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Personal profile


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

I joined the University as a lecturer in Health Psychology in 2009 and have since held various posts including Associate Head of Department and Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching). I am currently Acting 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. Within my leadership roles, I am privileged to work with staff and students who inspire, motivate and drive my ambition to support achievement for all. As the first to enter university in my family, I am very much committed to the transformative potential of education and work environments and strive to make this a reality for all.

I am an Associate Professor, and my research is based in the area of health inequalities, especially how they relate to the experiences and outcomes of people identifying with a protected characteristic. I have particular expertise in increasing participation from under-represented groups in research; patient reported outcomes; cross-cultural research; kidney failure; autism; mixed-methods research; and systematic reviews. I have been involved with grant awards over £3 million, with over £1 million as a Principal Investigator.   

Outside of the University, I am a member of the National Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Transplant Alliance (NBTA) and a visiting fellow at the George Institute for Global Health (Delhi-India). I have previously also been part of the National Centre for Universities and Business’s (NCUB) ’50 under 30’ future leaders network. Using my skills to make a difference in the community is important to me and I regularly take on voluntary roles. I have acted as Deputy Chair of Governors at a School for Children with Special Educational Needs and I am currently Chair of the Swindon South Asian Performing Arts Centre. Here I have helped raise more than £60k towards projects that bolster creative communities. I am also the immediate past Chair of Board of Trustees at Coppafeel!- a national charity working towards better awareness and early detection of breast cancer in young people. During my time at the charity, I supported the launch of our first diversity and inclusion stratgey, as well as underpinning delivery plans. 

Research interests

My research is largely based in the health services and focuses on the measurement of patient experience, and interventions to improve outcomes for those living with long-term conditions. I have particular expertise in:

  • Cross cultural adaptation of Patient Reported Outcome/ Experience Measures
  • Issues related to equality and diversity in health settings
  • Barriers and facilitators of treatment engagement 
  • Co-production of research, with a particular focus on under-represented groups 
  • Psychosocial interventions and their evaluation 
  • Mixed-methods research
  • Systematic reviews

Some of my current projects include:

  • Feasibility study of a randomised controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of using a humanoid robot to improve the social skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (RfPB funded)
  • Specifying the role of carers in psychosocial interventions for haemodialysis patients from South Asian backgrounds (BRS funded)
  • Gender Equality in Psychology Careers (AHPD funded)
  • Systematic review on the use of antidepressants in Chronic Kidney Disease


I am currently supervising a number of PhD’s and happy to receive proposals from those interested in a programme of work aligned to my areas of expertise. Existing students include:

  • Carole Kelly: Lived experiences of late diagnosed autistic women
  • Nancy Kouroupa: Robot mediated social skills development in autism
  • Neerja Jain: Making kidney research representative
  • Melis Duru: Autism in Turkish Cypriot communities
  • Rachel Don Bosco: Race equality in the medical professions 

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 

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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