Sonja McIlfatrick

Professor, Professor of Nursing and Palliative Care

  • Shore Road, Jordanstown Campus

    BT37 0QB Newtownabbey

    United Kingdom

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Research activity per year

Personal profile


Professor Sonja McIlfatrick is a Professor in Nursing and Palliative care and Dean of the Doctoral College and Director of Postgraduate research, with a cross-instiution remit.  Sonja was the former Head of School of Nursing at Ulster University (2017-2022).  She is an experienced clinical academic with over twenty years’ experience in nursing and palliative care practice, education and research. Within her previous role as the Head of Research for the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (2011-2014) she led the establishment of the All Ireland Palliative Care Research Network (PCRN), which included the establishment of priorities for palliative care research across the island of Ireland.  Sonja has published widely in academic and professional journals with over 200 research outputs and publications and has a successful history of grant acquisition, securing over 4 million pounds.  Professor Mcilfatrick is an internationally recognized leader in palliative care research and has been invited to deliver presentations at key national and international events, and is an elected Board member for the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC). Sonja is appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Maribor, Slovenia, University of Chiba, Japan and University of Technology, Sydney working with the Centre for Improving Palliative, Aged and Chronic Care through Clinical Research and Translation (IMPACCT). She has served on numerous international research-funding boards, and is a current member of the Marie Curie UK Funding Research Committee and research advisory committee member for UK Council of Deans of Health. She is an honorary fellow of three prestigous organisations, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Royal College of Nursing, UK and American Academy of Nursing and a UK Florence Nightingale Leadership Scholar. Sonja was awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 2022 for her services to education and public health.  Sonja also has a keen interest in doctoral education, serving as the past President of the International Network of Doctoral Education in Nursing (INDEN). Her current research interests include, palliative care in chronic illness, management of clinical symptoms; decision making at end of life; and public health palliative care

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

Visiting Professor

2018 → …

Visiting Professor, Nanjing University


Visiting Professor, University of Maribor

2014 → …


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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