Heather Dunn

Research Assistant

School of Health and Related Research

Medicine, Dentistry and Health

Research Expertise:

  • Qualitative Research Methods: Ethnography; Visual methods (e.g. photography) participatory diagramming, experience diagramming, graphic elicitation.
  • The deployment of technology to promote health and well-being in real-world settings, and the challenges that this raises.
  • Health behaviour and behaviour change interventions.


Telephone: +44 (0) 114 2229184
Email: h.d.dunn@sheffield.ac.uk
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I have lived, studied and worked in Sheffield all my life. I studied at Sheffield Hallam University and have a BSc (First Class) in Psychology, MSc (Distinction) in Health Psychology, and am currently writing my PhD Thesis titled: Exploring Meanings of Care in Nursing Homes for Older People.

Prior to working in academia and research I was a Health Professional and also a NHS Administrator.  I worked in Cardiothoracic Surgery and private sector care homes as a Registered Nurse [1989-2002).  I have qualifications in community development to promote health and well-being (ICDH, 2010). I applied these skills in my role as NHS Health Trainer (Sheffield PCT 2010-2011) in GP practices working as part of a multi-disciplinary team based at Ship-Shape, and in partnership with Sharrow Community Forum.

As NHS Administrator I have experience in a number of organisations and departments including:

  • Trent RHA [1980-1987] – Estates Department & Treasurers Department
  • Sheffield PCT [2002] – City-wide implementation of DoH Funded Nursing Care initiative in care homes for older people
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals [2008] – Clinical Research Facility, Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

As Associate Lecturer and Demonstrator (Sheffield Hallam University – 2010-2014) I taught Research Methods (Quantitative and Qualitative) and Statistics, and supervised the research projects of undergraduate and post-graduate Psychology students. I am a Tutor on the ScHARR HAR6043 Introduction to Research Methods online module for Masters students (2016-2017).

I also engage in activities that reflect my other interests:

  • I am an Equality and Diversity representative for CATCH/RAT Group – ScHARR
  • I am a member of Qualitative Research in Social Sciences (QRISS) Group – SHU
  • I  am a member of Ethnography Group – UoS
  • Participate in mindfulness sessions for staff- UoS

In 2011, I became a volunteer Authorised Representative for Sheffield LINK’s (now Sheffield Healthwatch) conducting Enter and View visits to Health and Social Care services.

Current Research Projects:

  • Yorkshire and Humber Region Perfect Patient Pathway Testbed (2016 – 2018) [NHS England] The PPP Test Bed aims to create the ‘perfect patient pathway’ to bring substantial benefits for patients suffering from long term health conditions, such as diabetes, mental health problems, respiratory disease, hypertension and other chronic conditions.
  • SMART COPD [NIHR] We are delivering an app-based intervention to help people with COPD to increase their physical activity, and are currently evaluating the feasibility of using the app in a clinical setting. We will be offering this app to COPD patients attending pulmonary Rehabilitation sessions across Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield in 2016-2017.