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Monica Busse-Morris

Professor Monica Busse-Morris


School of Medicine

Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a chartered physiotherapist and trials methodologist based in the Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University where we form partnerships with researchers and build lasting relationships with the public to tackle the big diseases and health concerns of our time. We aim to prevent ill-health, protect and prolong life by designing, developing and testing interventions to improve health and wellbeing and importantly work to understand the biological, environmental and social causes of disease and ill-health. I am also Director of the Health and Care Research Wales Faculty (, the core pillar of the All Wales national research career pathway, established in 2022.

I completed my undergraduate studies in Physiotherapy in South Africa and went on to complete further post-graduate qualifications in Ergonomics and Biomechanics. I have a longstanding interest in applied health research methods and hold a Diploma in Clinical Trials from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I serve on the Medical Research Council Clinical Fellowships Panel, the NIHR Advanced Fellowship Panel NIHR Health Technology Assessment Funding Panel. I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an elected fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, the National Academy for Arts and Sciences in Wales and a Level 7 qualified executive coach and accredited Insights Practitioner.

During my PhD studies, I used 3D motion capture, surface EMG and wearable activity trackers to explore muscle weakness and function in a range of neurological disorders and throughout my research career have continued to progress these methods in a range of multi-centre observational, mechanistic and interventional studies and in laboratory and community settings.  I am particularly interested in the development and evaluation of complex non-pharmacological interventions for people living with long term complex health conditions and exploring the interplay between modifiable and non-modifiable factors associated with disease progression. I have led a programme of research exploring mobility, physical and cognitive training and life-style approaches in Huntington’s Disease, many of which informed the publication, in 2020, of the first evidenced based international physiotherapy clinical guidelines for Huntington’s Disease.

I mentor early career clinicians and researchers in varied health and social care settings and lead a range of clinical studies and trials with national and international research teams, for example the DOMINO-HD consortium funded through the JPND Multinational research projects on Health and Social Care for Neurodegenerative Diseases, the NIHR funded LISTEN trial which is evaluating a co-designed self-management support intervention for long Covid and the NIHR funded TIPTOE trial which is focussing on older people with osteoarthritis and multi-morbidities. I have a longstanding commitment to public and patient involvement and codesign in research and established BRAIN Involve, the public involvement arm of the Wales Brain unit. I have active collaborations with researchers and clinicians working across a variety of health service settings (for example orthopaedics, critical care and autism spectrum disorder). My H-index (Scopus) is 28 and my life-time grant income is in the region of £28 000 000.00.

























Book sections




Research Grants


Health and Care Research Wales Health Research. £217,426. Developing Peer Led Movement-based Intervention to Improve Physical and Psychological Outcomes for Survivors of Torture and Trauma in Wales and Beyond (Peer-MIST).

GW4 Generator Fund. £19,643.00. GW4 community studying fatigue in people with multiple long-term conditions.


UKRI Zinc Catalyst Award. £62,550.00. Catalysing the TIPTOE self-management intervention for older adults with osteoarthritis and multiple long term conditions into practice.

NIHR HTA. £1,715,355.77. MulTI-domain Self-management in Older People wiTh OstEoarthritis and Multi-Morbidities.

Wellcome Trust –Translation of Concept Scheme (Institutional Translational Partnership Award (ITPA). £24,137. AcceSSIbleSofTware to Accelerate Non-commercial Trials for rapid patient impact.


GBHI, Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Society UK Pilots Award. £ 19,000. The development of resources to support the remote delivery of a physiotherapy intervention in traumatized refugees in Jordan.

Health and Care Research Wales Research for Public and Patient Benefit. £ 227317.00. Feasibility of TRAK-MSK, a digital self-management physiotherapy intervention, for people with musculoskeletal conditions.

Innovation for All. £24016.00. Co-design of a self-management workbook and training for older or adults with multi-morbidities and osteoarthritis.

Innovation for All. £20113.50. Creating the next generation of Huntington’s Disease Physical activity champions.

NIHR Long COVID in non-hospitalised individuals Call. £1,055,520.00. Long Covid Personalised Self-managemenT support- co-design and EvaluatioN.

