Skip to content

Cheryl McQuire

Post-doctoral launching fellow

Children, young people & families programme, Places & communities programme, Changing behaviour at population level theme, Health inequalities theme

University of Bristol

Research Interests

Maternal and child health, alcohol research, mental health, methods to improve causal inference.

Cheryl's Academic Career Journey

Cheryl’s passion for applied research began when she was working on placement at Cardiff Prison, during her undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology. With support from senior staff, Cheryl was encouraged to take the lead on a range of research projects, alongside her clinical work. A particular problem at the time (and to this day), was the problem of so-called ‘revolving door’ prisoners; those who came in on short term remand with limited time to access support and help with their resettlement into the community. With a team of colleagues, Cheryl was able to use routine data to predict the length of stay of remanded prisoners, thus identifying a ‘window of opportunity’ in which support could be targeted at those most in need.

Cheryl went on to complete her MSc in Forensic Psychology, and gained further applied experience working with families with complex needs in a residential setting, including those with substance misuse issues, learning disabilities and mental health needs. This work ignited Cheryl’s interest in children, young people and families, and also in mental health and substance misuse. Cheryl went on to work for the Royal College of Psychiatrists/UCL where she completed systematic reviews and meta-analysis for National Institute for Health and Social Care (NICE) guidelines on Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health and Challenging Behaviour and Learning Disabilities. Her review on pharmacological interventions for challenging behaviour in children with intellectual disabilities was published in BMC Psychiatry.

Cheryl completed her PhD on the epidemiology of prenatal alcohol use and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders at Cardiff University. As part of this work, her research on objective measures of prenatal alcohol exposure was selected for a plenary presentation at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health annual conference, reported in the international press, and published in the leading journal Pediatrics. During this time, Cheryl developed a keen interest in methods to improve causal inference, publishing a review and causal diagram on the causal web of FASD, and securing funding to host causal diagram training for students and staff across the GW4 collaboration.

As part of her PhD, Cheryl produced a paper providing the first prevalence estimate of FASD in the UK general population, published in Preventive Medicine. She presented this work at national and international conferences and issued a press release, policy briefing and video abstract. This research generated over 200 items of media coverage internationally, and prompted a call to action from policy makers, clinicians, and stakeholders. Cheryl secured funding to support policy engagement from PolicyBristol and was invited to roundtable discussions by the Department of Health and Social Care, Welsh Government and All-Party Parliamentary Group for FASD (reports here and here). Bill Esterson MP secured a House of Commons debate where he used her research to argue for action on FASD prevention, calling for a “sea change in our approach and our building of awareness…especially among health professionals.” Her research was also featured in the report of the Alcohol Commission on Alcohol Harm. Read More


  • 2020
  • NIHR SPHR Post-doctoral launching fellow
  • University of Bristol
  • 2018
  • PhD in Epidemiology of Prenatal Alcohol use and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • Cardiff University
  • 2017
  • Research Associate in Epidemiology and Alcohol Research
  • University of Bristol
  • 2016
  • Research Assistant (Qualitative)
  • Cardiff University
  • 2013
  • Research Assistant (Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis)
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists/ UCL
  • 2013
  • Researcher
  • Forensic Psychological Services, National Offender Management Service
  • 2013
  • Research Support Administrator
  • University of Bath
  • 2011
  • MSc Forensic Psychology
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • 2009
  • Family Assessment Worker
  • Assessment in Care, Cricklade
  • 2008
  • BSc Applied Psychology
  • Cardiff University
  • 2006
  • Psychological Assistant
  • Her Majesty's Prison Cardiff

Useful Links

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.

OK Privacy Policy