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Professor Daniel Kelly OBE

Professor Daniel Kelly


Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research

+44 (0)29 206 88565
13.05, 13th Floor, Eastgate House, 35-43 Newport Road, Cardiff CF24 0AB


Academic Interests

My academic background is in the social sciences, nursing and health care.

See book: Understanding Sociology in Nursing

My research interests have focused on the impact and experience of illness - primarily reflecting my clinical and managerial experience in cancer and palliative care - as well as the future potential of nursing and associated NHS workforce issues.

I am the fifth holder of the Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research at Cardiff University (Chair established in 1988).

Experienced in national and international research projects, and am experienced as a PhD Supervisor and Examiner, including international examining.

Between 2012-2016 Director of Research & Innovation followed by Deputy Head of School for Research.

From 2013-18 I also led the Optimising Service Delivery & Organisation Research theme- an active and succesful theme with several strands of funded research activity. I also review for several high impact journals and review for a range of funding bodies on a regular basis.

President of the European Oncology Nursing Society 2015-17, currently Past President, member of the Board of Directors of the European Cancer Organisation 2017-19, currently Co-Chair ECCO HPV Action Network

Current H index: 36, i10 index: 63 (since 2018).


Career Profile

Graduate of the integrated Social Science and Nursing degree programme at Edinburgh University. On qualifying I gained clinical experience in intensive care, hospice and acute oncology settings; including specialist oncology training at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London in the 1980’s.

I then spent five years in two Charge Nurse roles. The first, at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, was in the Sexual Health service at the height of the HIV crisis in the late 1980s. I then returned to Oncology at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh to manage a chemotherapy unit that specialised in high dose/trial treatments, including the treatment of young adults. I completed the MSc (Advanced Practice, Cancer Nursing) at the University of Surrey during this time.

I then moved into education as a Lecturer in Cancer Nursing at the Royal Marsden Hospital/ Institute of Cancer Research and contributed to the development of innovative cancer and palliative care degree programmes for several years.

In 1998 I was appointed Senior Nurse (Research & Development) at University College Hospitals and completed a part-time PhD in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2002. This was an ethnographic study of men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

For three years I was Senior Research Fellow working between UCL Hospitals and City University, London. I was then appointed Reader in Cancer Nursing at Middlesex University in 2005 with subsequent promotion to Professor of Nursing and Cancer Care.

I joined Cardiff University in 2011 as The Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research.

Awards and Appointments

2022 Appointed Trustee, General Nursing Council for England & Wales Trust 

2022 Visiting Professor, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University

2021 OBE in New Year Honours, for services to cancer care research and education. 

2018-21, Re-appointed 2022-26 to the RCN International Committee

2019 Honorary Professor, UCL Division of Surgery & Interventional Science, Division of Targeted Intervention.

2019 RCN Foundation Monica Baly Impact Award for oral history study of the earliest graduates of the first UK Nursing Degree programme at Edinburgh University 1960-70.

2018-21 Chair of Scientific Committee, International RCN Research Conference

2016 Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing. Published paper from RCN Fellows Collection 2020 here.

2015 Chair of Nursing Track Scientific Committee, ECCO15, Vienna.

2013 Winston Churchill Fellowship at Sydney University.

2012 Keynote speaker RCN International Research Conference, London,

Since 2011 Visiting Professor in Nursing Studies, School of Health and Social Science, University of Edinburgh

2011 Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

2008 Jeremy Gambrill Award, Prostate Cancer Charity, for 'COUPLES: Facing Prostate Cancer Together.’

2007 Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science.

1998 Awarded King’s Fund Doctoral Studentship.

1995 Clinical Nursing Research Scholarship to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York and Sunnybrook Cancer Centre, Toronto.

1985 RCN Cancer Nursing Society Award.

1982 Edwina Mountbatten Scholarship, Edinburgh University provided experience of nursing and community health projects in India.

Other external Activities

2022- Elected Convenor of RCN Fellows 

2021 Elected Public Governor,  Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

2018- Trustee of St Christopher's Hospice, London

Cardiff University Operational Lead for Research Capacity Building Collaborative in Wales

International Faculty member for Cancer & Palliative Care courses, Bethlehem University, Palestine.

Professional memberships

Professional Membership

Nursing & Midwifery Council:

  • Registered Nurse (Adult)
  • Specialist Practitioner (Community Nursing)
  • Registered Lecturer / Practice Educator

Royal College of Nursing

British Sociological Association

Academic positions

  • 2011 - Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research, Cardiff University
  • 2005-2011 Professor of Nursing & Cancer Care, Middlesex University
  • 2003-2005 Senior Research Fellow, City, London University
  • 1998-2003 UCL Hospitals, Senior Nurse Research & Development
  • 1991-97 Lecturer in Cancer Nursing, Insititue of Cancer Research & the Royal Mardsen Hospital

Speaking engagements

'The final push to eliminate viral hepatitis – how can the EU lead the successful achievement of this global public health priority?' European Association for the study of the liver (EASL). European Parliament, October 2022. 

