Research Team

University of Stirling

Professor Anne Whittaker

Anne is a Professor of Nursing and Clinical Academic in Applied Alcohol and Drugs Research. She leads a programme of research on policy and practice in relation to the treatment and care of individuals and families affected by substance use. Her clinical background includes senior nursing, managerial and educational posts in addictions, blood-borne viruses, mental health, and learning disabilities services within the NHS and Local Authority Social Work. Anne has qualifications in mental health and learning disabilities nursing, alcohol & drug studies, psychology, psychotherapy and community care for people with complex needs. Anne completed her PhD in 2008, which explored the topic of fathers, fathering and fatherhood within the context of drug use/dependence. She has a longstanding research interest in the care of pregnant women who use drugs and is the author of the DrugScope book (2011) ‘The essential guide to problem substance use during pregnancy’.

Anne works collaboratively with a wide range of health and social science academics, clinicians, policymakers and service users, both nationally and internationally. She has designed and led interdisciplinary studies on the treatment and care of pregnant women, parents (mothers and fathers), and children affected by substance use. Her research interests are multi-level – from clinical practice to improve outcomes for families, to multi-agency and multi-disciplinary models and systems of care, to wider issues of health and social justice. Anne is currently Academic lead for the Families Research Theme in the Drugs Research Network for Scotland (DRNS).

Dr Emma Coles

Emma is a Research Fellow in the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions (NMAHP) Research Unit, University of Stirling. She has worked on qualitative research projects on a wide range of topics, including healthcare quality improvement, health inequalities, disability and social inclusion. Emma spent 6 years working on the Scottish Government-funded Smile4Life oral health and homelessness project at the University of Dundee, during which time she completed her PhD on homelessness and engagement with health promotion. 

Dr Elaine Robinson

Elaine Robinson is a Research Fellow in the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions (NMAHP) Research Unit, at the University of Stirling. Her research interests include surveillance, privacy, information access and information ethics. She has experience of both qualitative and quantitative research and has been involved in a wide variety of research projects, including public library use during COVID-19, cyber security issues in journalism, and digitalisation in Higher Education. Her PhD work at the University of Strathclyde focused on the development of a model acceptable use policy for public libraries in the UK.

Judith Warburton

King’s College London

Dr Polly Radcliffe
Polly Radcliffe

Polly is Senior Research Fellow in the National Addictions Centre, King’s College London. She has over twenty years of experience of qualitative research in health and social care that has focused on gender and identity in the context of the criminal justice system, substance use treatment and health care services. She has extensive experience of accessing and engaging hard to reach research participants and analysing qualitative data using thematic, discourse and narrative analysis. Prior to coming to the National Addiction Centre, Polly worked on research projects at the Institute for Criminal Policy Research and the University of Kent. Polly has a PhD in Sociology from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Dr Carol-Ann Getty

Carol is a Research Associate in the National Addiction Centre (NAC) at King’s College London. Her work has largely focused on the evaluation and implementation of behavioural interventions for the treatment of substance use disorder. Carol has experience of qualitative research that has focused on exploring service users’ acceptability and perceived benefits of Contingency Management interventions to enhance adherence to supervised methadone consumption among individuals with opioid use disorder. Prior to working at the NAC, Carol worked at Johns Hopkins Baltimore, implementing clinical trials to achieve and maintain abstinence in unemployed treatment-resistant drug users, promote medication adherence in individuals living with HIV and reduce HIV-related risk behaviours in injection drug users. She has experience of working within residential drug and alcohol detox units, substance use treatment centres and homeless hostels.

Dr Emma Beecham

Emma is an experienced health and social care researcher whose work has focused on child and mental health. She spent 11 years at the Louis Dundas Centre for children’s Palliative Care at UCL conducting a number of projects including a Cochrane review on the pharmacological interventions for pain in children and adolescents with life-limiting conditions, an interview study exploring advanced care planning in children with life-limiting conditions, and a part-time PhD exploring quality of life in children with high-risk brain tumours. She joined the Relations Study in 2023 and brings a wealth of experience in qualitative data analysis and work with vulnerable children and adults.

Stephanie Fincham-Campbell

Stephanie joined the Relations study in May 2023, and her work on this project has focussed on stigma and involving wider support networks inside and outside of treatment settings to support parents who use opioids. Stephanie joined the Department of Addictions at King’s College London in 2015 and is writing up her PhD. Her PhD explores social networks amongst people with alcohol dependence who frequently attend hospital to inform social network therapeutic approaches and questionnaires. Prior to her PhD, Stephanie worked on multiple projects as a Research Assistant for over five years and has a background in Psychology and Mental Health Epidemiology. Stephanie is passionate about reducing the stigma of addiction and mental health, and improving community support for people with multi-morbidities. She takes an intersectional and health inequalities approach to her work, considering multiple disadvantages, social determinants of health, and social exclusion. She has strong values on social justice and including people with lived experience in research projects.