Hazel Smith

Associate Professor

School of Health, Science and Wellbeing

Hazel is a registered midwife and holds a PhD in Paediatrics and Child Health. Hazel is the first Associate Professor of Maternal and Child Health within Staffordshire University. Hazel is also the first Deputy Lead for the Centre for NMAHP Research and Education Excellence (CeNREE), University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust. This role is focused on the development of NMAHP research. Hazel is an award winning researcher, Principal Investigator (national and international studies) and holds senior management roles in research.

Hazel is a published author and invited speaker (including keynote); reviewer (papers & grants) and grant awardee; mentor for staff within different organisations; worked on strategy development and service design within healthcare (clinical and research).

In addition, Hazel sits on the following, national and international, committees and networks:

• Health Research Authority’s London – South East REC

• Chief Midwifery Officer National Maternity Research Hub

• Chief Nursing Officer for England’s Policy Network

• Committee Member UK-Clinical Facility Network’s Workforce Development (Theme 3)

• Irish Research Nurses & Midwives (IRNM) Network

• Research Committee of the International Association Clinical Research Nurses

Professional memberships and activities

Nursing & Midwifery Council (UK)

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Paediatrics & Child Health (2019) from University College Cork, Ireland
  • MSc in Reproductive & Sexual Health Research (2009) from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, England 
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery Pre-Registration (2006) from Anglia Ruskin University, England


Hazel's research portfolio extends to being implemented into bedside care and referenced in national guidelines. An example of this is through Hazel's invited participation with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Guideline Development Group meeting ‘Nutrition Actions 2016 – 2018’. Hazel was tasked with providing recommendations to decide if the current guideline of exclusively breastfeeding for six months of life should continue or if the guidance needed revision.

The results of Hazel's research have been acknowledged and utilised by the WHO in “Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services”. In addition, other international bodies such as European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition; French National College of Midwives; Latin American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine have referenced Hazel's research on breastfeeding in their clinical guidelines and protocols.

The results, from Hazel's research that she has led, are directly influencing and guiding the clinical care of neonates and infants. Hazel also worked with national bodies on developing paediatric research capacity (Children’s Health Ireland/ Health Service Executive); developed the Whitehouse-Smith model for clinical research nursing/midwifery structures (implemented in over ten NHS Trusts) and supported establishing the Republic of Ireland’s first Reference Research Ethics Committee. 

Research interests

Maternal and Child Health. Hazel's primary interest is in the health, and service delivery, for neonatal care. 


Since 2015, co-investigator for Health Research Board (HRB) grants valued at €581,000 (equivalent to £497,000). This is in addition to other grants achieved to enable Hazel's PhD and networking.


Zorko, David; Smith, Hazel A; Choong, Karen et al (2023) Defining Pediatric Chronic Critical Illness: A Scoping Review. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 24(2):p e91-e103, DOI: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000003125 

Whitehouse CL, Raven J-L, Keable J, Parslow-Williams S, Smith HA. (2022) Midwifery research in areas of deprivation and need: the MeRIDiAN project. Journal of Research in Nursing. 27(1-2):131-140. doi:10.1177/17449871211067990

Fisher CA, Griffith CA, Lee H, Smith HA et al. (2022) Extending the description of the clinical research nursing workforce. Journal of Research in Nursing. 27(1-2):102-113. doi:10.1177/17449871211068631

Meenaghan, S.M., Nugent, G.M., Dee, E.C., Smith, H.A., et al. Health-Related Quality of Life in Pediatric Cardiac Patients After Extracorporeal Life Support. Pediatr Cardiol 42, 1433–1441 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00246-021-02629-7 

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021