'Global perspectives on HPV cancer prevention.' American Society for Clinical Oncology Congress. Chicago, US, June 2022.

'Towards an inclusive culture in Hospice & Palliative Care?.’ Invited speaker, Moving Points in Palliative Care Conference, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin, Ireland. March 2021, (Online).

'Advanced renal and hepatic cancers: the role of TKIs and patient-centred support.’ Invited speaker, Annual Conference of Oncology Nursing, National Institute of Cancer, Mexico City. February 2021, (Online).

'The transition to end of life care for adolescents with cancer: issues and challenges.’ Invited speaker at the 50th International Congress on Paediatric Oncology (SIOP), Lyon, France, October 2019

‘Multi-disciplinarity and the Development of the Professional Profile of Cancer Nursing.’ White Nights St Petersburg International Oncology Forum, St Petersburg, June 2019

‘A European view of cancer nursing’ Invited Plenary at Turning the Tide Conference 2019, University of Plymouth, June 2019

‘Recognising the role of cancer nursing: a European perspective'. Plenary at The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care Congress, Auckland, New Zealand, September 26, 2018

The European Parliament, Brussels 'Trial-based interventions led by specialist cancer nurses', MEPs Against Cancer, May 16th 2018.

Invited speaker, ‘The future role of Oncology Care in Europe’, Heidelberger Pflegekongress Onkologie, Heidelberg University, Germany, June 2017.

UK Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress, 'Cancer nursing, professional challenges and European perspectives,' Harrogate, 2017.

Queens University Belfast ‘From description to theory in qualitative health research’, School of Nursing & Midwifery Studies, June 2017.

5-day course on ‘Cancer as a chronic condition’, Bethlehem University, Palestine, January 2017 (With Matthew Fowler)

Invited speaker at Italian Oncology Congress on ‘Euthanasia and advanced directives in the UK.’ Rome, October 2016.

Annual European School of Oncology Masterclass faculty member since 2013 teaching on a range of subjects including cancer workforce challenges in Europe, research and adolescent cancer care. Switzerland & Germany.

Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand, Invited plenary paper, Nursing Workforce issues in haematology: some ideals and realities.' Adelaide, October 2015.

Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand, Invited Plenary paper, ‘Palliative care in haematology: still problematic?. Invited plenary at: Haematology Association of Australia and New Zealand, Adelaide, Australia, November 2015.

Committees and reviewing

2020- Editorial Board, Journal of Advanced Nursing

2019- Editorial Board, European Oncology & Harmatology

2016- Editorial Board, Journal of Clinical Nursing.

2015-2020 Editorial Board, Nurse Education Today.

2015- Editorial Advisory Board, RCNI.

2008-15, Associate Editor, European Journal of Oncology Nursing

2007- Editorial Advisory Board, Nursing Standard,

1999-2015 Editorial Board member, European Journal of Oncology Nursing. Now ex officio member. 

1996- Editorial Board, International Journal of Palliative Nursing






























  • Kelly, D., Scott, K. and Speechley, V. 1996. Assessment, communication and consent. In: Mallett, J. and Bailey, C. eds. The Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures.. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Kelly, D. 1996. Male reproductive system cancers.. In: Tschudin, V. ed. Nursing the Patient with Cancer. Prentice Hall Nursing Series London: Prentice Hall., pp. 301-317.


Mainly Doctoral Supervision,

Leadership and research methods at Masters & Doctoral level

Research Interests

My research interests have developed primarily out of my background in social sciences and an enduring interest in the needs and experiences of under-researched groups, such as men with prostate cancer or children and young people with cancer. I am also interested in a range of professional topics such as the scope and potential of nursing; questioning the everyday or mundane aspects of healthcare practice and the relationships between the social, physical and emotional dimensions of illness experience & care work.

My research outputs have been included in RAE/REF exercises for various universities since 2001.

In Cardiff a team I led a Workforce Academy model to bring different disciplines together to explore demands, and possible ways forward, for issues facing the NHS workforce in Wales.

I enjoy collaborating with colleagues from different disciplines in the UK and overseas and have worked with a variety of research funders. My main interests reflect my roots in the social sciences including naturalistic/qualitative/ethnographic approaches.

Current/Recent Research

Chairing the Steering Group of 'PROTECT-EUROPE', an EU4Health Project that champions gender-neutral vaccination programme in EU Member States to provide protection for everyone against cancers caused by HPV e.g. cervical, anal, penile, vaginal, vulval and oropharyngeal. This EU Project under the EU4Health Programme 2021-2027 and ECO is leading in consultation with other 33 project partners. 

'YARNS Transitions'. Co-PI Edinburgh University. A study of young adults with stroke & acute brain injury transitioning to rehabilition across the UK. Funder SameYou & RCN F

'The experiences of Executive Directors of Nursing in the wake of Covid-19: identifying priorities and actions for recovery and future learning from the pandemic.' GNC Trust 2022-23. 

