• Room 06.314 - Medical Biology Centre

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Dr Kerr is open to PhD applications in the fields of:

- Interventions and evaluations to improve the transition from children’s to adult services

-Oncology and palliative care nursing

- Innovative educational interventions


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am a registered Specialist Nurse in oncology with the Nursing and Midwifery Council with previous clinical experience in oncology and palliative care.   My health services research involves interventions to improve services for young adults with life-limiting conditions.  Previous realistic evaluation research identified the factors associated with a successful transition from childrens to adult services.  I was awarded the International Journal of Palliative Nursing Researcher of the Year award in 2017 and runner up in the Royal College of Nursing, Northern Ireland Nurse Researcher of the Year in 2016. My educational research focuses on introducing and evaluating innovative pedagogical digital approaches such as virtual reality methodology and mobile spaced learning into the nursing curriculum. 

Research Focus

Current research

  • Co-investigator: All Ireland Co-Decide study: Place of end-of-life care for children. young people and their famiilies. Funder: HEA

Completed research

  • Principal Investigator: 'Evaluation of Virtual Reality educational methodology in increasing registered nurses’ self-efficacy in advocating for patients through effective engagement in multidisciplinary teams: a mixed methods study.'
  • Principal Investigator: ‘Registered nurses’ perspectives of the impact of completing the Specialist Practice in Oncology qualification on patient care and clinical practice: a qualitative study.'  Funder: Burdett Trust for Nursing.
  • Co-Investigator: 'A mixed methods evaluation of a co-designed evidence-based practice module underpinned by a VAK pedagogy'
  • Co-Investigator: 'A grounded theory on first year undergraduate nursing students' experience and application of asynchronous learning activities.'
  • Co-investigator: 'Co-design of a digital serious game to promote public awareness of pancreatic cancer.' Funder: Northern Ireland Pancreatic Cancer
  • ‘Feasibility study to explore the use of mobile spaced learning as a digital learning platform when teaching symptom management to undergraduate nursing student.  SPLENdidS study.’ Funder: Martha McMenamin Scholarship Fund.
  • ‘Factors associated with an effective transition from children’s to adult services by young adults with life-limiting conditions in Ireland.’ Funder: Public Health Agency and All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care.
  • ‘The usefulness and acceptability of a personal-health record to children and young people living with a complex health condition.’ Funder: Marie Curie Hospice.
  •  ‘An exploration of the impact on registered nurses of working in ward-based oncology care.’ 
  • ‘An evaluation of the development of audio-visual aids when teaching communication skills to undergraduate nursing students.’ Funder: Centre for Educational Development, QUB.
  • ‘Students journey through a BSc(Hons) Psychological Trauma Studies programme in the context of a post conflict society in Northern Ireland.’


  • Pathway Lead for the BSc(Hons) and Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Practice in Oncology programme.
  • Module coordinator for five modules.
  • Teach 'Uni Simulation' and 'Interprofessional education' (IPE) simulation with medical colleagues.


  • Shortlisted: QUB Staff Excellence Awards-'Leading by Example' category (2023)
  • Student Nursing Times Award: Team Finalist (Teaching Innovation of the Year) 2022
  • STAR Team Performance Award: 2021
  • STAR Recognition Award: 2020
  • Senior Fellow: Higher Education Academy: 2020
  • Winner: International Journal of Palliative Nursing 'Researcher of the Year' award: 2017.
  • Runner up: Royal College of Nursing Northern Ireland Nurse Researcher of the Year: 2016
  • Researcher Plus award at the PhD graduation ceremony at Queen's University Belfast: 2016.




  • Internal Coach on QUB Register
  • QGI mentor: 2021-2022
  • Lead: Specialist Practice in Oncology pathway
  • Chair: Staff Development Committee (1998-2023)
  • Assessor: Queen's Merit Award Higher Education Fellowship Scheme
  • School representative: Faculty Research Ethics Committee
  • Module coordinator: Five undergraduate and postgraduate modules
  • Member: School Research Committee
  • Member: School Education Committee
  • Mentor: School Mentoring Scheme
  • Mentor: Staff on probation
  • Personal Development Reviewer
  • Supervisor to International Research Associate (2021-2022)
  • Supervisor to Research Intern (2021-2022)


Grants/funding secured

2022: HEA Shared island North South Research Programme

2022: Northern Ireland Pancreatic Cancer

2020: Public Health Agency Conference Fund 

2019: Burdett Trust for Nursing 

2018: Martha McMenamin Scholarship (Team Application led by Dr Clare McVeigh)

2016: Florence Nightingale Travel Scholarship

2014: Marcia Mackie Award

2013: Palliative Care Congress Bursary Award 

2013: Public Health Agency and All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care



Membership of external organisations

Member: All Ireland Cancer Research Institute (AICRI) Living with and Beyond Cancer organising committee 

Executive member (NI representative): International Family Nursing Association-UK-Ireland chapter

Secretary: Palliative Care Research Forum Northern Ireland 

Member: All Ireland Palliative Care Research Network  

Member: Northern Ireland Cancer Network (NICaN) Systematic Anti-Cancer Therapies (SACT)

Member: Department of Health Northern Ireland Cancer Strategy

External Examiner: University College Cork

Member: Expert Steering Group-Pathfinders Neuromuscular Alliance Transition Study

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


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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