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Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Professor Nicola Fear

Nicola Fear

Job title

Professor of Epidemiology

Director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research

Chair of the Psychological Medicine PhD sub-committee


King's Centre for Military Health Research and the Academic Department of Military Mental Health, Psychological Medicine

Date started at King’s


Challenges and achievements

When did you first become interested in your academic discipline?

I became interested in epidemiology whilst working as a research assistant in the Public Health Department of the Isle of Wight Health Commission. My interest in the military was sparked during my two years as an epidemiologist with the UK Ministry of Defence. This was around the start of the 2003 Iraq War.

What are your research interests, and what drew you to this area? 

My particular area(s) of interest are around the mental health and wellbeing of service personnel, veterans and their families. The impact of military life and experiences on the wellbeing of an individual and their family is in an area that fascinates me.

Tell us about a couple of your achievements that have been particularly rewarding. 

Giving evidence in front of the House of Commons Defence Committee – this was terrifying but exciting!

Being made Director of KCMHR alongside Professors Wessely and Dandeker

Sitting next to Bill Turnbull on the BBC Breakfast red sofa! 

Do you have professional role models? Who are they and what do you find inspiring about them and their accomplishments?

Professor Pat Doyle and Professor Eve Roman – these are two people who I met right at the start of my journey in epidemiology and academia.  I wanted to be like them - successful in my career, with a happy home/family life and still managing to be a nice person!  They both have supported and influenced me during my career for which I am very grateful.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable/rewarding aspect of your job at King’s? 

Working on a variety of topics that I care about, the results of which impact on the lives of others and doing this with a group of people that I enjoy working with!

How do you balance the various demands of a career in academia: research, teaching/learning, administration?

With difficulty, lots of evening working.  But I do keep my weekends free to spend with my family.

How do you balance an academic career with life outside the workplace?

With difficulty!  It helps to have a supportive and understanding family.  I do keep my weekends and holidays “work free”………when possible!

What have you learnt from your experiences that you would like to share with others?

Always have a goal and a focus.


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