Dr Alison Kirk


Physical Activity for Health

Personal statement

Alison is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity for Health at Strathclyde University and a core member of the Physical Activity for Health group.  She completed a BSc in Physiology and Sports Science at the University of Glasow (1998) before undertaking a PhD through the same university (completed 2003).  She was a Lecturer at Dundee University (2003-2008) before moving to Strathclyde University in 2009.


Has expertise in:

    Has expertise in:

    • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour and behaviour change
    • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in preventions and management of Non Communicable Disease (NCD)
    • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in individuals with diabetes


Exploring the use of Fitbit consumer activity trackers to support active lifestyles in adults with Type 2 Diabetes : a mixed methods study
Hodgson William, Kirk Alison, Lennon Marilyn, Paxton Gregor
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Vol 18 (2021)
A novel mobile app ("CareFit") to support informal caregivers to undertake regular physical activity from home during and beyond COVID-19 restrictions : co-design and prototype development study
Egan Kieren, Hodgson William, Dunlop Mark, Kirk Alison, Imperatore Gennaro, Maguire Roma
JMIR Formative Research Vol 5 (2021)
Sharing positive behavior change made during COVID-19 lockdown : a mixed-methods co-production study
Williams Lynn, MacDonald Bradley, Rollins Lesley-Anne, Janssen Xanne, Fleming Leanne, Grealy Madeleine, Kirk Alison, Young David, Flowers Paul
Health Psychology Vol 40, pp. 655-665 (2021)
Using social media to understand adults' experiences of physical activity as a child living with type 1 diabetes
Morrow Diane, Lennon Marilyn, Kirk Alison, Muirhead Fiona
Practical Diabetes Vol 38, pp. 8-13 (2021)
Positive change during COVID-19 : a mixed method approach to sharing understandings of the initiation of cross-domain positive change
Williams Lynn, MacDonald Bradley, Rollins Lesley-Anne, Janssen Xanne, Grealy Madeleine, Fleming Leanne, Kirk Alison, Young David, Flowers Paul
British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2021 (2021)
What have we learned about positive changes experienced during COVID-19 lockdown? Evidence of the social patterning of change
Williams Lynn, Rollins Lesley, Young David, Fleming Leanne, Grealy Madeleine, Janssen Xanne, Kirk Alison, MacDonald Bradley, Flowers Paul
PLoS ONE Vol 16 (2021)

More publications


  • Established 16 year track record of designing, organising and delivering a range of undergraduate and postgraduate classes including the development and validation of several new classes and overall review of degree programmes. Strong focus towards research integrated teaching and utilisation of innovative methods of teaching. Focus also towards developing transferable skills to improve employability of students during and after their undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
  • Evidence of leading teaching programmes through role as Course Director  for the BSc Sport and Physical Activity degree and co-ordinator for two new BA programmes (Sport and Psychology and Sport and Education).
  • Past leadership roles as examination officer, disability co-ordinator, year group co-ordinator.
  • Previous invited external examiner for BSc Sport, Physical activity and Health degree programme at the University of Leeds Metropolitan (2012-2016). Current invited external examiner for MSc Clinical Exercise Science at Edinburgh Napier University (2016-current).
  • Invited examiner for 8 PhD thesis (7 external) all in the area of physical activity for clinical populations: University of Birmingham (2007), University of Bristol (2009), University of Victoria, Australia (2011), University of Ulster (2011), University of Newcastle (2014), University of Stirling (2014), University of Strathclyde (2016), Deakin University, Australia (2017).
  • Successful postgraduate research supervision with eight completed (7 PhD and 1 MPhil) and five ongoing PhDs.


Research interests

  • 20 year programme of translational research exploring methods of supporting active lifestyles for diabetes prevention and management which has led to UK and International impact on health care policy and practice.
  • In total 65 refereed publications since 2003. 2198 citations from publications with evidence of increased momentum from 2014 (1265 citations since 2014). Current H Index of 23. 
  • Awarded over £870,000 in research funded since 2014, majority as PI. An accumulative total of over £2,500,000 in research grants since award of PhD in 2003.
  • REF 2021 - Five 3/4*papers identified as output and an individual impact case study developed from my research for consideration within university submission.

