Marlene Sinclair


  • Shore Road, Jordanstown Campus

    BT37 0QB Newtownabbey

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


Prof Marlene Sinclair holds the first personal chair for midwifery research in the island of Ireland and is the Head of research at the Maternal Fetal and Infant Research Centre at the Institute of Nursing Research. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Midwifery Research in 2019 and the the All Ireland Maternity and Midwifery  Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to Maternity and Midwifery Services in 2020.

She is a registered midwife and nurse with almost 30 years of research experience including management of over 30 research projects, 250 published outputs (includes 78 peer-reviewed research papers) completion of 26 PhDs and current supervision of 8 PhDs.  She has examined 14 PhDs in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia and Johannesburg and was returned in the RAE 2008 and REF 2014. She was a panel member for the government led, UK Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) and has extensive experience of peer- reviewing research proposals for the NIHR, NI R&D, RCOG/WoW/ RCM and the HTA. She has been a successful collaborator in obtaining over €15m in research funding and four of these partnership projects have received European Union funding: EUROlinkCAT (€8.200,000) OptiBirth (€2,999,546), EUROmediCAT (€2, 996, 100) and a recent information technology project mHealth4Africa ICT-39 Horizon2020 for €1,999,995. Her most recent funding includes an ESRC grant for 1.95m Birth across Borders and DoH Island of Ireland Cardiac Network Project (2020). Her personal funding record is over £2m. In addition, Professor Sinclair established the International Doctoral Midwifery Research Society with funding from the Northern Ireland Research & Development Office. This research forum acts as a major platform for support and dissemination of research findings. She is the founder and editor of the Royal College of Midwives Evidence Based Midwifery Journal, distributed to almost 40,000 midwives. Her research interests are focused on judicious use of healthcare technologies, social media and information technology, antenatal education, medications and alcohol in pregnancy, maternal mental health and wellbeing including EMDR, obesity, infant feeding, epigenetics and the design and evaluation of complex healthcare interventions. She has extensive project management experience with specific methodological expertise in applied ARCS theory and online research data collection approaches. She is currently involved in two data linkage studies with the HBS exploring birth outcomes for mothers with GDM and those with complex healthcare needs and in particular, those with heart conditions. She has completed specific training in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) Training Part 1 (2017) and Part 2 (2018) and is the first midwife and researcher in the UK to have achieved this level of training. In December 2018, Marlene was invited to be a member of an expert group at GIST on trauma management and contributed to the design of a programme to develop a cadre of, frontline non-therapist professional and paraprofessionals to deliver AIP-informed interventions to relieve traumatic stress in low and middle-income countries.   

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

EMDR Level 1 and Level 11

30 Sept 201730 Mar 2018

Award Date: 30 Mar 2018

PhD, Midwives' readiness to use high technology in the labour ward, Queen’s University Belfast

1 Sept 199530 Jun 1999

Award Date: 7 Dec 1999

Master, Nurse Teachers' perceptions of the use of IT, Queen’s University Belfast

1 Sept 199130 Jun 1993

Award Date: 14 Dec 1993

External positions

Panel member, Ser Cymru

1 Jul 201528 Mar 2018

Chair, RCM Research Standing Committee

30 May 20151 Jul 2054

Vice Chair, RCM Education and Research Committee

14 Jul 201128 Jun 2014

panel member, REF 2014

14 Jan 20111 Jan 2014

panel member, RCOG Wellbeing of Women

1 Jul 200930 Jun 2012

Council Member, Royal College of Midwives Council

1 Jul 20081 Jun 2013

President, Doctoral Midwifery Research Society

1 Jul 2007 → …

panel member, Royal College of Midwives Normal Birth Campaign

1 Mar 200628 Mar 2012

lead Midwife for Education, NMC

1 Jul 2004 → …

Editor, RCM Evidence Based Midwifery

1 Jun 2003 → …


  • RG Gynecology and obstetrics
  • midwifery, antenatal education, birth, technology, breastfeeding, mental health, congential anomalies, medications in pregnancy, exercise in pregnancy, obesity, technology and childbirth, VBAC, pregnancy loss


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