Dr Simon Pini

Dr Simon Pini


I am currently an NIHR Senior Research Fellow in Psychological and Social Medicine. In August 2021 I commenced a 5 year NIHR Advanced Fellowship, which focusses on the school lives of high school pupils living with chronic and life-limiting health conditions. I work closely with academics, clinicians and healthcare professionals associated with paediatric research in and around Leeds, and with those associated with the new Leeds Children’s Hospital.

I am an experienced applied qualitative health researcher and favour using interview and focus group based research to understand experiences of health and healthcare. I supervise and advise a range of students and early-career researchers in qualitative methods and have taught at under-graduate and post-graduate levels in this topic area.

I co-chaired the Qualitative Reflective Practice Group in the School of Medicine for several years, and am still actively involved in this network. I enjoy a variety of qualitative methods, but have particular expertise in using alternative interview methods, such as photo-elicitation interviewing.  

Prior to the NIHR fellowship, I worked for 3 years in Primiary and Palliative Care, and 10 years in the Patient-Centred Outcomes Research Group at St. James's Hospital, where I had several Research Fellow and Research Assitant roles on various projects. The majority of these roles involved working with oncology patients and professionals to understand and improve aspects of oncology care including; improved end of life planning conversations, enhanced symptom reporting, questionnaire development for chronic cancer, and expressive writing for patients following mastectomy.

I have a long-term and ongoing interest in teenage and young adult oncology. I worked for five years as a Specialist Learning Mentor with the Teenage and Young Adult Support Service in Leeds.

Following on from this I completed a PhD looking at the education engagement and wellbeing of teenagers with cancer. I have also had a Research Fellow post working on a European network of studies aiming to benchmark care for this population across Europe.


  • PhD - Psychology
  • MSc - Appplied psychology
  • BSc - Human psychology

Student education

  • I am currently supervising a PhD student in Academic Unit of Palliative Care, a DClin student, an MSc student in the School of Dentistry, and a pair of ESREP students in the School of Medicine. 
  • I am also supervising or mentoring several early career researchers in the area of paediatric research. 

Research groups and institutes

  • St Gemma's Academic Unit of Palliative Care
  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>