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Ann Macaskill

Professor Ann Macaskill MA (Hos), PHD, CPsychol, HPC, PFHEA, AFBPS

Professor of Health Psychology, University Head of Research Ethics


As head of research ethics my role is to protect research participants and the University's reputation by ensuring through regular review that the university's research ethics policies and procedures meet UK legal requirements and European Commission directives and the requirements of external bodies who fund and/or support university research. I manage the implementation of university research ethics policy across the university to ensure that research undertaken by undergraduate students, postgraduate students and staff complies with national and international ethical standards. I oversee the development of systems to help ensure the integrity of research at Sheffield Hallam University. I chair the University ethics committee, oversee policy implementation across the 4 faculties and represent research ethics across the university on a range of committees. I provide quality assurance of the ethics and independent scientific review systems. I chair the faculty research ethics committee and I also teach, undertake research and supervise doctoral students.

  • About

    I began my career in psychology at the University of Aberdeen, followed by the University of Edinburgh where I undertook postdoctoral research, before returning to Aberdeen, and then on to the Applied Psychology Unit at the University of Sheffield. I came to SHU on a temporary contract in 1989 before there was a psychology degree and suggested that the time was opportune to develop one which we did, getting BPS approval in 1992. I was subject leader in psychology from 1991-2000, building up the department. I then became the Divisional Quality Co-ordinator. I became a Reader in Psychology in March 2001 and was awarded a Personal Chair in Health Psychology in February 2005. I have always been interested in research ethics, setting up the first research ethics committee at Sheffield Hallam University as this was required by the British Psychological Society for the new psychology degree. I became deputy chair of the University Research Ethics Committee in 2000 and became chair in 2002. My role was re-graded to Head of Research Ethics in 2008.

    I am trained as a CBT therapist as well as being a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist and a registered practitioner health psychologist with the Health Professions Council. I have worked closely with colleagues in the NHS, social care and the voluntary sector over a number of years. These contacts enable me to apply my psychological knowledge and I am keen to encourage students to see beyond their textbooks to real world applications of psychology.

    I teach personality and individual differences on the MSc Health Psychology and positive psychology on the MSc Developmental Psychology.

    I supervise a number of doctoral research students and some MSc health psychology students' research projects.

    I lead workshops and do presentations on research ethics and research integrity across the university for staff and research students.

  • Teaching

    Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

    Social Sciences and Humanities

  • Research

    • positive psychology, a relatively new area within psychology that aims to create more positive institutions, promote well-being and life satisfaction in the general population and create more of a 'can do' culture. I am currently undertaking some of this work with university students, aiming to explore how we help students cope better with the stresses associated with transition to university and maximise their learning experiences
    • forgiveness, grudge holding and vengeance seeking, conflict resolution and the facilitation of forgiveness (within positive psychology remit)
    • psychological determinants of health and illness
    • evaluation of therapeutic interventions

  • Publications

  • Other activities

    I undertake a range of consultancy projects. Recent examples include

    • Improving Outpatient Services for Older People, Royal Hallamshire Hospital Sheffield, CLARC funding
    • Promoting positive work places - voluntary sector organisation
  • Media

    Professor Ann Macaskill is a chartered health psychologist and is trained as a cognitive behaviour therapist.

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