Professional activities

Integration of technology to support active lifestyles within Type 2 diabetes care
PhD Exercise, Protein and Vitamin D for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
PhD A theory based exploration of adding sugar to beverages in Lebanese public school children
Supporting active lifestyles in youth with Type 1 diabetes
MPhil An examination of undergraduate student health behaviours during their first year at University.
Oman Diabetes Association
Keynote/plenary speaker

More professional activities


Strathclyde COVID-19 Research Portfolio: Novel testing, digital health support and third sector collaboration for impact on social care
Bedford, Tim (Principal Investigator) Corrigan, Damion (Co-investigator) Dunlop, Mark (Co-investigator) Egan, Kieren (Co-investigator) Fleming, Leanne (Co-investigator) Flowers, Paul (Co-investigator) Grealy, Madeleine (Co-investigator) Hoskisson, Paul (Co-investigator) Hunter, Iain (Co-investigator) Janssen, Xanne (Co-investigator) Kirk, Alison (Co-investigator) Knifton, Lee (Co-investigator) Lenhart, Otto (Co-investigator) Maguire, Roma (Co-investigator) Morton, Alec (Co-investigator) Quinn, Neil (Co-investigator) Scott, Fraser (Co-investigator) Suckling, Colin (Co-investigator) Ward, Andrew (Co-investigator) Williams, Lynn (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 16-Jan-2021
Development of a cross platform, personalised digital intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve physical and mental well-being at work
Terzis, Sotirios (Principal Investigator) Kirk, Alison (Principal Investigator) Roper, Marc (Co-investigator) Wallace, William (Co-investigator) Gibson, Ann-Marie (Co-investigator) Cogan, Nicola (Co-investigator) Janssen, Xanne (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2018
Development a cross platform, personalised digital intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve physical and mental wellbeing at work.
Kirk, Alison (Principal Investigator) Gibson, Ann-Marie (Co-investigator) Janssen, Xanne (Co-investigator) Cogan, Nicola (Co-investigator)
Scottish Funding Council innovation application (value £59,000) involving a new cross faculty collaboration with University of Strathclyde staff from Psychology, Computer and Information Science and Physical activity for Health groups with an external Edinburgh based company called “Welbot”. Funding was awarded to assist the company to develop and evaluate a cross-platform digital wellness programme that provides tailored notifications (“nudges”) to each user, helping employees stay physically and mentally well in the workplace. The innovation of the programme is the health information which is delivered in nudges which learn and adapt dependant on the users’ actions. This project was short listed for a Scottish Knowledge Exchange Innovation of the Year Award in 2019.
01-Jan-2018 - 28-Jan-2019
Researching the impact and sustainability of the Legacy 2014 Physical Activity Fund (Spirit of 2012)
Rogerson, Robert (Principal Investigator) Burns, Henry (Co-investigator) Dunlop, Mark (Co-investigator) Kirk, Alison (Co-investigator) Lennon, Marilyn (Co-investigator) Rowe, David (Co-investigator)
29-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2017
Development and feasibility/pilot testing of an intervention to support active lifestyles in youth with Type 1 diabetes. The ActivPals programme
Kirk, Alison (Principal Investigator) Reilly, John (Co-investigator)
Development and feasibility/pilot testing of an intervention to support active lifestyles in youth with Type 1 diabetes. The ActivPals programme
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2016
Development and feasibility/pilot testing of an intervention to support active lifestyles in youth with Type 1 diabetes. The ActivPals programme
Muirhead, Fiona (Fellow) Kirk, Alison (Principal Investigator) Reilly, John (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2016

More projects


Physical Activity for Health
Graham Hills Building

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