School of Dental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Richard Holmes

Senior Lecturer / Hon. Consultant in Dental Public Health



I am a dentist, Specialist and Senior Lecturer in Dental Public Health. I hold an Hon. Public Health Consultant Clinical Academic contract with Public Health England (PHE). My research interests include health services research, priority setting, resource allocation and health policy in relation to dentistry.

After several years working in primary dental care I began as a NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Dental Public Health at Newcastle University before being awarded a 3-year national NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship (2009-2012) to research priority setting and the use of health economic tools in NHS dental commissioning.

After gaining my PhD at Newcastle University I became an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Dental Public Health and completed my academic Specialty Registrar training. I passed the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship Examination (ISFE) in April 2014 and began in my current role as a Senior Lecturer / Hon. Consultant in Dental Public Health in November 2014.


  • BMedSci (Hons)  Bachelor of Medical Science, First Class (Newcastle University, 2001)
  • BDS (Hons)         Bachelor of Dental Surgery (Honours) (Newcastle University, 2002)                             
  • MFDS RCS         Membership Examination, Faculty of Dental Surgery (2005)
  • MPH                    Master of Public Health (Manchester University, 2009)
  • PhD                     Doctor of Philosophy (Newcastle University, 2012)
  • FHEA                   Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA, 2015)
  • FDS(DPH)RCPSG  Fellow in Dental Surgery (Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow 2016)

Previous Positions

  • General Dental Practitioner / Community Dental Officer (2002-2005)
  • Clinical Fellow, Newcastle University (2005-2006)
  • NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow / Specialist Registrar in Dental Public Health (2006-2009)
  • NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow, Newcastle University (2009-2012)
  • NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer / Specialty Registrar in Dental Public Health (2012-2014)


  • International Association for Dental Research (IADR)
  • British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (BASCD)
  • The North of England Odontological Society (NEOS) (Past-President 2013-14)
  • The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Regional Role

  • Member, Dental Workforce Strategy Group (Health Education England - North East)

National Roles

  • NIHR In-Practice Fellowship Scheme - Expert Review Panel (2018 - present)
  • British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry - BASCD Council, Research Lead (2016-2019)

Past & Present Funding

  • Personal Award: NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship (2009-2012)
  • Health Education England
  • Australian Bicentennial Fellowship 2018 - Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King's College London

Google scholar profile


I am the lead academic at Newcastle University for Dental Public Health.

Other School, teaching and University roles include:

  • Director of Admissions - Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and BSc in ODHS degree programmes
  • Chair of Undergraduate (BDS/BSc) Admissions Panel, School of Dental Sciences

For dental admissions enquiries only, please use this email address:            

  • Degree Programme Director, BSc in Oral & Dental Health Sciences (UCAS code: A207)   
  • Senior Tutor
  • Personal Tutor (BDS )
  • Lead for Dental Public Health/Evidence-Based Practice assessments (BDS & BSc degree programmes)
  • Member, Stage 5 BDS Board of Examiners Sub-committee
  • Member, Stage 3 Part II BDS Board of Examiners Sub-committee
  • Interviewer, BDS and BSc Admissions Panels
  • Member, Faculty of Medical Sciences Undergraduate Admissions and Student Recruitment Sub-Group
  • Co-lead for Newcastle University-Indiana University (USA) initiative in dental education (2016-present)
  • FMS (Faculty of Medical Sciences) Representative, Learning & Teaching Reviews / Programme Approval Panels

Undergraduate Teaching

1. BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)

  • Academic teaching input into Stages 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 BDS
  • Course Lead, 'Dentistry, the Dentist & Public Health' Stages 2, 3, 4 & 5 BDS

2. BSc (Bachelor of Science in Oral & Dental Health Sciences)

  • Course Lead, 'Evidence-Based Practice and Public Health', Stage 1 BSc
  • Course Lead, 'Critical Appraisal & Academic Writing', Stage 2, BSc

Postgraduate Teaching & Examining

- Research & Epidemiology study days (Foundation Dentists) commissioned by Health Education England North East

- Critical Appraisal - Clinical Implant Dentistry PGDip

- MSc in Orthodontics - Examiner (Research)

External Examining

- External Examiner, MSc in Dental Public Health, King's College London (from 2019/20 academic year)

- External Examiner, BSc Hons in Oral Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh (from 2018/19 academic year)


Research Interests

Health services research: My PhD research focused upon decision-making and priority setting tools in NHS dentistry with respect to a need for the rational use of scarce resources at local levels. I have been involved in work relating to the evaluation of, and findings from, the current dental contract reform programme in England. I have a particular interest in how original research can influence health policy at a national level.

Oral epidemiology: I was a clinical examiner in the national Adult Dental Health Survey (2009) and more recently I co-authored several formal reports arising from data generated by the national Children's Dental Health Survey (2013).

Qualitative research: I have experience with a variety of qualitative research techniques involving a diverse range of groups in the population. Past research has included patient groups, clinicians and NHS commissioners using approaches including participatory action research.

Dental/medical education: I am interested in dental/medical educational research linked to the widening participation agenda in higher education, the training and assessment of dental students, therapists and hygienists, and developing internationalisation and collaborative educational opportunities within the undergraduate curriculum.

Reviewer (when requested) for:

  • NIHR In-Practice Fellowship Scheme - Expert Selection Committee (2018, 2019, 2020)
  • NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme Grants (various)
  • BMC Health Services Research
  • BMJ Open
  • BDJ Open
  • BMC Oral Health 
  • BMC Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
  • British Dental Journal
  • Community Dental Health
  • Community Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology
  • European Journal of Dental Education
  • Health & Care Research Wales (Research for Patient & Public Benefit) Programme
  • JDR Clinical & Translational Research

Postgraduate Academic Supervision:

Various PhD / MSc / MPH students, taught research post-graduate dentists, 2x public health trainees (StR's) and 1x academic dental public health StR.

Postgraduate Academic Examination:

MClinDent in Restorative Dentistry