• Room 05.313 - Medical Biology Centre

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to MSC/PhD applications in paediatric neurodisability and rehabilitation


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr. Claire Kerr is a Reader in Rehabilitation and a physiotherapist.  Her research aims to improve the health, well-being and provision of clinical services for children and young people with physical disabilities, in particular, those with cerebral palsy.  Her work explores the epidemiology, efficacy of therapeutic interventions, use of measurement tools and service provision for this population, as well as knowledge translation with allied health professionals that work with people with cerebral palsy and their families.




  • School of Nursing and Midwifery Maternal and Child Health Research group, Academic lead
  • MHLS Faculty Research Innovation Translation Committee, member
  • QUB Patient and Public Involvement Group, member


  • Honorary Fellow, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
  • British Academy of Childhood Disability-Castang Foundation Fellow, 2017-19
  • Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (Northern Ireland), Secretary 2017-21
  • Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (UK), Neurodisability Specialist Committee member (2019-)
  • Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (UK), Journal Editor (2022-)
  • Regional Representative (NI) to British Academy of Childhood Disability (2019-)
  • Invited Guest Editor for special research topic entitled ‘Exploring Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour in Physical Disability’ in Frontiers in Rehabilitation Science; Disability, Rehabilitation and Inclusion (2020-21)



Undergraduate teaching

  • Evidence Based Nursing for Quality Improvement (BSc Nursing)
  • Supporting Infants, Children, Young People & Families with Effective Transitions Across Services (BSc Children’s Nursing), module co-ordinator

 Post-registration /postgraduate teaching

  • Musculoskeletal Care: Skills and Principles (Post-reg Nursing)
  • Musculoskeletal Care: Fracture Trauma Nursing (Post-reg Nursing)
  • Musculoskeletal Care: Orthopaedic Nursing (Post-reg Nursing)
  • Dissertation Supervisor, MSc Advanced Professional Practice/Caring for Children and Young People with Complex Health Needs


  1. McCall E (part-time PhD), Queen’s University Belfast: The role of the health visitor in working towards positive outcomes for neonatal graduates and their families: developing a home-based, early intervention for pre-term infants (with Alderdice [University of Oxford], McNeill [QUB] and Franck [University of California, San Francisco])
  2. McCavert (full-time PhD), Queen’s University Belfast: Sleep disturbances in children with cerebral palsy (with Perra [QUB])
  3. Cooper (full-time PhD), Queen’s University Belfast: Social participation and quality of life in disabled young adults (with Linden [QUB])
  4. Alfouzan (full-time PhD), Queen’s University Belfast: Physical activity in children with cerebral palsy in Saudi Arabia (with Clarke [QUB] and Brown [QUB]).



Kerr C & Perra O. (Co-PI’s) Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register. Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland (2017-2023).

Malone (PI), Ryan, Kiernan, Brady, McConkey, Kerr, Donnelly & Donnelly. Participation in physical activity: what really matters to adolescents with physical disability? (2022-23; Health Research Charities Ireland-Health Research Board Joint Funding Scheme).

Ryan (PI), Fortune, Walsh M, Owens, Kroll, Walsh A, Kerr, Lavelle, Norris, Hensey. The Ignition study: Sharing stories to improve the experience of transition for young people with cerebral palsy (2022-23 Health Research Board Knowledge Translation Award).

Kerr C (PI). Social inclusion for children with complex disabilities. Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (2021-24).

Ryan (PI), Walsh M, Harrington, Fortune, Norris, MacLachlan, Owens, Hensey, Kerr, Kroll, Lavelle, Walsh A. Identifying insights and experiences of using digital technology to deliver services remotely to young people with disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic’ (2021-22, Union Chimique Belge).

Eastwood K, Kerr C, Perra O, Young I [all QUB]. Investigation of the link between maternal body mass index in early pregnancy and incidence of cerebral palsy in Northern Ireland (2018-2019; Queen’s University Belfast School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biological Sciences Scholarship Award).


Ryan (PI), Walsh M, Kroll, Walsh A, Kerr, Lavelle, Norris, McGahey, Hensey, Byrne. Improving transition from children’s to adults' services for young people with cerebral palsy living in Ireland (2019, Health Research Board, Ireland)

Nugent C [UU], Kerr C and Cleland I [UU]. Developing a digital toolkit for objective clinical assessment of activity (2019-2020; Northern Ireland Connected Health Innovation Centre/Invest NI

Kerr C (PI) and McConnell [QUB]. Acceptability and feasibility of vestibular nerve stimulation (VeNS) in children with cerebral palsy: an industry-academic collaboration (2019; Medical Research Council, Proximity to Discovery)

Kerr C (PI). Knowledge Transfer Fellowship: post-operative musculoskeletal rehabilitation in cerebral palsy. (2016-2019; Centre of Research Excellence-Cerebral Palsy; Australian National Health and Medical Research Council)

Adair (PI), Imms, Kerr. Sustaining Physical Activity in Community Environments (SPACE): Helping children with cerebral palsy achieve healthy physical activity habits for the future – a pilot study (2017-18 Australian Catholic University Faculty of Health Sciences project grant)

Kerr (PI). Improving the lives of children with disability using postural supportive equipment: scoping collaborative industry-academic-clinical opportunities (2017 Medical Research Council Proximity to Discovery Award)

Linden (PI), Kerr, Miller and Templeton [all QUB]. Improving long-term social, emotional, physical and educational outcomes for children and young adults with neurodisability (2017 DfE - Global Challenges Research Fund)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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