in due course. Pre-conference workshops (for registered attendees) begin at 9:00 on September 20th . The EUSPR Members meeting (for Society members), begins at 16:00 on September 20th . For the main conference, registration is between 8:00-09:00 on the 21st September, with the opening address commencing at 09:00. The conference will formally close at 18:00 on Friday 22nd.


Abstract submission for EUSPR 2017 is now open. Please visit this link to submit your abstract

We welcome submissions on the main conference theme, but as always, abstracts on all prevention science related topics are encouraged. We also encourage presentations that focus on improving the use of evidence in policy and practice and welcome delegates from outside of academia who have an interest in prevention science. Dedicated parallel sessions will be held to provide PhD students and Early Career delegates opportunities to present their work in a supportive environment.


Plenary sessions will be held in the centre of Vienna, at the Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs (Map). Please see their website for further details.

Additional meetings and parallel sessions will take place a short walk away in the offices of Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (Map).

The Federal Ministry Building

Co-organisers and collaborating organisations

We are very pleased that the 2017 conference is co-organised and supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs and Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG), the Austrian Public Health Institute.

The conference proceeds in collaboration with the Public Health Institute (PHI) at Liverpool John Moores University, UK; the State Agency for Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems, (PARPA), PL; and The Dartington Social Research Unit (DSRU), UK.





Please subscribe at the following link to be added to the conference email list:

Subscribe to EUSPR conference email list

Submitting your abstract to EUSPR 2017

The call for abstracts for EUSPR 2017 is now open

Abstract themes and information

You have the opportunity to present during a parallel session, a poster session, or as part of an Early Career session.

This year’s EUSPR Conference priority is Quality in Prevention, although we welcome submissions on all prevention science related topics, and encourage presentations that focus on improving the use of research evidence in policy and practice.

We have simplified the abstract submission process this year and so please submit papers for the following topics:

  • Promoting Quality in Prevention
  • Open theme – we welcome submissions on any prevention related topic. These include, but are not limited to:
    • Crime, violence, and disruptive behaviours
    • Determinants of health and social behaviours
    • Eating Behaviour
    • Evidence into policy/practice
    • Mental health
    • Sexual health
    • Substance Use
  • Post graduate and Early Career theme – this is reserved for current undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as practitioners, policy-makers and researchers who entered the prevention field less than 8 years ago; In these sessions we also welcome the presentation of work in progress (including recently commenced work), discussion of methodology, difficulties, research questions, etc.

You are also invited to submit Posters on these topics for our structured poster session.

Please note that because of venue configuration we can only accept 50 posters this year, presented in two special sessions. Posters should be A0 size, and in portrait orientation. Hanging materials will be available on-site.

Parallel Session talks should  be 15 minutes long and focus on high quality prevention research (including methodology, epidemiology, aetiology, intervention outcomes, implementation, evidence based programmes and policy etc). Talks will be followed by a short Q&A session

Abstract submission instructions

Please read the instructions here to submit your abstract to EUSPR 2017.


The deadline for all abstracts submissions is Monday 17th July 2017 at 1700 CET (extension to previous date) All abstracts will be reviewed by EUSPR Conference Committee members and the results announced to authors soon afterwards. This will allow plenty of time to take advantage of Early Bird conference rates, and where attendance is conditional upon acceptance of the abstract, to make necessary travel arrangements.