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Daniel Kelly  OBE

Professor Daniel Kelly OBE

Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research

School of Healthcare Sciences

Available for postgraduate supervision


Academic Interests

My academic background is in the social sciences, nursing and health care.

See book: Understanding Sociology in Nursing

My research interests have focused on the impact and experience of illness - primarily reflecting my clinical and managerial experience in cancer and palliative care - as well as the future potential of nursing and associated NHS workforce issues.

I am the fifth holder of the Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research at Cardiff University (Chair established in 1988).

Experienced in national and international research projects, and am experienced as a PhD Supervisor and Examiner, including international examining.

Between 2012-2016 Director of Research & Innovation followed by Deputy Head of School for Research.

From 2013-18 I also led the Optimising Service Delivery & Organisation Research theme- an active and succesful theme with several strands of funded research activity. I also review for several high impact journals and review for a range of funding bodies on a regular basis.

President of the European Oncology Nursing Society 2015-17, currently Past President, member of the Board of Directors of the European Cancer Organisation 2017-19, currently Co-Chair ECCO HPV Action Network

Current H index: 36, i10 index: 68 (since 2018).






























  • Kelly, D., Scott, K. and Speechley, V. 1996. Assessment, communication and consent. In: Mallett, J. and Bailey, C. eds. The Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures.. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Kelly, D. 1996. Male reproductive system cancers.. In: Tschudin, V. ed. Nursing the Patient with Cancer. Prentice Hall Nursing Series London: Prentice Hall., pp. 301-317.


Book sections






Research Interests

My research interests have developed primarily out of my background in social sciences and an enduring interest in the needs and experiences of under-researched groups, such as men with prostate cancer or children and young people with cancer. I am also interested in a range of professional topics such as the scope and potential of nursing; questioning the everyday or mundane aspects of healthcare practice and the relationships between the social, physical and emotional dimensions of illness experience & care work.

My research outputs have been included in RAE/REF exercises for various universities since 2001. 

I collaborate with colleagues from different disciplines in the UK and overseas and have worked with a variety of research funders. My main interests reflect my roots in the social sciences including naturalistic/qualitative/ethnographic approaches.

Current/Recent Research

Chairing the Steering Group of 'PROTECT-EUROPE', an EU4Health Project that champions gender-neutral vaccination programme in EU Member States to provide protection for everyone against cancers caused by HPV e.g. cervical, anal, penile, vaginal, vulval and oropharyngeal. This EU Project under the EU4Health Programme 2021-2027 and ECO is leading in consultation with other 33 project partners. 

'YARNS Transitions'. Co-PI Edinburgh University. A study of young adults with stroke & acute brain injury transitioning to rehabilition across the UK. Funder SameYou & RCN F

'The experiences of Executive Directors of Nursing in the wake of Covid-19: identifying priorities and actions for recovery and future learning from the pandemic.' GNC Trust 2022-23. 

'DASH Study: Digital interventions for Adolescent Sexual Health'. Burdett Trust. February 2022 for 12 months. 

'COV-Ed Nurse Study: Impact of Covid-19 on undergraduate nursing students'. ESRC/UKRI, UK-wide collaboration with Oxford Brookes, KCL, Birmingham, Dundee, Ulster, Coventry & Manchester Met Universities

'Young Adults Rehabilitation experiences and needs following cerebral vascular accident – a scoping study’, RCN Foundation & @SameYouOrg charity. UK-wide collaboration, project based at Edinburgh University. (2019-20). See YARNS website

'Impact of COVID-19 on the nursing workforce.’ RCN Research Society collaborative project between Warwick, Cardiff, KCL, Nottingham, Surrey, UCL, Barts Health, Plymouth Universities & The Florence Nightingale Foundation.

Detailed sexual function assessment during focal therapy for prostate cancer.’ Industry funding. UCL Centre for Targeted Intervention, Division of Surgery & Interventional Science. (Consultant and co-app, 2020 for 12 months)

'Transition from active treatment to palliative care - drawing on the experiences of parents and professionals in a paediatric oncology unt'. (Lothian Health Board, Royal Sick Children's Hospital and Nursing Studies, Edinburgh University, PI with Professor P Smith and R Mc Andrew 2013-15).


Mainly Doctoral Supervision,

Leadership and research methods at Masters & Doctoral level


Career Profile

Graduate of the integrated Social Science and Nursing degree programme at Edinburgh University. On qualifying I gained clinical experience in intensive care, hospice and acute oncology settings; including specialist oncology training at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London in the 1980’s.

