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The University of Southampton

Mr Martin J Stevens LLB

Senior Research Assistant, PhD Student

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I am a senior research assistant and PhD student in the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit. I primarily work on the Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) Study. My PhD project is nested within HEAF and looks at work based factors that could influence the decision to retire.

I studied law at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 2001 with an LLB. I undertook a career in taxation before joining the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit in September 2015 as a research administrator working primarily on the Unit’s Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) study.

My journey into epidemiology was very much a hands-on approach as I learnt from mentors in the MRC Unit whilst gaining practical experience of research by administering the HEAF study.

Facilitated by a grant from the Colt Foundation, I commenced work on my PhD project entitled HEAF FIRST in August 2017.  My research project is focused on factors in the workplace that could influence retirement decisions and whether retirement is good or bad for health. 


LLB, Nottingham Trent University, 2001

Research interests

The Arthritis Research UK/MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work is a national Consortium, led from Southampton, made up of a multi-disciplinary collaboration of colleagues from the Universities of Aberdeen, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Salford, Keele, Bath Spa, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Southampton Foundation Trust and King’s Centre for Military Health. The overarching aim of our research is to identify cost-effective ways to minimise the substantial adverse impacts of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace.

The Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) Study is a cohort study of people aged 50-64 years at baseline.  It was set up in 2013 to find out whether working to older ages is good or bad for health and how often health affects people’s ability to work in different types of job at older ages. Our aim is that our findings will influence planning of Government policy on employment at older ages, and help to ensure that older people will neither be denied opportunities to work where it would be good for them nor forced to work in jobs which are bad for their health.


PhD Research: What are the modifiable factors that would enable people to work to older ages in good health and comfort?


  • Professor Karen Walker-Bone
  • Professor Mary Barker
  • Professor Elaine Dennison

Funding Agencies:

  • The Colt Foundation


Human Development and Health

Mr Martin J Stevens
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, Mailpoint 95, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, SO16 6YD
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