Learn more about our research areas and projects.

Our research projects are listed below they are organised into programmes within two research clusters.

Perinatal Epidemiology cluster

(led by Professor Helen Dolk)

The main theme of the perinatal (or peri-pregnancy) epidemiology cluster is optimising the use of routinely collected data from birth registrations, congenital anomaly registries and healthcare and administrative databases to increase understanding of the causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes and inequalities in their distribution, and to evaluate policies and interventions to improve perinatal health.


PhD Students

Lorna Lawther, start year 2012: Preconceptional Care for women with Epilepsy (supervisors: Dolk, Sinclair, advisor: Dr Jim Morrow)

Sarah McGrath: Start 2013, Programme Evaluation for Obesity in Pregnancy (supervisors Casson, Lagan, advisor Dolk)

Leke Amingkeng: Start 2014, Medication use in Pregnancy in Developing and Developed Country contexts (supervisors Dolk, Loane, advisor Casson).

Hafi Saad: Start 2014, Congenital Heart Disease: causes and outcomes. (supervisors Dolk, Loane, advisor McCullough).

Midwifery Research Cluster

(led by Professor Marlene Sinclair)

The main theme of the midwifery research cluster is the appropriate use of technology in the delivery of evidence informed maternity services. Technology is classified under three broad headings: technical devices, technical phenomena and new and innovative technological developments. Research conducted over the last ten years includes classification of birth technologies, medical device appraisal, philosophical analyses, e-supportive technologies and the exploration of new technological applications.


  • OptiBirth
  • Weigh to a Healthy Pregnancy (WHP).
  • Understanding the health behaviour of pregnant women and new mothers(i.breastfeed)
  • Alcohol use in pregnancy.
  • Obesity in pregnancy, motivation, exercise and diet.
  • Associations between maternal diet and pregnancy outcome of overweight and other obese women with and without Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.
  • Internet use and medication safety in pregnancy.
  • Back Together: Data Repository Tool
  • Backpain in Pregnancy: online survey
  • Prenatal screening: maternal preferences, policies and impact
  • Maternity and midwifery services
  • Childbirth cultures, concerns and consequences
  • Bullying among midwives
  • Domestic violence in pregnancy: data retrieval, data collection and challenges for the multiprofessional team.
  • Migrant women's experience of pregnancy loss in Northern Ireland.
  • Doctoral Midwifery Research Society

PhD Students

Lesley Dornan
Julie McCullough
Susan Leneghan
Victor Robinson