Member profiles


Dr Fiona Ulph*: Lecturer in Qualitative Methods

Fiona is a chartered Health Psychologist, Lecturer in qualitative methods (School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester) and Senior Advisor in qualitative methods for the UK NIHR North West Research Design Service. Her research interests are in the following areas:

  • familial communication regarding genetics
  • communication between the triad of health professionals, parents and children
  • children's understanding of, and ability to actively participate in, healthcare (specifically genetics) and their information needs to do so.

She is an invited Advisor on the review of international guidelines assessing quality in qualitative research.

Professor Christopher J Armitage*: Professor of Health Psychology

Image: Prof Chris Armitage

Chris is Professor of Health Psychology in the School of Psychological Sciences. His research focuses on psychological intervention and behaviour change, which uses psychological theory (e.g., theory of planned behaviour) to develop tools (e.g., self-incentivising implementation intentions) for behaviour change (e.g. smoking cessation) among diverse populations (e.g. adolescents).

He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles on these topics and has received funding to support this research from the Technology Strategy Board, British Renal Society, AERC, ESRC, MRC, and NICE.

Dr Michele Birtel: Lecturer in Social Psychology

Image: Michele Birtel

Michele's research is focused on changing prejudice and discrimination through different types of interethnic contact. Her current research investigates whether contact interventions can be effective to reduce prejudice and discrimination in real-life settings, especially in ethnically diverse areas characterized by educational and residential segregation.

Michele is also interested in research on collective action and social change, social neuroscience, sleep, and health disparities in intergroup relations.

Dr Lis Cordingley*: Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology

Dr Lis Cordingley

Lis is a Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology in the Institute of Inflammation and Repair. Her current research focuses on inflammatory conditions (such as psoriasis, inflammatory arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis CAPS) and chronic pain, particularly in the area of self-care (adherence and health behaviours).

She recently led the extensive BPS response to the NICE guidelines for the management of psoriasis and is currently inputting into national strategies for managing psychological aspects of psoriasis.

She is a committee member for the Division of Health Psychology.

Dr Nimarta Dharni: Research Associate

Nimarta’s research interests focus around reducing health and social inequalities, making health services more equitable, health related behaviour in disadvantaged groups, communication of information about newborn screening and issues regarding consent and choice in screening uptake. Nimarta has worked with people across the lifespan and previously volunteered as a youth mentor with Barnardo’s.

Dr Sarah Peters*: Senior Lecturer

Sarah Peters

Sarah is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and qualitative research lead for the NIHR North West Research Design service. Her research focuses on healthcare communication, particularly within challenging contexts, such as medically unexplained symptoms, health behaviour change and relapse prevention.

A key aspect of her research is on equipping health professionals to communicate more effectively with patients, relatives and colleagues.

She has worked using a range of methodologies, but particularly focused on how to integrate qualitative methods within randomised controlled trials to examine acceptability, feasibility and implementation of psychological and training interventions.

Dr Stephanie Tierney: Research Fellow

Stephanie’s research has focused on people with long-term conditions, including cystic fibrosis, cleft lip and/or palate and eating disorders. She has a specific interest in qualitative methods (particularly framework analysis) and her work has centred on exploring the treatment and lived experiences of patients. She is also interested in evidence-synthesis and has conducted several reviews of qualitative as well as quantitative literature on topics such as body image in cystic fibrosis and having an eating disturbance when pregnant. Her current research focuses on children with a cleft and includes the following areas of study: parents’ experiences of late diagnosis of cleft palate, sleeping position in cleft palate, improving oral health in children with a cleft lip and/or palate. She is part of the Cleft Collective) in Manchester and co-ordinates Patient and Public Involvement for this research centre.

Professor Suzie Skevington*: Professor of Health Psychology

Suzie Skevington

Suzie is Professor of Health Psychology. She has been working with an international collaboration set up by the World Health Organization, Geneva in 1991, to measure quality of life in many diverse cultures.

Her quality of life centre has taken an international lead in the research of the WHOQOL Group, from its conceptualisation, and design of an original methodology, to the standardisation of several reliable, valid and sensitive multidimensional instruments (PROMS) that are now widely used to evaluate healthcare in the UK, and in 75 other cultures worldwide.

Suzanne Skevington is interested in assessing quality of life and wellbeing, especially in cross-cultural settings and international health. She is currently interested in the quality of life of adolescents (see Psychology and Health, 2013). Over the last few years she has worked on exercise, especially  in the teens, how the move from primary  to secondary school affects wellbeing, and sexual health. She has also worked with children ages 5-8 and their parents, to find out how they perceive their quality of life.


PhD students

Daniela Ghio

As part of my PhD, I developed a new scale to assess pain beliefs in children with chronic, relapsing/remitting pain conditions. This is an adaptation of the Illness Perceptions Questionnaire, modified to address young people’s beliefs using constructs and scoring systems more appropriate for these age groups. This will allow an age-appropriate assessment of various cognitions, such as how pain impacts the young people's lives, control over their pain and their emotional representation of pain. I am also part of the team working on a new computer based application being developed as a way of monitoring/assessing pain experiences outside the clinical context. The goal of this tool is to provide a measure of pain that includes the multidimensional characteristics of pain.

Alisha Gibson

Melissa Noke

Current PhD research uses qualitative methods to explore the impact of genetic carrier identification on children's wellbeing. General research interests:

  • children's understanding adaptation to genetic results
  • children's understanding of genetic testing procedures
  • communication of newborn screening information
  • familial communication regarding genetics


*Image:Health and Care Professions Council logo Practitioner Health Psychologists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council