I then spent five years in two Charge Nurse roles. The first, at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, was in the Sexual Health service at the height of the HIV crisis in the late 1980s. I then returned to Oncology at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh to manage a chemotherapy unit that specialised in high dose/trial treatments, including the treatment of young adults. I completed the MSc (Advanced Practice, Cancer Nursing) at the University of Surrey during this time.

I then moved into education as a Lecturer in Cancer Nursing at the Royal Marsden Hospital/ Institute of Cancer Research and contributed to the development of innovative cancer and palliative care degree programmes for several years.

In 1998 I was appointed Senior Nurse (Research & Development) at University College Hospitals and completed a part-time PhD in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2002. This was an ethnographic study of men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

For three years I was Senior Research Fellow working between UCL Hospitals and City University, London. I was then appointed Reader in Cancer Nursing at Middlesex University in 2005 with subsequent promotion to Professor of Nursing and Cancer Care.

I joined Cardiff University in 2011 as The Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research.

Awards and Appointments

2022 Appointed Trustee, General Nursing Council for England & Wales Trust 

2022 Visiting Professor, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University

2021 OBE in New Year Honours, for services to cancer care research and education. 

2018-21, Re-appointed 2022-26 to the RCN International Committee

2019 Honorary Professor, UCL Division of Surgery & Interventional Science, Division of Targeted Intervention.

2019 RCN Foundation Monica Baly Impact Award for oral history study of the earliest graduates of the first UK Nursing Degree programme at Edinburgh University 1960-70.

2018-21 Chair of Scientific Committee, International RCN Research Conference

2016 Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing. Published paper from RCN Fellows Collection 2020 here.

2015 Chair of Nursing Track Scientific Committee, ECCO15, Vienna.

2013 Winston Churchill Fellowship at Sydney University.

2012 Keynote speaker RCN International Research Conference, London,

Since 2011 Visiting Professor in Nursing Studies, School of Health and Social Science, University of Edinburgh

2011 Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

2008 Jeremy Gambrill Award, Prostate Cancer Charity, for 'COUPLES: Facing Prostate Cancer Together.’

2007 Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science.

1998 Awarded King’s Fund Doctoral Studentship.

1995 Clinical Nursing Research Scholarship to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York and Sunnybrook Cancer Centre, Toronto.

1985 RCN Cancer Nursing Society Award.

1982 Edwina Mountbatten Scholarship, Edinburgh University provided experience of nursing and community health projects in India.

Other external Activities

2022- Elected Convenor of RCN Fellows 

2023 Lead Governor,  Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

2018- Trustee of St Christopher's Hospice, London

Cardiff University Operational Lead for Research Capacity Building Collaborative in Wales

International Faculty member for Cancer & Palliative Care courses, Bethlehem University, Palestine.

Professional memberships

Professional Membership

Nursing & Midwifery Council:

  • Registered Nurse (Adult)
  • Specialist Practitioner (Community Nursing)
  • Registered Lecturer / Practice Educator

Royal College of Nursing

British Sociological Association

Academic positions

  • 2011 - Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research, Cardiff University
  • 2005-2011 Professor of Nursing & Cancer Care, Middlesex University
  • 2003-2005 Senior Research Fellow, City, London University
  • 1998-2003 UCL Hospitals, Senior Nurse Research & Development
  • 1991-97 Lecturer in Cancer Nursing, Insititue of Cancer Research & the Royal Mardsen Hospital

Committees and reviewing

2020- Editorial Board, Journal of Advanced Nursing

2019- Editorial Board, European Oncology & Harmatology

2016- Editorial Board, Journal of Clinical Nursing.

2015-2020 Editorial Board, Nurse Education Today.

2015- Editorial Advisory Board, RCNI.

2008-15, Associate Editor, European Journal of Oncology Nursing

2007- Editorial Advisory Board, Nursing Standard,

1999-2015 Editorial Board member, European Journal of Oncology Nursing. Now ex officio member. 

1996- Editorial Board, International Journal of Palliative Nursing


When I have capacity to take students I am interested in supervising topics of relevance including leadership, health systems and innovations. Clinical interests and expertise lie in prostate cancer, young oncology and end of life care.

Current PhD students:

'Supervision for Health visitors working with vulnerable families: an ethnographic study' (PhD, Co-supervisor)

PACT: Exploring Patient Acceptance of Multiparametric MRI for the Investigation of Prostate Cancer.’ (UCL, Division of Surgery & Interventional Science). (MRC PhD Fellowship, co-supervisor)

Managing concerns about clinical radiography provision in Ghana.’ (PhD, Lead).

