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Professor Julia Sanders

Professor Julia Sanders

Professor of Clinical Nursing & Midwifery

School of Healthcare Sciences

+44 (0)29 206 87623
1.7, 1st floor, Ty Dewi Sant, Heath Park Campus, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN


I am a Registered Midwife and Nurse, a researcher and professional leader.  I hold a joint post between Cardiff University and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.  This provides exciting opportunities to lead on a programme Midwifery Research in the School of Healthcare Sciences whilst maintaining strong clinical links and leading the development of nurse and midwifery led research within the NHS.

I am the Chief Investigator for the NIHR HTA funded POOL study. This UK based multicentre study will run from 2018 to 2023 and will provide robust evidence about the safety of waterbirth for mothers and babies. My methodological expertise centers upon randomised trials and the use of routine data in research.

I hold national roles including being the Wales NIHR Specialty lead for Reproductive Health and Childbirth. I am a member of the Oxford University’s National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Clinical Trials Advisory Group, and a member of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Midwifery Development Steering Committee, based at Cardiff University.

My research interests focus on maternity care and early years interventions. I was the Senior Clinical Research Associate on Building Blocks, the £5m Department of Health funded evaluation of the Family Nurse Partnership programme in England. This work is ongoing currently evaluating the medium term maternal and child outcomes of the programme.

Within my role of NIHR lead for Reproductive Health and Childbirth in Wales I lead a speciality research interest group, open to all professional groups.  The primary aim of the group is to develop and maximise recruitment into NIHR portfolio adopted studies across Wales.


Career Summary

Current Employment  2017 - Present

Professor of Clinical Nursing and Midwifery,

School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University / Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.

Previous employments

2014 – 2017 Reader in Midwifery, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University

2005 – Present Consultant Midwife, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board

2008 – 2014    Senior Clinical Research Fellow         South East Wales Trials Unit, Cardiff University

1988 – 2004    MRC Training Fellow                          Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol

1995 – 1998    Research Midwife                               Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bristol

1992 – 1995    Teacher Practitioner /

Midwifery Sister                                  University Hospital of Wales

1990 – 1993    Research Fellow                                 University of Wales, College of Medicine

1987 – 1990    Midwifery Sister                                  University Hospital of Wales

1986 – 1987    Staff Midwife                                      University Hospital of Wales

1984 – 1986    Student Midwife                                  South Glamorgan Health Authority

1983 – 1984    Staff Nurse                                         Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Wales

Honours and awards

Welsh Government achievement in health innovation in Wales 2011
A personal award for exceptional service to the promotion of women's health in Wales.

Royal College of Midwives Awards 2012
Innovation in Practice Runner up for the novel teaching of perineal trauma assessment












The POOL study

Funder                 NIHR HTA

Chief Investigator      Julia Sanders, Cardiff University

Value                    £895,187

Period                   2018 – 2023

Late Pregnancy Ultrasound

Funder                 NIHR HTA

CI                            Smith G, University of Cambridge

Value                    £436,493

Period                   2016 – 2018 Role: Co-investigator

Evaluation of the Family Nurse Partnership programme in Scotland

Funder Scottish Government

Applicants           Robling M, Canning –John R, Lugg F, Paranjoythy S, Pell J, Sanders J, White J.

Value                    £227,700

Period                   2016-2018 Role: Co- Investigator

Developing individualised weight charts for pregnancy

Funder The Burdett Trust for Nursing

Applicants           Sanders J (CI, HCARE, Cardiff University), Hunter B, Channon S, Jewell K, Paranjoythy S, Warren L.

Value                    £164,084

Period                   2016-2018 Role: Chief Investigator

HOLDS: High or Low Dose Syntocinon for labour augmentation


Applicants           Kenyon S, (CI, Birmingham University), Daniels J, Ewer A, Hewston R, Johnston J, Middleton L, Sanders J, Taylor R, Waugh J.

Value                    £1,830,851

Period                   2016-2020 Role: co-investigator

ANODE: prophylactic ANtibiotics for the prevention of infection following Operative Delivery (ANODE)


Applicants           Knight M, (CI, Oxford University) Gray J, Hinshaw K, Ismail K, Juszczac E, Moore P, Sanders J, Thakar R, Tuffnell D, Rivero-Arias O, Enderby H, Sultan A, Pasupathy D.

Value                    £1,306,023

Period                   2015-2018 Role: co-investigator and Cardiff site PI.

Building Blocks: 2-6 - antenatal and postnatal parenting support to reduce maltreatment

Funder                 NIHR PHR

Applicants:          Robling M,(CI MEDIC); Canning –John R, Butler C, Cohen D, Owen-Jones E, Segrott J, Kenkre J, Sanders J, Jones K, Hood K, Holland S, Channing S.

Value                    £709,866.

Period                   2013 – 2018 Role: Co-Investigator

Fibrinogen concentrate versus placebo for treatment of postpartum haemorrhage: A Multicentre, prospective, double blind randomised controlled trial.
Funder             CSL Behring GmbH
Applicants:      P Collins, K Hood, R Cannings-John, J Sanders, S Paranjothy.
Value               £739,828
Period              2013-2014

Upright maternal position in second stage labour in women with epidural analgesia; a randomised controlled trial.
Funder             HTA
Applicants:      P Brocklehurst, D Bick, J Gupta, E Juszczak, C Macarthur, R McCandlish, P Moore, M Nolan, G O'Sullivan, D Regier, J Sanders, A Shennan, M Wilson.
Value               £2,685,760
Period              2009 - 2015

Building Blocks: Evaluation of the Family Nurse Partnership Programme in England.
Funder             Department of Health (Policy Research Programme)
Applicants:      M Robling, C Butler, A Kemp: J Kenkre: A Montgomery: K Pickett: D Torgerson; M-J Bekkers; S Channon; J Gregory; K Hawthorne; A Hay; K Hood; L Lowes; E Owen-Jones; G Richardson; J Sanders; G Taylor, L Wye.
Value               £5,210,098
Period              2008 - 2014

Building Blocks:2-6 - antenatal and postnatal parenting support to reduce maltreatment
Funder             Department of Health
Applicants:      M Robling, R Canning –John, C Butler, D Cohen, E Owen-Jones, J Segrott, J Kenkre, J Sanders, K Jones, K Hood, S Holland, S Channing.
Value               £709,866.
Period              2013 - 2018

Waterbirth Research Development Group,
Funder             CRC Cymru
Applicants:      J Sanders, K Hood, B Hunter, S Paranjothy.
Value               £2,500
Period              2009

Evaluation of the effectiveness and acceptability of using topically applied local anaesthetic, to reduce vulval pain associated with spontaneous vaginal delivery.
Funder             Wellbeing
Applicants:      J Sanders.
Value               £12,750
Period              2002

Training Fellowship in Health Services Research,
Funder             Medical Research Council
Applicants:      J Sanders
Value               £89,224
Period              1998 – 2004


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Midwifery
  • Maternity safety
  • Early years' interventions
  • Neonatal care
  • Health Services organisation