Laurence Taggart

Professor, Professor of Intellectual Disability Research

  • Shore Road, Jordanstown Campus

    BT37 0QB Newtownabbey

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


Prof Laurence Taggart is both a nurse and a psychologist and leads the Research Centre ‘Caring for People with Complex Needs’ at Ulster University N. Ireland covering six clinical themes. One theme is ‘Neurodevelopmental and Intellectual Disabilities’. His research interests focus on the health surveillance of people with intellectual disabilities, and the health inequalities and inequities this population face in accessing health services. Prof Taggart also has an interest in the development and testing of interventions within complex systems for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, Prof Taggart is leading on a four-year £2.2m NIHR HTA grant examining the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a structured education programme for adults with intellectual disability and Type 2 diabetes (DESMOND-ID) across the UK.

Prof Taggart has received research funding of over £15 million from a range of research funders. He has published over 200 articles and chapters and is the co-editor of the book ‘Health Promotion for People with Intellectual & Developmental’ Disabilities’. Prof Taggart led on the ‘International Guidelines for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’.

Prof Taggart has held posts within the Royal Society of Medicine, the Royal College of Nursing and was the Expert Advisor for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) for older adults with an intellectual disability. He is the current Liaison Officer to the World Health Organisation for IASSIDD (International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) and is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disability. Laurence was recently awarded a distinguished Fellowship of the IASSIDD for his international research for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Current Research Grants

Sept 2020: £2,316,140.00. Personalised treatment packages for adults with learning disabilities who display aggression in community settings (PETAL). NIHR: Prog Grant (Prof Hassiotis, PI) (Dr L Taggart co PI)

Sept 2021: £96,391.38: ‘Walk Buds’: A walking intervention to increase physical activity, physical fitness and emotional wellbeing, in 9-13yr old children with intellectual disability. A clustered randomised feasibility trial. Bailey Thomas Charity, London. (Dr L Taggart PI)

May 2022: £406,000 The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with learning disabilities and factors associated with better outcomes (4th Wave). NIHR (PIS Prof Hatton & Prof Hastings, Co-PI Prof L Taggart).

Sept 2022: £111,127: Examining how adults with intellectual disability are recruited into a randomised control trail. N Ireland PHA Research Development Office (PI Prof L Taggart).

Sept 2022: £2,178,023.42: The clinical and cost-effectiveness of the DESMOND-ID education programme for adults with intellectual disability and Type 2 Diabetes. NIHR HTA. (PI Prof L Taggart)

Feb 2023: £551,902.52: A feasibility study of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the MATILDA intervention, compared to usual care, to support older adults with learning disability to improve their health, wellbeing, and social networks. NIHR PHR (PI Prof L Taggart)

April 2023: £1.9m. A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial of Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS) for families of young children with intellectual disability. NIHR PHR (PI Dr N Gore, Co-PI Prof L Taggart).

Sept 2023: £82,731.93. Improving life expectancy and quality of life for children born with Down syndrome, developing best practice guidelines in response to changing patterns in diagnosis, treatment, and survival. Baily Thomas Charity. (Lead PI Prof Casey, School of Medicine, UU; Prof L Taggart Co-PI)

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
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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