Dr Shirley-Anne Paul

Dr Shirley-Anne Paul


I am a PRINCE 2 practitioner with over ten years’ experience of delivering research and strategic projects in the areas of Health and Education. I am currently Senior Project Manager for My First 1000 Days, a major initiative aimed at improving health and social outcomes for families and children in the crucial first two years of life, in Leeds.

I obtained my undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology degrees from the University of Dundee. My postgraduate degrees, and subsequent postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh, were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and explored the visual and cognitive processes which control eye movements during reading. I spent another year at the University of Edinburgh where I worked as Teaching Coordinator in Psychology, ensuring high-quality educational provision for 500+ 1st and 2nd year students.

In 2013 I moved to the University of Leeds where I spent 6 years as a Research Fellow in the School of Education successfully delivering three major research projects: REACH (REAding for CompreHension; a Randomised Controlled Trial aimed at improving reading skills in secondary school students), Translating Science for Young People (a corpus-based study which explored how scientific knowledge relating to climate change is translated in texts accessed by secondary school students), and the Narnian Virtues Character Education English Project (a quasi-experimental study aimed at helping young people develop positive personal strengths).

I enjoy working on Randomised Controlled Trials and spent a year at York Trials Unit, The University of York, where I managed three high-profile studies: The Gentle Years Yoga Trial, ASSSIST-2 (Autism Spectrum Social Stories in Schools Trial-2), and the REACH (Reading for Comprehension) Primary Trial.

In 2020 I took a break from academia to gain project management experience in the VCSE sector and worked as Senior Project Manager for the Workers’ Educational Association where I was Project Lead for the North-West region, responsible for managing multiple adult education projects (totalling £11M+) as well as several strategic projects aimed at improving business processes. More recently I worked as Programme Manager for Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network where I successfully delivered two major Workforce programmes commissioned by Health Education England: Globalisation of HEE Star (aimed at providing proof of concept for a globalised version of the Star workforce transformation tool) and PA/AA Impacts which evaluated the impact of Physician Associate and Anaesthesia Associate roles within the NHS.

I particularly enjoy working on initiatives aimed at reducing inequalities in health and education. I am also passionate about ensuring equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and am currently part of the Athena Swan self-assessment team, aimed at supporting the Athena Swan renewal application, within the School of Psychology. I am a Trustee for Women’s Health Matters.


  • Senior Project Manager for My First 1000 Days project


  • PhD Psychology, University of Dundee (2010)
  • MSc Psychological Research Methods, University of Dundee: Distinction (2006)
  • MA (Hons), University of Dundee: First Class (2004)