Wellcome Trust –Translation of Concept Scheme (Institutional Translational Partnership Award (ITPA). £19,648. Guided Self-Help Movement-based Intervention to Improve Physical and Psychological Outcomes for Survivors of Torture and Trauma in Wales and Beyond.


Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Coproduction Award. £14825.00. Get cre-active – using the creative arts to explore challenges to physical activity for people with hip dysplasia.


JPND Multinational research projects on Health and Social Care for Neurodegenerative Diseases. €2,049,523.75. Multi-Domain Lifestyle Targets for Improving ProgNOsis in Huntington’s Disease

Health and Care Research Wales. £2,470,489.00. Centre for Trials Research Infrastructure renewal.

Health and Care Research Wales. Social Care Fellowship. £392,912.00. Feading, Eating and Drinking in Neurological Care: Sharing Practice to Transform Care (mentor).

Health and Care Research Wales. Social Care Fellowship. £414,349.00. A longitudinal investigation of new ‘Smart Speaker’ personal assistants to improve independence and wellbeing in social care settings (mentor).

ROCHE Pharmaceuticals. BN 40422. Natural History Study. Principal Investigator. £58,766.00.

ROCHE Pharmaceuticals. BN 40423. Pivotal Trial. Sub-investigator. £64,701.00.

ROCHE Pharmaceuticals. £42,020.00. GenExtend. Sub-investigator. BN40955.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. £29,986. AuTomated prioRitisation and categorIsation of sAfety and PharmacoviGilance Events in CTIMPs.

Health and Care Research Wales Research for Public and Patient Benefit. £229866.00. Treating Anxiety to PrevEnt Relapse in Schizophrenia - a feasibility trial.

NIHR PGfAR. £99889.00. Programme Development Grant. PARC: A self-management intervention to support Physical Activity for people with Rare neurological Conditions

NIHR HTA. £2 144 709.00. A definitive multi-centre randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of a community-based rehabilitation package following hip fracture.

Health and Care Research Wales. £1,733,333. South East Wales Trials Unit/ Centre for Trials Research Infrastructure funding.

Health and Care Research Wales. £806,983. BRAIN unit Infrastructure funding.


NIHR HTA. £1,193 million. A Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial of Sensory Integration Therapy versus usual care for sensory processing difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder in children: impact on behavioural difficulties, adaptive skills and socialisation

Multiple Sclerosis Society. £298509.00. Life-style, Exercise and Activity Package for People living with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation Research Grants in the field of Neurology. £411 00.00. Physical Activity and Exercise Outcomes in Huntington's Disease.

Research for Public and Patient Benefit. £223132.00. Trial designs for Delivery of Novel Therapies for Neurodegeneration.

Huntington's Disease Association of England and Wales. £10 300.00. Promotion of physical activity in Huntington's Disease clinics.


MRC Confidence in Concept. £39,490. Using wearable technology to predict perioperative high-risk patient outcomes.

MRC Confidence in Concept.  £49,902.00. Developing clinical applications for a novel multi-task functional assessment.

Wellcome Trust ISSF Cross disciplinary awards.  £8,935. Pilot study of motor coordination disorder in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

Wellcome Trust ISSF Cross disciplinary awards. £47,945. Automated assessment of timing and movement signatures in Huntington’s Disease.

Wellcome Trust ISSF ISSF populations pilot awards. £28,414. Feasibility of using consumer-targeted activity monitors in collecting physical activity data within the HealthWise Wales cohort: a pragmatic pilot study.

Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation Research Grants in the field of Neurology. £94,071. Exploring cognitive training as a non-pharmaceutical intervention for people with Huntingtons disease (mentor).


Division of Health and Care Research Wales. £1.2m. Brain Repair And Intracranial Neurotherapeutics- Wales BRAIN Unit.


FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION-1. £1,705,800. REPAIR-HD Human pluripotent stem cell differentiation, safety and preparation for therapeutic transplantation in Huntington's disease.

Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation. £172,805. ExeRT-HD Exercise Rehabilitation Trial in Huntington's Disease.

National Institute of Social Care and Health Research/ National Institute of Health Research. £687,362. Move to Exercise: Home based exercise for people with Huntington's Disease.


