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Julia Sanders

Professor Julia Sanders

Professor of Clinical Nursing & Midwifery

School of Healthcare Sciences

Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Registered Midwife and Nurse, and researcher.  I hold a joint post between Cardiff University and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.  This provides exciting opportunities to lead on a programme Midwifery Research in the School of Healthcare Sciences whilst maintaining strong clinical links and leading the development of nurse and midwifery led research within the NHS.

I am the Chief Investigator for the £1m NIHR HTA funded POOL study. This UK based multicentre study will run from 2018 to 2023 and will provide robust evidence about the safety of waterbirth for mothers and babies. My methodological expertise centers upon randomised trials and the use of routine data in research.

I hold national roles including being the Wales NIHR Specialty lead for Reproductive Health and Childbirth. I am a member of the Oxford University’s National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Clinical Trials Advisory Group, and a member of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Midwifery Development Steering Committee, based at Cardiff University.

My research interests focus on maternity care and early years interventions. I was the Senior Clinical Research Associate on Building Blocks, the £5m Department of Health funded evaluation of the Family Nurse Partnership programme in England. This work is ongoing currently evaluating the medium term maternal and child outcomes of the programme.

Within my role of NIHR lead for Reproductive Health and Childbirth in Wales I lead a speciality research interest group, open to all professional groups.  The primary aim of the group is to develop and maximise recruitment into NIHR portfolio adopted studies across Wales.



















I am currently leading The Pool Study

 The POOL Study : Establishing the safety of waterbirth for mothers and babies: A cohort study with nested qualitative component. 

Funder   NIHR HTA

Applicants           Sanders J (Chief Investigator HCARE Cardiff University) , Brocklehurst P, Cannings-John R, Channon S, Cutter J, Gale C,  Hunter B, Lugg-Widger F, Mornatz L, Nolan M, Paranjothy S, Robling M.

Value     £ 1,105,952

Period   2018-2023



I am currently a co-investigator on the following studies:

 HOLDS: High or Low Dose Syntocinon for labour augmentation

Funder                  NIHR HTA

Applicants           Kenyon S, (CI, Birmingham University), Daniels J, Ewer A, Hewston R, Johnston J, Middleton L, Sanders J, Taylor R, Waugh J.

Value                    £1,830,851

Period                  2016-2020 Role: co-investigator


iHOLDS: High or Low Dose Syntocinon for labour induction

Funder                  NIHR HTA

Applicants           Sara Kenyon (Chief Investigator, Birmingham), Peter Brocklehurst Julia Sanders, Lee Middleton, Kim Hinshaw (KH), Ruth Hewston (RH)

Value                    £2,024,936.21

Period                  2019-2022 Role: co-investigator


Cervical Ripening at Home or In-Hospital prospective cohort study and process evaluation (CHOICE Study)

Funder                  NIHR HTA

Applicants           led by Sarah Stock (Chief Investigator, Edinburgh University)

Value                    £782,967.00

Period                  2019-2022 Role: co-investigator



ABA Feed: Assets-based feeding help Before and After birth (ABA)

Funder                  NIHR HTA

Applicants           Professor Kate Jolly (Chief Investigator, Birmingham University), Professor Christine MacArthur, Dr Alice Sitch, Dr Joanne L Clarke, Professor Pat Hoddinott, Dr Jenny Ingram, Dr Gill Thomson, Professor Fiona Dykes, Ms Pollyanna Hardy, Professor Tracy Roberts, Stephan U Dombrowski, Mrs Ngawai Moss, Professor Julia Sanders

Value                    £1.8m

Period                  2020-2023 Role: co-investigator



Evaluation of the Family Nurse Partnership programme in Scotland

Funder                  Scottish Government

Applicants           Canning–John R (Chief Investigator CTR, Cardiff University) Robling M, Lugg F, Paranjoythy S, Pell J, Sanders J, White J.

Value                    £227,700

Period                  2016-2020 Role: Co- Investigator




Career Summary

Current Employment  2017 - Present

Professor of Clinical Nursing and Midwifery,

School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University / Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.

Previous employments

2014 – 2017 Reader in Midwifery, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University

2005 – Present Consultant Midwife, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board

2008 – 2014    Senior Clinical Research Fellow         South East Wales Trials Unit, Cardiff University

1988 – 2004    MRC Training Fellow                          Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol

1995 – 1998    Research Midwife                               Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bristol

1992 – 1995    Teacher Practitioner /

Midwifery Sister                                  University Hospital of Wales

1990 – 1993    Research Fellow                                 University of Wales, College of Medicine

1987 – 1990    Midwifery Sister                                  University Hospital of Wales

1986 – 1987    Staff Midwife                                      University Hospital of Wales

1984 – 1986    Student Midwife                                  South Glamorgan Health Authority

1983 – 1984    Staff Nurse                                         Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Wales

Honours and awards

Welsh Government achievement in health innovation in Wales 2011
A personal award for exceptional service to the promotion of women's health in Wales.

Royal College of Midwives Awards 2012
Innovation in Practice Runner up for the novel teaching of perineal trauma assessment


I am currently supervising five PhD students. 

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Midwifery
  • Maternity safety
  • Early years' interventions
  • Neonatal care
  • Health Services organisation