Personal profile

Research interests

Further Information

Sebastian has experience in supervising PhD and MD students in a broad range of topics in applied health research. Currently he is supervising two PhD students.

Current postgraduate supervision:

Leah Buhrmann - Translating research evidence into health and social care policy and practice: using best practice across an integrated health and social care system (North East and North Cumbria ARC) to co-develop and evaluate tools for knowledge mobilisers and implementers

Claire Leader - How does the discourse of National Governmental policy influence social practices around the management of wellbeing of Nurses and Midwives working in the National Health Service? 


Dr Sebastian Potthoff is a Chartered Health Psychologist and Assistant Professor at Northumbria University whose research focuses on the intersection between Health Psychology and Implementation Science. He has a wealth of expertise in supporting the implementation of service innovations into health and social care practice. In 2023, he received a prestigious award for ‘Outstanding Translational Research Initiative’ by the Fuse Centre of Translational Research in Public Health for his contributions to implementation science.

He is recognised internationally as an expert in the psychology of habit and has published numerous papers and book chapters, exploring how the concept of ‘habit’ can be drawn on to understand and change the clinical behaviours of practitioners translating research into practice.

Currently, his work focuses on developing practical tools (e.g. ItFits-toolkit) to make theory more ‘usable’ for non-academic users who are implementing service innovations. He also leads research to further advance methods and tools to support comprehensive approaches to stakeholder engagement in implementation research and practice.

Sebastian is an active member of the European Health Psychology Society, a Head Editor of the Practical Health Psychology Blog, a Director of Open Digital Health, and a Training Lead for the Knowledge Mobilisation and Implementation Theme of the NIHR Applied Research Collaborative North East and North Cumbria. He is a Member of the Innovation and Implementation Research Group at Northumbria University.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Education, Certificate, Associate Fellowship with the Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy

1 Oct 202012 Feb 2021

Award Date: 12 Jan 2021

Psychology, PhD, Making good quality care habitual: an exploration of the concept habit in relation to healthcare professional behaviour, Newcastle University

2 Dec 201414 Feb 2017

Award Date: 24 Nov 2017

Psychology, MRes, Cross-cultural differences in cognitive emotion regulation strategies: a comparison between six European contries, Leiden University

1 Sept 20101 Sept 2013

Award Date: 9 Jan 2013

Psychology, BA, Leiden University

1 Sept 20078 Dec 2010

Award Date: 31 Aug 2010

External positions

Stavanger University Hospital

1 Jan 201931 Dec 2023


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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