Dr Elaine Haycock-Stuart (Principal Fellow Higher Education Academy PFHEA, Churchill Fellow)

Senior Lecturer & Director Postgraduate Research, Principal Fellow Higher Education Academy PFHEA, Honorary Health Visiting Consultant


Dr Elaine Haycock-Stuart is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Postgraduate Research in Nursing Studies and Honorary Health Visiting Consultant NHS Lothian. She was awarded Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy recognition in 2015.  A Registered Adult Nurse, Midwife and Health Visitor  she has had clinical experience in Neurology, Intensive Care, all areas of maternity care in addition to urban and rural health visiting.  Elaine was Director of Learning and Teaching for the School of Health in Social Science (August 2013-Jan 2017 and a co-opted member of the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee leading enhanced learning and teaching experience for students and academic colleagues.  Elaine has a key role in Quality Assurance and undertakes teaching quality reviews across the University and external to the University. Currently she is a member of the University Student Recruitment Strategy Implementation Group leading work on portfolio development, innovation and review.  As part of this strategic group Elaine is involved in oversight for two strands of University wide developments 1) evidencing the Edinburgh student experience and 2) Managing the portfolio of University programmes and reviewing the process for approval and sustainability. She has also served on College Undergraduate Learning and Teaching and College Postgraduate Studies Committees. She has previously been Director of the undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programme and led the curriculum development for the current programme. She was prior to this Programme Director for the Masters in Nursing and appointed Board Member of the national Scottish MSc in Primary Care.  Elaine led the design and development of the pioneering World Health Organisation (WHO) Family Health Nurse programme at the University of Stirling; this was the first of the WHO Family Health Nurse programmes to be developed and implemented successfully and was a basis for other programmes internationally. Elaine is a founding Board Member for the Scottish Collaboration for Enhancement of Pre-Registration Nursing (SCEPRN) instigating the national co-ordination of pre-registration nursing curricular in Scotland for the 11 HEIs providing pre-registration nursing education.

The award of a Chief Scientist Office (CSO) Health Service Research Training Fellowship enabled Elaine to undertake doctoral studies in Nursing Studies at the University of Edinburgh (PhD1999) examining Sense and Susceptibility: How mothers' view accidental injury risk and develop safety strategies for pre-school children. Elaine continued to work as a health visitor in Central Scotland whilst studying towards her doctoral studies. Elaine is a Churchill Fellow and the focus of the fellowship explored unintentional injury prevention strategies in Australia and New Zealand.

With experience and a strong interest in community nursing and primary care services Elaine works at the interface between health and social care research and was the expert advisor to the Scottish Government and Vice Chair for the Research Advisory Group for the research evaluation Review of Nursing in the Community in Scotland.  She is currently academic advisor to NHS Education Scotland (NES) General Practice Nursing Programme Board for Scotland. Elaine previously was an invited member of the (NES) Modernising Nursing in the Community (MNiC) Education Subgroup and expert advisor to the Queens Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) Education and Professional Development Committee.  Elaine has been the Scottish representative for the UK Research Advisory Group of the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association (CPHVA).  Currently she is an invited member and Honorary Secretary of the international organisation ICCHNR which organises International Conferences for Community Health Nursing Research (ICCHNR). 

 Elaine’s overarching research programme has a service organisation and delivery focus underpinned by a strong nursing leadership and user and carer emphasis.  The main aims of the overarching programme of research are to improve quality of care and patient safety. Recent nursing research examines Student Fitness to Practise and Raising Concerns in clinical practice, midwifery and has focused on leadership with a focus on the community nursing setting. Elaine investigates person centred care and researches people’s experiences of health and healthcare services.

 Elaine has participated in leadership development including the Ingenious Women Leadership programme at the University of Edinburgh and currently is an Institute of Academic Development Mentor for senior academics working towards Principal Fellows and Senior Fellows recognition with the Higher Education Academy. She also undertakes clinical supervision in NHS Lothian.

 Elaine registered as a general nurse in Leeds (RGN 1986) and worked in intensive care and neurology prior to becoming a midwife in Leeds.  After midwifery experience in Leeds and Edinburgh she qualified as a Health Visitor and worked in community settings in rural and urban parts of Scotland. In 1998 Elaine became a lecturer in Nursing and Midwifery with a particular remit for community and family nursing at the University of Stirling prior to her present appointment at the University of Edinburgh in 2002.


Doctor of Philosophy PhD (University of Edinburgh)

Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy PFHEA

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Registered Teaching qualification.

