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Biography Dr Lisa O’Leary is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Health and Social Care (specializing in the area of intellectual disabilities). She teaches and leads modules on research methods on undergraduate, postgraduate, national and international programmes. Lisa is a member of the strategic working group for the Centre for Mental Health and Capacity Law . She has secured both internal and external funding as principle investigator, coinvestigator
and co-principle investigator from several funding bodies including the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Lisa has assumed several leadership positions during her tenure at Edinburgh Napier University. These included deputy research degree lead (2020-2023), where she led a seminar series for PGR students and engaged in activities on the university research degree committee (such as reviewing funding applications for bodies such as the Carnegie Trust).

She led the development of an innovative new MSc in Research Methods for Health and Social Practice., which was highly validated on an internal and external level. She was also involved in the working group that informed the development of the Masters in the Public Health. She as served on various committees during her tenure at Edinburgh Napier (including the school research degree committee (2018-2023) quality committee (2017-2018) and research integrity committee (2019-2021)

Her main research interests and expertise include addressing reasons for premature mortality of people with intellectual disabilities and designing /evaluating health promotion interventions for this population group. Lisa is a national and international recognised expert in these areas. She has published widely in this area and is an Associate Editor for a leading journal (Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities) in this area. In 2024, she was nominated to role of chair for the IASSIDD Health SIRG, which is the largest special interest group for international researchers within the area of intellectual disabilities.

Lisa is particularly interested in conducting research to improve management of long term conditions including respiratory health conditions of people with intellectual disabilities. Lisa has a strong interest in qualitative research and systematic review methodology. She has lead and collaborated on research projects, that have used these methodologies.

Lisa has 3 current PhD students, 2 of which are competitively funded ENU studentships (one as Director of Studies)

Lisa has also supervised MBA students and currently supervises MSc students on various topics and methodologies including qualitative research, systematic/narrative reviews and complex interventions and is open to any inquiries in relation to potential PhD or Masters supervision in these areas.

She is committed to professional development and coaching/mentoring researchers with their development. She is completing the ILM qualification in executive coaching and mentoring. She is applying this qualification in supporting the development of researchers within the school, university and researchers in HSR UK (
Research Interests Learning disabilities
Intellectual disabilities
Respiratory Health
Mental Health
Health Promotion
Social Inclusion
Health and Social Care Integration
Qualitative research methods
Systematic Review
Behaviour Change
Complex interventions
Teaching and Learning Programme Lead for MSc in Research Methods in Health and Social Care Practice
PhD Supervision Availability Yes