Wellcome Trust ISSF Seedcorn £45,000. Real Time fMRI neurofeedback as a treatment for Parkinson's Disease.


Neil Glendinning Research Grant Huntington's Disease Association. £99,230. Task Training in Huntington's Disease.

European Huntington's Disease Network. £38,384. Feasibility and benefit of inspiratory muscle training in people with Huntington's disease.


National Institute for Social Care and Health Research Health Research Funding Scheme. £122,720. Can community supported exercise benefit subjective wellbeing, physical activity levels and abilities in people with Huntington's disease? A randomised feasibility study and process evaluation.

Medical Research Council. National Prevention Research Initiative. £1,041,422.Health Eating and Lifestyle in Pregnancy Study (HELP).  


European Huntington's Disease Network. £36,000. Reliability and minimal detectable change of measures of participation, functional activities and impairments in individuals with Huntington's disease.

Physiotherapy Research Foundation Scheme B. £6,500.Respiratory Function in people with Huntington's disease: a cross sectional study.

Research Capacity Building Consortium Wales PhD studentship. £51,558. Respiratory Function in people with Huntington's disease: a cross sectional study.


Chief Medical Officer for Wales Research Budget. £9,938. Development and evaluation of a DVD resource for people with a neurodegenerative disease who may be at risk of falls.

Paul Jeffries Waters Bequest Fund to support research in Huntington' disease. £2,820. 


Physiotherapy Research Society. £500. Mobility and Falls in Huntington's Disease.



I hold a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, a Certificate in Teaching Statistics in Higher Education (Royal Statistical Society) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Trials (LSHTM). My research related teaching has a clear focus on development and evaluation of complex interventions in clinical settings and applied health research methods.



I was awarded my Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy in 1993 from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. After graduation, I worked clinically as well as in clinical supervision in university settings in South Africa, USA and UK for more than 10 years as well as undertaking further studies in Ergonomics and Biomechanics. I was awarded my BSc (Med) Hons. Ergonomics (first class) from the University of Cape Town) in December 1996 and my MSc (Med) Biomedical Sciences (distinction) from the University of Cape Town), South Africa in December 2001.

In 2002, I registered for a full time PhD at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff and was awarded my PhD in 2005. I have worked as a Lecturer, Senior lecturer, Reader and then Professor at Cardiff University since 2005.

I was awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (Kingston University) in July 2001, a Diploma in Research Methods (University of Wales College of Medicine) in May 2003, a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching Statistics in Higher Education (Royal Statistical Society) in February 2005 and a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Trials (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) in July 2017. I am a qualified Executive Coach (Level 7 Institute of Leadership and Management) and Certified Insights Practitioner.

Honours and awards

Fellow of Learned Society of Wales April 2021

Professional memberships

Registered Physiotherapist Health Professions Council PH 53577 January 1998

Member of Chartered Society of Physiotherapy January 1998

Fellow of Higher Education Institute July 2001

Academic positions

2022 ongoing Director Health and Care Research Wales Faculty.

2016 to 2022 Director Mind Brain Neuroscience Trials, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University, UK.

2015 to 2016 Deputy Head of School of Healthcare Sciences: Research and Innovation, Cardiff University UK

2014 to 2016 Professor of Healthcare Sciences, Associate Director South East Wales Trials Unit

2010 to 2014 Senior Lecturer: School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, UK

2005 to 2010 Lecturer: School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff University, UK

Committees and reviewing

Future Leaders Fellows Development Networks' Mentor 2021/22 cycle

Member of the STEMM1 (Medicine and Medical Sciences) Learned Society Scrutiny committee

Member of Cardiff University peer review college RWIF Innovation for All Funding Programme

Invited member DHSC/UKRI COVID-19 rapid response rolling call – College of Experts

Invited member of Wellcome Trust Translation-of Concept (ToC) funding panel

Member MRC Clinical Fellowships Panel

Member of NIHR HTA Commissioning Funding panel

Advisory board for Health and Care Economics Cymru

I regularly review manuscripts submitted for publication in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, European Journal of Neurology, Journal of Huntington's Disease, Trials, Clinical Science, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Physiotherapy, Physical Therapy, Neuromuscular Disorders, Clinical Biomechanics, Movement Disorders, Clinical Genetics and Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. I am a grant reviewer for Health and Care Research Wales (RfPPB) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) RfPB, HSDR and NIHR Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme and Advanced Fellowship programme, The Multiple Sclerosis Society, Parkinson's Disease-UK, Huntington Disease Association, BIG Lottery fund, Canadian Frailty Network, Stroke Association, Medical Research Council, National Institute of Health Research, Wellcome Trust, Multiple Sclerosis Society, CSO Scotland and the Clinical Research, Global Brain Health Institute and Academic Committee of the ABN Clinical Training Fellowships. I have reviewed final reports submitted to NIHR funding panels.


