Deirdre Harrington

Dr

  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am an experienced academic with a demonstrated history of working in multi-disciplinary teams in higher education in Ireland, the US and England.

I play a key academic role in achieving the goals of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) and contribute to its success within the University of Strathclyde.

I oversee the development and delivery of research and teaching within the School of Psychological Sciences and Health. I am responsible for securing external research funding, teaching at Undergraduate level, supervision of PhD students and the delivery of meaningful knowledge exchange and community engagement/involvement.

I am increasingly concerned about health inequalities and how my research does, or does not, address or impact them. I am trying to be reflexive about issues related to my assumptions and preconceptions as a researcher.

Currently:

  • New staff member (since Jan 2021) at University of Strathclyde, energised by delving straight into undergrad teaching and supervision and developing new research and stakeholder links in Scotland.
  • Media friendly. As heard monthly on BBC Radio Leicester Table Talk and seen on ITV Central and BBC East Midlands.

Former:

  • Academic lead of the Cities Changing Diabetes global programme in Leicester. I developed the work in collaboration with academic, local government, community and industry stakeholders and partners.
  • Chair of Ireland's Report Card for Physical Activity in Children and Youth 2013, member of the working group for 2015 and 2021 Report Cards.

Research Interests

I have worked on the global research platform for 15 years. My research interests have evolved over this time and can be summarised into three themes:

  • Prevention of ill-health in the clinical and public health areas of physical activity, obesity, type 2 diabetes.
  • Design, evaluation and implementation of school, family and community-based programmes.
  • Uniting stakeholders including public health, local authority and key community groups and organisations (e.g. professional sports clubs, faith centres) with academics in tackling prevalent health challenges.

Current topics I am moving forward with include:

  • Physical activity and related health behaviour (sleep, screen time, obesity) interventions in pre-schoolers and their families.
  • Transport behaviours - sustainable transport (walk, cycle, public transport) and private car use in COVID times. Changes in behaviours, attitudes, benefits for the individual and cities, the future for walking/cycling as transport.
  • The outsourcing of PE, physical activity and health promotion to professional sports clubs in schools and the community.
  • The future of school-based physical activity research in the COVID-19 recovery. How have PhD students and early career researchers been affected by school closures?

Do get in touch if you are interested in collaborating on these topics.

Teaching Interests

Currently teaching at undergraduate level on the B.Sc. in Sport and Physical Activity.

I taught at Masters level (M.Sc. in Diabetes Medicine, University of Leicester).

I have also delivered practical professional development sessions to healthcare professionals.

Industrial Relevance

I was the academic lead of Cities Changing Diabetes in Leicester city. Leicester was the first UK city to join the Novo Nordisk initiated and funded global programme.  As well as the academic role I communicated directly with industry funders Novo Nordisk, led a team of four and represented the programme locally, nationally and internationally.

Education/Academic qualification

Award Date: 14 Jul 2017

Doctor of Philosophy, UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK

Award Date: 1 May 2010

External positions

Lecturer, University of Leicester

24 Sep 20136 Jan 2021

Postdoctoral researcher, Pennington Biomedical Research Centre

23 Sep 201023 Sep 2013

Research assistant, Mary Immaculate College (Limerick)

20092010

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Prevention
  • Children and Families
  • Community

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