Personal profile


Shivani Sharma (she/her- name is of Indian heritage)

I joined the University in 2009 as a lecturer in Health Psychology and the Institution Lead of a fully online, extra-curricular personal development programme for students. I rapidly progressed into academic management, holding posts including Associate Head of Department, Associate Dean (Education & Student Experience), Head of the Department of Psychology, Sport, and Geography, and the Executive Lead for Equality, Diversity and Widening Participation in the School of Life and Medical Sciences. I am very proud that during my time in these roles, working with colleagues we achieved many successes, including the School’s first Athena Swan Silver award.

I am now associated with the University in a visiting capacity, mainly involved with the supervision of doctoral students, and collaborating with researchers in the Centre for Health Services and Clinical Research, and the Centre for Research in Psychology and Sport Science. My substantive post is as Professor of Health Equity and Inclusion at Aston University. I am particularly interested in psychosocial factors in long-term conditions and their relationship to wider determinants of health.

Research interests

My research is largely based in the health services. I have expertise in:

  • Widening access to research for under-represented groups
  • Development and cross cultural adaptation of Patient Reported Outcome/ Experience Measures
  • Barriers and facilitators of treatment engagement 
  • Psychosocial interventions and their evaluation 
  • Co-production of research with patients, carers, and the public
  • Mixed-methods research
  • Systematic reviews

Some of my current projects include:

  • Understanding and measuring the burden of pruritus (itch) in kidney patients (KRUK funded)
  • Embedding culturally inclusive mental health in kidney care
  • Broadening the lens of quality improvement exercises for health equity


I am currently supervising a number of PhD’s. Existing students include:

  • Carole Kelly: Lived experiences of late diagnosed autistic women
  • Neerja Jain: Making kidney research representative
  • Melis Duru: Autism in Turkish Cypriot communities
  • Rachel Don Bosco: Race equality in the medical professions 
  • Lauren Fitzgerald: Intersection of severe mental health and kidney disease
  • Emma Caton: Development of a burden of dialysis scale

Recently completed:

  • Dr Roisin Mooney: Depression in South Asian patients being treated with Haemodialysis 
  • Dr Abigail Hucker: Adherence in kidney transplant recipients
  • Dr Diamantis Toutountzidis: Early life adversities and psychosis-like experiences in the general population
  • Dr Stella Mo: The impact of socio-cultural values on autistic women 
  • Dr Buse Keskindag: Illness perceptions in Turkish Cypriot dialysis patients 
  • Dr Anna Jones: Childhood cancer diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic

Teaching specialisms

  • Core Research Skills
  • Health Psychology 
  • Cross-cultural Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology

External positions

Chair of Board of Trustees, Coppafeel!

4 Apr 2022 → …


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