Meet the research team…

NI Veterans’ Health and Wellbeing Study research team launching one of their reports, June 2017

NI Veterans’ Health and Wellbeing Study research team launching one of their reports, June 2017

Prof Cherie Armour    Principal Investigator

Prof Cherie Armour

Principal Investigator

Professor Cherie Armour is a lecturer in Psychology at Ulster University, Coleraine. Cherie currently teaches on a final year Abnormal and Clinical Psychology module at undergraduate level and on the MSc in Health Psychology at postgraduate level. Cherie is additionally the undergraduate placement coordinator and secures year long placement opportunities for on average 50-60 students annually. Professor Armour supervises a number of research students at undergraduate, MSc, and PhD level.

Prior to lecturing at the University of Ulster, Professor Armour was a post-doctoral researcher in Psychotraumatology at the National Centre of Psychotraumatology, located at the University of Southern Denmark. She held this position for 2.5 years.

Professor Armour's primary research interests relate to psychological trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with a particular interest in special occupational groups such as the Military and the Police Service. A large body of Cherie's research thus far has focused on PTSD's latent structure. Alternative research interests include, but are not limited to, the longitudinal course of PTSD in veterans and risk and resilience factors across varying PTSD trajectories, the specificity of PTSD symptoms, the co-occurrence of PTSD with symptoms from alternative psychiatric morbidities such as major depressive disorder, psychosis, and dissociation, the epidemiology of childhood maltreatment and mental health disorders, latent variable modelling, and intimate partner violence.

Prof Siobhan O'Neill    Co-Investigator

Prof Siobhan O'Neill


Professor Siobhan O’Neill is a Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University. Her current research programmes focus on trauma and suicidal behaviour in Northern Ireland (NI) and novel interventions for mental health and suicidal behaviour. Siobhan is also a Psychologist with expertise in qualitative and quantitative (epidemiology and survey) research methods.

Prior to joining Ulster University in 2000, Siobhan completed a degree in Psychology at the Queen's University of Belfast and a Masters in Health Psychology at NUI Galway. She also worked as a Public Health Researcher, conducting evaluations of health services and users’ experience of care.

Between 2005 and 2008 Siobhan, along with Professor Brendan Bunting and Dr Sam Murphy, coordinated the largest ever study of mental health in Northern Ireland, the NI Research and Development Office funded, NI Study of Health and Stress. This study revealed the high proportions of the NI population who had unmet mental health needs and the extent of mental health disorders associated with the NI conflict. Siobhan is also a coordinator of the NI suicide study, a study of the characteristics of completed suicides and undetermined deaths. She is responsible for the dissemination of the research findings on trauma and suicide to policy makers and stakeholders in NI.

Siobhan is a member of the World Mental Health Survey Consortium, a Director of the Irish Association of Suicidology and an advisor to several organisations who provide services and interventions for mental health and suicide prevention. She sits on several national and international research committees. She has over 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including several ground breaking studies of mental health and suicidal behaviour in Northern Ireland. She is part of the World Mental Health Gender and Mental-Physical Comorbidity workgroups and led the world mental health paper linking mental illness with the subsequent development of cancer.

Dr Bethany Waterhouse-Bradley    Policy and Impact Advisor

Dr Bethany Waterhouse-Bradley

Policy and Impact Advisor

Bethany Waterhouse-Bradley is a Lecturer in Health and social care policy in the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences at Ulster University, Northern Ireland. She completed her PhD in Social Policy in 2012 at Ulster and taught in Social Policy, Sociology and the Transitional Justice Institute. Bethany worked in migration policy between Northern Ireland and Westminster before returning to take up an academic post in 2015. She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary examination of social justice issues and her research explores social movements, claims-making and agency in traditionally excluded groups.  She has worked as a researcher and support practitioner across a range of services including homelessness, migration and asylum, ageing and dementia.

Dr Debbie Roy    Project Co-ordinator

Dr Debbie Roy

Project Co-ordinator

Debbie’s research interests cross the disciplines of social, behavioural, and occupational health psychology. In each domain she is interested in motivation and studies mechanisms which underpin our well-being and behaviour, including our sense of self and identity. As a researcher she engages in mixed methods, having conducted extensive qualitative research within the NHS, and complex experiments both in the field, and in laboratory settings. Debbie was awarded her PhD in Psychology and MSc in Applied Psychology by the University of Ulster. Prior to this Debbie was a senior manager in the National Health Service, and worked in multi-disciplinary groups across a range of statutory and non-statutory services

Dr Jana Ross    Research Associate

Dr Jana Ross

Research Associate

Jana Ross joined the Veterans’ Health and Wellbeing research group as a Research associate in September 2016. She completed her BSc in Psychology at The University of Liverpool and her MSc in Foundations of Clinical Psychology at Bangor University. After that she worked as a Therapeutic care worker in Residential Community Care Ltd., supporting adults with learning disabilities and autism. Jana then completed her PhD, which focused on assessing the diagnostic criteria for Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She has published in a number of academic journals and her research interests are trauma and mental health, particularly PTSD.

Dr Margaret McLafferty    Research Associate

Dr Margaret McLafferty

Research Associate

Margaret McLafferty is a Research Associate in Ulster University. Margaret completed her BSc (Hons) psychology degree, a Master of Research, and her PhD at Ulster University.  Her research examines the impact of adverse childhood experiences and maladaptive parenting practices on future psychopathology and suicidal behaviour, focusing on factors which promote psychological wellbeing and the development of adaptive emotion regulation and coping strategies.   Margaret worked for Aware, a mental health charity, for several years and currently volunteers for a number of local mental health related charities. She has published in academic journals and is an Associate Fellow of the HEA. 

Mr Martin Robinson    PhD Research Student

Mr Martin Robinson

PhD Research Student

Martin joined the Veterans' Health and Well-Being Study in July 2016 enrolling in a PhD studentship aligned to the project. Martin formerly completed his BSc in Psychology at Ulster University, graduating in 2016. The title of Martin's PhD is "Design, Development, and Implementation of a Quantitative Psychological Well-Being Survey Among Military Veterans Living in Northern Ireland" and seeks to establish procedures for examining health and well-being among this group using quantitative and statistical methods. Martin's primary research interests are concerned with psychotraumatology, in particular the etiology of Complex PTSD, and the mental health outcomes of special occupational groups.