Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Fay Smith

Research Associate



I am researching using maternal adiposity measures as predictors of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

I first joined Newcastle University in 1996, as a Research Associate, and then as a Lecturer in Research Methods. During that time I researched classroom interaction in primary school age children (UK, India and Nigeria). I then joined Oxford University's Department of Population Health to work on large, national cohort studies of doctors. I was particularly interested in doctors’ health and lifestyle. For example, I researched the adverse effects on health and well-being of working as a doctor, working as a doctor when chronically ill or disabled, and combining parenthood with a medical career.

My first degree (BSc) and PhD were both in Psychology. My research at PhD level, and ever since, has been concerned with the development of research methods (such as observation coding schemes) - with an emphasis on the psychometric qualities of research instruments.


Please see the link above, or Publons for a full list of my publications.


  • PhD “A multimethodological attitudinal study of teaching methods and their relation to student learning styles”, 1996, University of Sunderland.
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, 1992, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London
  • Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 2001, University of Newcastle


Professional Membership

  • Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • Chartered Scientist
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Previous Positions

  • Researcher, UK Medical Careers Research Group, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford. September 2011 to September 2018.
  • Lecturer in Research Methods, Education Department, Newcastle University. April 2000 to November 2007.
  • Research Associate, Education Department, Newcastle University. February 1998 to March 2000.
  • Research Associate, Transport Operations Research, Newcastle University April 1996 to January 1998.


Research Roles

I am researching using maternal adiposity (instead of body mass index) as a predictor of risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Esteem Indicators

Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Invited speaker: The development of a system for capturing classroom interaction. In: Measuring Behaviour conference 2002, Amstersdam, The Netherlands.

Invited author: research Capacity Building Network (ESRC Teaching and Learning Programme), May 2003, investigating classroom interaction using computerised observation.

Reviewer and rapporteur for the Economic and Social Research Council.

Reviewer for the American Educational Research Association.

Reviewer for the British Educational Research Association.

Reviewer for 'Learning, Media and Technology' (an international, peer-reviewed journal).

Reviewer for 'Gender and Education'(an international, peer-reviewed journal).


Postgraduate Supervision

I have successfully supervised Doctoral and Masters students:

2 PhD students (both as a co-supervisor)

1 EdD student (main supervisor)

8 EdD students (co-supervisor)

1 IPhD student (main supervisor)

3 IPhD students (all as a co-supervisor)

1 MED student (main supervisor)



Co-applicant: 'Leading partnerships for 14-19 educational provision', funded by the Centre for Excellence in Leadership. Oct 2006–Mar 2007. £60k

Co-applicant: ‘Embedding ICT in the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies: an evaluation of interactive whiteboards in the classroom’, funded by the Department for Education and Skills. Nov 2002–Oct 2004. £90k

Co-director and applicant: 'Interactive whole-class teaching in the literacy and numeracy hours', funded by the ESRC: May 2001–Oct 2002. £83k

Co-director and applicant: ‘An investigation into the impact of the NLS on the literacy learning of pupils with special educational needs', funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Sept 2000–Aug 2001. £46k

Co-applicant: 'Quality assurance and quality control in internal assessment across qualifications'; QCA; Jan 1999-March 1999; £18,831

Co-applicant: 'Reviewing the development of GNVQs'; QCA; Jan 2000-Mar 2000; £3,000

Sole applicant: 'Improving reading comprehension skills in undergraduates'; University Small Grant; Jan 2000-April 2000; £1,983

Co-applicant: ‘Whose role model are you anyway? A quantitative analysis of factors affecting the performance of student tutors’, University Small Grant. Jun 1999 – Sep 1999. £2,000