I am interested in supervising projects in:

  • Clinical Evaluation of Physical Activity and Sleep in neurodegenerative disease
  • Complex interventions and self-management support
  • Digital health interventions applied to long term conditions
  • Mixed methods applied health research

Current supervision.

  1. Eleni Glarou. Phd; School of Medicine. Understanding multi-party communication in therapy sessions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sensory Processing (SP) difficulties - the value of interaction analysis (start 1 October 2018).
  2. Andreas Markoulidakis. PhD, School of Medicine (start 1 October 2019). Identification and modelling of causal genetic and environmental factors for HD severity and progression.

Previous PGR projects.

  1. Movement Deficits and Physiotherapy Huntington's disease. Awarded 2013. Hanan Khalil
  2. A comparative analysis of physiotherapy services in different health environments. Awarded 2014. Abdulrahman Altowaijri.
  3. Respiratory Function in people with Huntington's disease: a cross sectional study. Awarded 2014. Una Jones
  4. Training the Brain in Huntington's Disease. Awarded 2017
  5. An exploration of Exercise Experiences in People with Huntington's disease: Who makes the time? Awarded 2019. Katy Hamana
  6. Exploring clinical applications for a novel multi-task functional assessment: matching appropriate technology to clinical need. Awarded 2021. Samuel Woodgate.
  7. Bethan Mair Edwards. 2A Window of Opportunity": Describing and Developing an Evidence, Theory, and Practice-Informed Occupational Therapy Intervention for People Living with Early-Stage Dementia. Awarded 2022.


As an executive coach and committed mentor of early and mid-career applied health researchers, I engage broadly in the allied health professional researcher development arena. I have been a mentor in the Future Leaders Fellows Development Networks’ Mentor 2021/22 and 2022/23 cycle and develop and deliver mentoring training for researchers working in applied health and social care research settings. I am an accredited Insights Practitioner and utilise this in a variety of researcher development initiatives specific to applied health and social care research. In my capacity of Director of Health and Care Research Wales Faculty, I am leading the strategic response to the Review of Research Careers in Wales jointly commissioned by Health and Care Research Wales, Social Care Wales and Health Education and Improvement Wales. I am a member of the Clinical Academic Training Forum Gender Inequalities Monitoring Principles and Obligations Working Group and the Council for Allied Health Professions Research.

I am a past elected member of the European Huntington’s Disease Executive Committee, an independent not for profit network dedicated to advancing research, conducting clinical trials and improving care for people affected by Huntington’s Disease. I have chaired plenary sessions at the past three European Plenary meetings, been a member of the Enroll-HD Scientific Review Committee, The Scientific and Ethics Bio advisory Group and a co-lead facilitator of the European Huntington's Disease Network (EHDN) physiotherapy working group where I was active in organising international group meetings for more than 6 years leading to established collaborations across the United Kingdom, Europe, USA and Australia. These collaborations have led to the publication of the first ever evidence informed clinical guidance for the management of physiotherapy for Huntington’s. These internationally recognised guidelines were published in Journal for Neurology in 2020. As a representative of the Cardiff Huntington's Disease clinic and Clinical Lead for Physiotherapy, I have spoken both locally and internationally on family days for people with HD where provision of knowledge and development of awareness may directly impact on a person's ability to cope with this particular long term neurological condition. I organised the highly successful Cardiff Huntington’s Disease Research Management Clinic Open days for 6 consecutive years and remain an active contributor to the event. I have been instrumental in establishing a Wales Huntington's Disease Involving People Group. This group is now joined with the Wales BRAIN unit, BRAIN Involve.