Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Suzanne McDonald

Research Methodologist


Professional background

I am a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society ( and a registered Health Psychology Practitioner with the Health & Care Professions Council (; registration number: PYL 34149). 

Current Appointments

  • Research Methodologist and Specialist Health Psychology Advisor (Jan 2015-present), NIHR North East Research Design Service, Newcastle University, UK. This role involves providing support to academics and health professionals applying for national peer-reviewed funding for health and social care research. Website: NIHR Research Design ServiceN.B I am currently working abroad (see below)
  • Visiting Academic, The University of Queensland, Australia (April 2018-present). This role involves conducting research at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research. Website: UQ staff profile 

Previous Appointments

Academic and Professional Qualifications 

  • PhD Medical Sciences (health psychology), Newcastle University (Sept 2011-March 2016)
  • Stage 2 Health Psychology Qualification, British Psychological Society (June 2013-Dec 2016)
  • MSc Health Psychology; Northumbria University, England (Sept 2012 - June 2013)
  • MSc Public Health & Health Services Research; Newcastle University, England (Sept 2010 - Sept 2011)
  • MRes Psychology; University of Aberdeen, Scotland (Sept 2009 - Sept 2010)
  • MA Psychology(Hons); University of Aberdeen, Scotland (Sept 2005 - June 2009)


Social media

Follow me on twitter: suzannem5 


Research Interests

My main research interests are related to the use of n-of-1 methods in health psychology and behavioural medicine. Specifically, the use of n-of-1 methods to:

  • Understand intra-individual variation and predictors of health-related behaviour and symptoms
  • Identify individual response to health interventions
  • Optimise and personalise health interventions to individuals
  • Combine n-of-1 designs with advances in technology and novel just-in-time adaptive intervention designs
  • Incorporate participant-centred outcomes into research
  • Co-create knowledge in collaboration with n-of-1 stakeholders

I lead two n-of-1 special interest groups:

Other research interests include:

  • The development and use of patient reported outcome measures (PROM)
  • Changing multiple health behaviours prior to surgery (i.e. prehabilitation, the optimisation of patient heath prior to surgery)
  • Psychological and behaviour aspects associated with surgical interventions (weight loss surgery, breast reconstruction, ear reconstruction and face transplantation surgery)


  • Invited guest lecturer for the MSc in Health Psychology, King's College London (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Invited guest lecturer for the MSc Health in Psychology, Northumbria University (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Invited guest lecturer for the MSc in Health Psychology, Stirling University (2016, 2017)
  • Invited guest lecturer for the MSc in Health Psychology, Newcastle University (2016, 2017)