Gillian Shorter


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Happy to discuss potential PhD projects in the area of alcohol and drug use or dependence and/or trials methodology.


Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research Focus

Gillian's research is focused on those who are currently experiencing harm or are at risk of harm from alcohol and drugs. It aims to improve health and wellbeing, reduce stigma, and empower change. Her work has four strands:

  1. Identification of problems to help understand who to target with initiatives to support health (e.g. polydrug use epidemiology).
  2. Randomised Control Trial methodology ensuring that we know what works using the best possible methods (e.g. recruitment to trials, trial retention).
  3. Evaluation of interventions to determine what works and help those who are seeking help to achieve it (e.g. alcohol brief interventions).
  4. Developing priority outcomes to understand what stakeholders want to change following an intervention (e.g. core outcome sets or minimum data standards for alcohol and drugs and psychometrics).

Her work has been funded by the Medical Research Council, Health Research Board (Ireland), HSC Public Health Agency, Alcohol Research UK, Extern, Economic and Social Research Council, British Tinnitus Association, Placental Analytics, Karolinska Institutet, University of York/Home Office, Ulster University, University of Nottingham, and Linkoping University


Gillian Shorter has been conducting research in substance use for over 15 years. She completed her BSc (Hons) Psychology from the University of Liverpool in 2003 and obtained her PhD (Psychology) on patterns of polydrug use and mental health in 2009 from Ulster University.

Gillian took up a position as Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University in 2008. In 2012, she started a Medical Research Council funded Lecturership in Population and Clinical Trials Methodology in the MRC All Ireland Hub for Trials Methodology Research. This was part of the UK MRC Hubs for Trials Methodology Research, and she co-Led their UK wide Recruitment and Retention in Trials Working Group. Following that, Gillian took up a Research Fellowship at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin working in collaboration with the Health Services Executive Mental Health Services in South Dublin and the Trinity Centre for Healthcare and Practice Innovation. Gillian was promoted to Senior Research Fellow by Trinity College Dublin in 2016. She then took up a part-time Research Fellowship at Teesside University and a part-time Research Fellowship at Ulster University working with Inspire. In 2018, she left these positions for a full-time Lectureship in Psychology at Ulster University. Later in 2018 she was promoted to Reader in Psychology in the Institute of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University. She joined the Centre for Improving Health Related Quality of Life in the School of Psychology in July 2020.


Gillian's teaching includes;

PSY7100 Health Behaviour Change

PSY7104 Research Design and Essential Methods in Psychology

PSY7066 Quantitative Data Analysis II

PSY3131 Forensic Psychology and Crime

She supervises Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Research Dissertations on topics related to her research expertise; so too, dissertations for the MSc Clinical Health Psychology and BSc Psychology degrees.

Gillian has supervised six PhD Researchers to successful completion Dr Jane Rigbye, Dr Abby Hunter (McCormack), Dr Daria Kuss, Dr Lucy Handscomb, Dr Lydia Devenney, Dr Vanessa Gstrein.


Editorial Boards

PLoS One

Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy

Policy Panel Membership

Expert Panel Member Institute for Alcohol Studies & Chair of Research Grants Committee

New Strategic Direction in Alcohol and Drugs Policy Steering Group, Department of Health, Stormont

North South Alcohol Policy Advisory Group, Institute of Public Health in Ireland

Expert panel memberships

Trials Methodology Research Partnership (Trial Conduct Group & Health Informatics group)

Public Health Agency Northern Ireland Behaviour Change Group (COVID-19)

Chair of the Trials Methodology Research Partnership Digital Interventions Group (Health Informatics)

Division of Health Psychology Representative on the Research Board (British Psychological Society)

British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology Research Lead

British Psychological Society COVID-19 Behavior Change and Disease Prevention Taskforce member

Current Professional Society Memberships

Chartered Psychologist (Teaching and Research #188917) British Psychological Society (BPS)

Division of Health Psychology Full Member #188917

Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Health Psychology Exchange Open Science Lead

Society for Study of Addiction member

Kettil Bruun Society member

European Society for Social Drug Research member

International Network on Interventions for Alcohol and Other Drugs network member

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Dive into the research topics where Gillian Shorter is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 9 Similar Profiles


Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.