Joseph Firth

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PhD (Medicine), BSc (Hons) Psyc
Adjunct Research Fellow, NICM Health Research Institute

Dr Joseph Firth became a NICM Health Research Institute Adjunct in 2020 upon returning to the United Kingdom. Prior to this appointment, Dr Firth had been a Research Fellow at the Institute since 2017, focused in mental health and clinical research. He was a recipient of the NICM HRI Blackmores Institute Fellowship.

Dr. Joseph Firth completed his PhD (Medicine) at the University of Manchester, U.K and has a BSc (1st Hons) in Psychology from the University of Sheffield, U.K. Currently, he is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, and is internationally ranked as one of the most highly-cited scientists in the fields of Digital Psychiatry, Lifestyle Medicine and Mental Health worldwide. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles, including the most prestigious medical journals, such as The BMJ,  The New England Journal of Medicine, World Psychiatry, The Lancet Psychiatry, JAMA Psychiatry, and the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Alongside this, Firth was awarded The USERN Laureate for Social Sciences in 2022 for his work on lifestyle interventions in mental health. He is also a four-time Clarivate™ World Highly Cited Researcher in Psychology / Psychiatry,’s #1 ranked ‘Rising Star’ in the U.K for 2022 (across all fields of science), and holds ExpertScape's "World Expert" accolade in his field. He is the acting Chair of the Lancet Commission on Physical Health in Mental Illness, and expert advisor for the World Health Organization’s “Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour”, and co-authored the European Psychiatric Association’s 2018 Guidelines on the use of exercise in the treatment of severe mental illness. Dr. Firth’s research on physical health in mental illness has also served to inform multiple national and international health policy documents. Now, he is leading a seven year UKRI-funded program of work towards developing digital health interventions for helping young people with mental health conditions.

Research focus

  • Mental health
  • Psychosis
  • Psychiatry
  • Technology and mobile health interventions
  • Nutraceuticals

Awards and recognition

  • 2023 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in Psychology and Psychiatry Awarded
  • 2023’s #1 ranked ‘Rising Star’ in the U.K across all fields of science
  • 2022 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in Psychology and Psychiatry Awarded
  • 2022 Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN) Prize Laureate, Social  Sciences
  • 2021 Top 10 ‘World Expert’ in Field of “Exercise”, ExpertScape
  • 2021 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in Psychology and Psychiatry Awarded
  • 2020 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in Psychology and Psychiatry Awarded
  • 2019 The Australian, Rising Stars - Australian's Top 40 Early Career Researcher
  • 2019 Best Presentation Award - International Festival of Public Health, International Festival of Public Health
  • 2018 Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award, Excellence as a Early Career Researcher, Highly Commended, Western Sydney University
  • 2018 Elsevier Atlas Award, October Recipient
  • 2018 Awarded Schizophrenia International Research Society Researcher Travel Award:SIRS Italy
  • 2017 Awarded NICM Blackmores Institute Fellowship
  • 2017 Awarded Manchester Doctoral Academy Outstanding Research Output Award, The University of Manchester
  • 2013 President’s Doctoral Scholarship Award, The University of Manchester
  • 2012 Special Commendation, University of Sheffield
  • 2012 Undergraduate Award, British Psychological Society


  • The University of Manchester


  • 2017 PhD Medicine, The University of Manchester
  • 2012 BSc (1st Hons) Psychology, The University of Sheffield


For a full listing of publications please see: