Joseph Firth

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PhD, 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 Firth is currently a Presidential Fellow (Research) at The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.

He has published extensively in leading medical journals including The Lancet PsychiatryWorld Psychiatry, NeuroImageJAMA Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Bulletin, and The American Journal of Psychiatry, on the clinical use of exercise and nutritional interventions for improving both physical and mental health outcomes in people with psychiatric conditions.

His ongoing research focuses on developing and evaluating pragmatic and feasible programs aimed at helping young people with mental health problems to engage in regular exercise, and to adopt healthy lifestyles.

In 2017, he completed his MRC-funded PhD in Medicine at The University of Manchester. His PhD research investigated the benefits of physical exercise for young people in the early stages of psychotic disorders. During his PhD, he conducted a range of feasibility studies, qualitative investigations and meta-analyses around exercise for psychosis.

Dr Firth is contacted regularly for expert media commentary on emerging mental health research. His work has been the focus of news stories from key media outlets such as Forbes, The New York Times, CNN, Independent UK, The Times UK, Daily Mail UK, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Daily Telegraph, ABC Radio National, ABC online, in addition to televised interviews on BBC News and Sky News.

Research focus

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

Awards and recognition

  • 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: