I am a learning disability lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University. Prior to my current post I was a research fellow within the Institute of Nursing and Health Research at Ulster University. I have held research posts at Ulster since 2002 within the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. I completed my PhD in 2004 at Ulster and more recently in 2015 I completed my Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice becoming a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I have longstanding experience in working with vulnerable groups on sensitive issues in health related research across the lifespan in a number of areas including childhood obesity, breast cancer, ageing, diabetes and psychological trauma. In addition I have been involved in undertaking evaluations of specialist mental health and challenging behaviour units, early interventions for preschool children with autism and developing and delivering interventions for chronic illnesses and psychological trauma for this marginalised population.