'DASH Study: Digital interventions for Adolescent Sexual Health'. Burdett Trust. February 2022 for 12 months. 

'COV-Ed Nurse Study: Impact of Covid-19 on undergraduate nursing students'. ESRC/UKRI, UK-wide collaboration with Oxford Brookes, KCL, Birmingham, Dundee, Ulster, Coventry & Manchester Met Universities

'Young Adults Rehabilitation experiences and needs following cerebral vascular accident – a scoping study’, RCN Foundation & @SameYouOrg charity. UK-wide collaboration, project based at Edinburgh University. (2019-20). See YARNS website

'Impact of COVID-19 on the nursing workforce.’ RCN Research Society collaborative project between Warwick, Cardiff, KCL, Nottingham, Surrey, UCL, Barts Health, Plymouth Universities & The Florence Nightingale Foundation.

Detailed sexual function assessment during focal therapy for prostate cancer.’ Industry funding. UCL Centre for Targeted Intervention, Division of Surgery & Interventional Science. (Consultant and co-app, 2020 for 12 months)

'Transition from active treatment to palliative care - drawing on the experiences of parents and professionals in a paediatric oncology unt'. (Lothian Health Board, Royal Sick Children's Hospital and Nursing Studies, Edinburgh University, PI with Professor P Smith and R Mc Andrew 2013-15).


When I have capacity to take students I am interested in supervising topics of relevance including leadership, health systems and innovations. Clinical interests and expertise lie in prostate cancer, young oncology and end of life care.

Current PhD students:

'Perceptions of innovation in nurse recruitment in two healthcare organisations in Saudi Arabia' (PhD, Lead)

'Supervision for Health visitors working with vulnerable families: an ethnographic study' (PhD, Co-supervisor)

PACT: Exploring Patient Acceptance of Multiparametric MRI for the Investigation of Prostate Cancer.’ (UCL, Division of Surgery & Interventional Science). (MRC PhD Fellowship, co-supervisor)

Managing concerns about clinical radiography provision in Ghana.’ (PhD, Lead).

The experiences of professionals when cancer is diagnosed in emergency settings.’ (PhD, Lead)

'Developing an evidence-based approach to neonatal and paediatric radiation dose optimisation methods.' (PhD, co-supervisor).


UK PhD Examining Experience: Cardiff, Coventry, KCL, City London, Glasgow, Stirling, UCLAN, Queen's Belfast, Canterbury, The Open University, Kingston, Huddersfield, Lancaster, City, Dundee, London South Bank, Surrey, Oxford Brookes.

International: University of Sydney, University of South Australia, University of Melbourne, University College Dublin.

Past projects

Previous PhD supervision (as main or co-supervisor):

The concept of Quality in Life in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.’ (2006, PhD, Co-Supervisor,University College London).

The experience of cancer in Bangladeshi children in East London.’ (2007, PhD, Co-Supervisor, Queen Mary, University of London).

'Factors affecting the achievement of cancer waiting times targets in NHS Trusts: an exploratory study’. (2008, DProf, Lead, Middlesex University).

'Quality of life in colorectal cancer patients in Greece'. (2008, MPhil, Co-Supervisor, Middlesex University).

The supportive care needs of patients diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma’. (2008, PhD, Co-Supervisor, City University of London).

‘Patient refusal of dialysis in end stage renal disease’.  (2009, PhD, Co-Supervisor, City University of London).

'Sexual health needs of hard to reach young people'. (2010, PhD, Co-Supervisor, Middlesex University).

The nurse-patient relationship in patients diagnosed with personality disorders in secure mental health settings.’ (2010, PhD, Co-supervisor, Middlesex University).

'The fluctuation of agency in adolescents and young adults with cancer.’ (2016, PhD, Lead, Cardiff University).

The sibling’s role in Cystic Fibrosis: a dramaturgical study.’ (2016, PhD, Lead, Cardiff University).

Risk perceptions of prostate cancer in men from BME groups and socially deprived areas of South Wales.’  (2017, PhD, Lead, Cardiff University).

A narrative study exploring representations of identity for young adults with cancer: from diagnosis through treatment.’ (2017, PhD, Co-supervisor, University College London).

Developing culturally apporpriate leadership for Nursing in Saudi Arabia.’ (2018, PhD, Lead, Cardiff University)

'Role extension opportunities in diagnostic radiography in Ghana and its potential to impact on patient care’  (2020, PhD, Lead, Cardiff University)

'Exploring the role of early career nurses caring for adolescents and young adults with cancer in specialist settings using narrative enquiry.' (2022, DProf, Lead, Cardiff University).

'Leadership behaviour, job satisfaction and the professional identity of medical laboratory staff in Saudi Arabia: An exploratory study.' (2022, PhD, Lead, Cardiff University).

'The role of the father in care of children with congenital heart defect.’ (PhD, Lead, Cardiff University)

'Resilience in Registered Nurses working in Wales.’ (PhD, Lead, Cardiff University)