UU (UK) – Ulster University

Partner Number: P1

Role Appointed Organisation on Partner Affiliated Entity: APP

Country: UK

Education and Training Provider: Yes

Industry Representative: No

Other: Public University


Professor Ciara Hughes graduated from Queen’s University with an honours degree in Biomedical Sciences. After completing her doctorate at Queen’s she took up a post as a research officer at Ulster University and has been a member of the Healthcare Science academic team for the past 20 years.

Ciara is Professor of Health Sciences Research and is the Associate Research Director for the Institute of Nursing and Health Research at Ulster, where she oversees all aspects of research activity relating to Nursing, Midwifery, Allied Health Professions and Healthcare science research.

Over the past 20 years Ciara has developed an international reputation in research focusing on interventions for pain/fatigue reduction and radiation dose reduction along with the associated underpinning biomarkers and cellular changes. She has a sustained record of achievement in research securing external funding in excess of £1 million, authored 170+ publications in high ranking journals, she was returned in the RAE (2001 and 2008) and in the REF (2014). Ciara has supervised 17 PhD students to completion and is currently supervising 6 PhD projects.

Elaine Duddy qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1992. She worked as a paediatric Speech and Language Therapist in a range of settings both nationally and internationally. During this time, she developed her clinical specialism in communication disorders associated with Cleft Palate and/or Velopharyngeal Incompetence. 


Elaine worked as an Associate Lecturer at Ulster University in 2014-2015 and as a Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University from 2015 until 2019. Currently she splits her time between her role as an AHP Advanced Practitioner in Research and Development in Northern Health and Social Care Trust and as the Research Associate on the SAFEEUROPE project liaising with the European Commission, coordinating and managing all activities with each partner.

DR PATRICIA McCLURE School of Health Sciences, Ulster University Dr Patricia McClure is a Senior Lecturer and Course Director of the MSc Professional Development in Occupational Therapy programme at Ulster University. Patricia was the Associate Head of School of the School of Health Sciences from 2005 to 2019. She qualified as an occupational therapist in 1983 and practised for 12 years in mental health services, gaining experience in a number of senior and head positions in the areas of rehabilitation, addictions services, acute admissions and community mental health. In October 1995, Patricia took up an academic post as a lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Ulster University, teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 


Since then, she has held the roles of Professional Practice Placement Coordinator and Academic Coordinator (Professional Lead) for Occupational Therapy before taking up the post as Associate Head of the School of Health Sciences in September 2005. Patricia is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of CHERP. Over the years, Patricia has been very actively involved with the professional body, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, through a wide range of roles and has served on several professional boards, committees and steering groups. She was the Chair of Council of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists from 2015 to 2019 and Convenor of the Council of Occupational Therapy Education Directors from 2012 to 2016. 


Patricia has been a RCOT Accreditor since 2006, a Visitor for the Health and Care Professions Council since 2015 and an academic reviewer for CORU(Ireland) since 2018. Within these roles, she has been involved as an external panel member in approval events for occupational therapy and other allied health professional undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes throughout the UK and Ireland. Patricia is passionate about the development and sharing of sound, innovative, educational practices within the health and social care professions. She has a keen interest in pedagogical research and has been involved in various studies exploring students’ learning experiences from the perspectives of both the students and the educators

Sonyia Mc Fadden qualified as a Diagnostic Radiographer in 1994. She worked as a radiographer in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast which is a large University teaching hospital and specialised into the area of Interventional Cardiology. Sonyia completed her MSc in 2000 investigating radiation exposure in adult interventional cardiology and was appointed as a Lecturer in Diagnostic Imaging in the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Belfast in 2001. 


She was awarded her PhD in 2010 for her study on radiation dose optimisation in paediatric interventional cardiology and the ISRRT Dosewise International Radiographer of the Year 2014. More recently she was awarded her Fellowship of the College of Radiographers in 2016 and appointed as a Senior Lecturer in 2020. Sonyia is currently involved in teaching all years of the undergraduate radiography programme in the Ulster University and continues to develop her research in the field of interventional cardiology, patient safety, radiation dose and DNA damage. 


Her other areas of research interest include radiation protection in all aspects of medical imaging. Standardisation of clinical protocols and modifications to technique. Infection control within the clinical department. The impact of CR and DR imaging, on image quality/radiation dose and the education and advancing role of the radiographer. Sonyia is Principal Investigator on the SAFEEUROPE project liaising with the European Commission, coordinating and managing all activities with each partner.


Dr. Ciara Hughes 


Dr. ElaineDuddy


Dr. Patricia McClure


Dr. Sonyia McFadden