Management Certificate

Diploma in Health Visiting RHV

Registered Midwife RM

Registered General Nurse RGN

Responsibilities & affiliations

International Conferences for Community Health Nursing Research (ICCHNR) http://icchnr.org/who-we-are-2/

Churchill Fellow, Churchill Trust https://www.wcmt.org.uk/users/elainehaycock-stuart1996

Community Practitioners' & Health Visitors' Association

Postgraduate teaching

Elaine in her role as Director of Postgraduate Research has oversight for the three postgraduate research programmes which include the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) and Masters by Research (MScR).  She has responsibility for the student admission process to the postgraduate research programmes in Nursing Studies and the student learning and teaching experience.

Elaine has previously Directed the Masters in Nursing Programme and continues to supervise students with their dissertations and organises the Supervised Reading course (SCQF level 11).

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Elaine particularly welcomes PhD supervision enquiries from potential PhD students in the following areas; service organisation and delivery and especially in relation to community nursing services, nursing education, fitness to practice, student learning, leadership, person centred care and users' perspectives of their care including maternal and child health. Elaine welcomes qualitative and mixed methods approaches to research.


Current PhD students supervised

Khairatul Azwa Binti Mohd Shamsuddin Research: Leadership in Nursing Research Utilization: A Grounded Theory Study.

 Zih-yong  Liao  Research: To explore the experiences of people who receive long-term care services from the perspectives of aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in the Taiwanese community: A focused ethnographic study.

Joanna Tam Research: End of Life care in Macau: A case study.

Busarin Eiu-Seeyok Research: Quality and safety of inter-hospital transfer care for critically ill patients from rural community hospitals to a tertiary regional hospital in Thailand: A focused ethnographic study.

Past PhD students supervised

2017 Dr Siew Pien Lee, PhD, The University of Edinburgh. Funded through a Malaysia University Scholarship

Title of Thesis:   ‘Children’s participation in decisions regarding their nursing care: an

Ethnographic study of children, parents and nurses in the oncology setting’.

2015 January Dr Elizabeth Chodzaza, PhD, The University of Edinburgh. Funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship

Title of Thesis:   ‘Midwifery Decision Making During the First Stage of Labour within the Malawian Context.’ An ethnographic study.

2014 January Dr Jing Zhang, PhD, The University of Edinburgh. Funded by Hangzhou Normal University Scholarship.

Title of Thesis:   ‘A grounded theory analysis of hospital based Chinese midwives’ professional identity construction.’

2013 November Dr Yuexian Tao, PhD, The University of Edinburgh. Funded by Hangzhou Normal University Scholarship.

Title of Thesis:   ‘Nursing students’ attitudes towards rural nursing practice.’ Mixed Methods.

2010 February Dr Julia Quickfall, PhD, The University of Edinburgh. Funded by Queens Nursing Institute Scotland.

Title of Thesis:   ‘The cross-cultural promotion of health: a partnership process?  Principles and factors involved in the culturally competent community based nursing care of asylum applicants in Scotland.’ Ethnographic study.

2008 July  Helen Yewdall, Master of Philosophy, The University of Edinburgh         

Title of Thesis:   ‘We wrapped him in cotton wool.’  A qualitative study examining the healthcare experience of parents following the burn or scald injury of their child and the effect of the Injury on the family.

Research summary

Elaine’s programme of research has an overarching focus on service organisation and delivery with an emphasis on investigating nursing leadership in the community setting, person centred care and people’s experiences of health and healthcare services including midwifery care. The overarching main aims of the programme of research are to improve quality of care and patient safety. Recent research examines student fitness to practise and raising concerns in clinical practice. She undertakes this research through qualitative and mixed methods approaches. Elaine’s experience and work in community nursing and primary care services connects research at the interface between health and social care alongside that of nursing education.

Her research examines the links between research and nursing practice, people’s experiences of health and healthcare services, particularly community services, nursing education and midwifery practice.

Recent completed research led by Elaine as PI includes two studies which identify 1) good practice in Fitness to Practise (FtP) processes in pre-registration nursing education in the 11 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Scotland and 2)  Students’ and Mentors’ Understandings of Fitness to Practice (FtP) Processes in Pre-registration Nursing Programmes in Scotland. The reports from this qualitative research are available from the funder NHS Education Scotland. 



Elaine also recently led as PI two research projects examining 1) student nurses’ perspectives of users and carer involvement in practice assessment in pre-registration programmes in the 11 Higher

Education Institutions (HEIs) in Scotland and 2) an evaluation of current practices to involve service users and carers in practice assessment The reports are available from the funder NHS Education Scotland website.



Previously Elaine led as PI research investigating Leadership: Understanding community nursing in Scotland funded by the Queens Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS), Mary Jane Carr Research Award.



For current research interests please see the Research Explorer Page:



Research activities

View all 2 activities on Research Explorer