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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Susan is a Research Fellow at Teesside University. Susan was originally appointed as Research Assistant to Professor Sharon Hamilton in September 2006 and was then promoted to Research Associate in 2009. Initially she completed her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Public Health and Well-being at Teesside University, followed by further studies to masters level, then she was awarded her doctorate in May 2020. In October 2020 she won her first bid as Principal Investigator, a project which is now in progress.

Susan’s background is in nursing, qualifying as an S.R.N. in 1981, from Guy’s Hospital, London. She then undertook a number of roles in oncology nursing, caring for patients with cancer both as in-patients and out-patients. After this followed some time at home bringing up her family, where she took the opportunity to increase her life skills by becoming involved in voluntary work in the social care area. 

Her B.Sc. dissertation looked at a newly developed school nurse assistant role, using qualitative methods to understand the contribution the assistants were making to the school communities. This ignited her interest in research. In her masters degree she conducted a literature review investigating the reasons why people continue to smoke post-stroke. Her doctorate looked into the application of Normalisation Process Theory, using the example of the implementation of a stop smoking in pregnancy initiative i.e. a complex intervention into a complex system. Susan has continued to work on a range of research and evaluation projects in public health and nursing.

Susan's research interests within the Centre of Public Health include stopping smoking (in secondary care, following stroke, during pregnancy, in mental health), low calorie diets for weight management and end of life care (discharge planning). Other work relates to rehabilitation including stroke, frozen shoulder and chronic neurological conditions. Her current work includes working with mathematical modellers to create optimal conditions for implementing financial incentives into health services. 

Susan’s work focuses on using qualitative methods. She is interested in evaluating new initiatives and moving research and evaluation recommendations into policy and practice. 

Research Projects & External Funding

Research interests in brief:

  • Nursing and public health including:
  • Stopping smoking in pregnancy
  • Financial incentives/behaviour change
  • Maternity services
  • Obesity
  • End of life care

Current Projects:

  • Modelling financial incentives to motivate pregnant smokers to quit - using Evolutionary Game Theory

  • A coproduced mixed method evaluation of the NHS England low calorie diet implementation pilot

  • Carers' experience of discharge from hospital
  • Children and Young People’s Tier 2 Weight Management service evaluation

  • Exploring the antenatal care information needs of Roma women: an instrumental case study to inform future intervention development and evaluation

External research funding since 2008:

  • NIHR North East & North Cumbria, Allied Research Collaboration
  • Academic & Health Science Network
  • Gloucestershire County Council
  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust
  • NIHR School for Public Health Research
  • South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northumbria, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tees, Esk & Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Public Health England
  • North East & North Cumbria, Clinical Research Network
  • VONNE (Voluntary Organisations' Network North East).

External research collaborations:

  • Centre for Applied Obesity, Leeds Beckett University
  • BeeZee Bodies
  • Specialist palliative care team, James Cook University Hospital
  • Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University
  • Northumbria University
  • ELM primary care alliance

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Exploring the Theory-Practice Gap in Public Health interventions: a critical assessment of the potential for Normalisation Process Theory to aid knowledge transfer into practice, using the evaluation of a complex smoking cessation in pregnancy initiative, Teesside University

6 May 20141 May 2020

Award Date: 1 May 2020

Master, Health Sciences (Public Health), Teesside University

Award Date: 14 Jun 2011

Bachelor, Public Health & Well-being, Teesside University

Sept 200314 Jun 2006

Award Date: 14 Jun 2006


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