The experiences of professionals when cancer is diagnosed in emergency settings.’ (PhD, Lead)

'Developing an evidence-based approach to neonatal and paediatric radiation dose optimisation methods.' (PhD, co-supervisor).


UK PhD Examining Experience: Cardiff, Coventry, KCL, City London, Glasgow, Stirling, UCLAN, Queen's Belfast, Canterbury, The Open University, Kingston, Huddersfield, Lancaster, City, Dundee, London South Bank, Surrey, Oxford Brookes.

International: University of Sydney, University of South Australia, University of Melbourne, University College Dublin.

Past projects

Co-supervisor with Professor Jonathan Lederman (UCL Medical School) PhD: ‘The concept of Quality in Life in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.’ (Alison Leary, awarded April 2006).

Co-supervisor with Professor Sheila Hillier (Queen Mary, University of London) PhD: ‘The experience of cancer in Bangladeshi children in East London.’ (Paula Kelly, Health Foundation Studentship, awarded December 2007).

Lead supervisor (Middlesex University) DHealth: 'Factors affecting the achievement of cancer waiting times targets in NHS Trusts: an exploratory study’. (Ann Driver, awarded September 2008).

Co-supervisor with Professor Rena Papadopoulos (Middlesex University) MPhil: 'Quality of life in colorectal cancer patients in Greece'. (Georgia Doga, awarded July 2008).

Co-supervisor with Professor Carol Cox (City, University of London) PhD: ‘The supportive care needs of patients diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma’. (Patricia Smith, St Bartholomew Hospital Research Studentship, awarded April 2008).

Co-supervisor with Professor Julienne Meyer & Dr Barbara Johnson (City, University of London) ‘Patient refusal of dialysis in end stage renal disease’.  (Helen Noble, St Bart’s Hospital Research Studentship. Awarded October 2009).

Lead Supervisor with Professor Betsy Thom (Middlesex University) 'Sexual health needs of hard to reach young people'. (Sara Nasserzadeh, awarded April 2010).

Lead supervisor (Middlesex University) ‘The nurse-patient relationship in patients diagnosed with personality disorders in secure mental health settings.’ (Anne Aiyegbusi, awarded 2010).

Lead supervisor with Professor Ben Hannigan (Cardiff University) ‘Fluctuating agency in adolescents with cancer.’ (Jane Davies, 2012-15, awarded February 2016).

Lead supervisor with Dr Katie Featherstone (Cardiff University) ‘The sibling’s role in Cystic Fibrosis: a dramaturgical study.’ (Amie Hodges, awarded May 2016).

Lead supervisor with Professor Jane Hopkinson (Cardiff University) ‘Risk perceptions of prostate cancer in men from BME groups and socially deprived areas in South Wales.’  (Sarah Fry, awarded November 2017). 

Co-supervisor with Professors Jeremy Whelan & Faith Gibson (UCL) A narrative study exploring representations of identity for young adults with cancer: from diagnosis through treatment.’ (Susie Pearce, awarded December 2017).

Lead supervisor with Professor Dianne Watkins (Cardiff  University) ‘Developing culturally competetent leadership for Nursing in Saudi Arabia.’ (Abdulrahman Aldawood, PhD, Awarded April 2018).

 Lead Supervisor with Dr Nick Courtier (Cardiff University)‘The diagnostic radiography role in Ghana: developing its potential.(Abdul Razak, PhD, F/T, awarded February 2020).

Lead supervisor with Dr Dikaios Sakaleriou (Cardiff University) ‘The role of the father in the care of children with congenital heart defect.’ (Peter Mc Nee, PhD, P/T, awarded March 2022).

Lead supervisor with Dr Carly Reagon & Dr Tessa Watts, (Cardiff University), ‘'Exploring the role of early career nurses caring for adolescents and young adults with cancer in specialist settings using narrative enquiry.' (Maria Cable, DProf, awarded March 2022).

Lead supervisor, with Dr Aled Jones, (Cardiff University). ‘Resilience of registered nurses working in Wales.’ (Judith Benbow, PhD, F/T, awarded June 2022).

Lead supervisor, with Dr Angela Parry (Cardiff University). ‘Leadership and medical laboratory service provision in Saudi Arabia’ (Rayan Khayat, PhD, Awarded March 2022).

Lead supervisor, with Dr Clare Bennett, (Cardiff University) ‘Innovation Leadership and Employee Behaviours in Nurse Recruitment in Saudi Arabian Hospitals: A Qualitative Study.’ (Mohamed Bindayel, Awarded March 2023.