Professor Susan Klein

Professor of Health and Social Care

Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Education and Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Susan is a professor in trauma research who has a particular interest in identifying resilience-related factors pertaining to psychosocial adjustment and growth post-trauma at individual, community and organisational levels.


Susan played a pivotal role in establishing and providing a unique self-help service in the UK for survivors of sudden trauma, their families, and professional and voluntary personnel.

Susan graduated from the University of Aberdeen with an MA (Hons) degree in psychology and a PhD from the Faculty of Medicine. Her academic research career spans more than 20 years and includes projects of national and international significance. In 2006, The Federal Relief Commission (Pakistan Government) appointed her as a research advisor to their Mental Health and Psychosocial Relief Work Programme for victims of the 2005 Pakistan Kashmir earthquake. She contributed to the 2009 Department of Health/NATO evidence-informed guidance for the psychosocial response to major incidents (including terrorist events) and the Scottish Government 2013 Guidance on “Preparing for Emergencies: Planning for the Psychosocial and Mental Health Needs of People Affected by Emergencies”.

Since 2009, Susan has fulfilled a senior academic role at Robert Gordon University (RGU). As a Principal Member of the Institute for Health & Wellbeing Research she led research themes around psychosocial and mental health, environmental and occupational health, and remote healthcare. She was responsible for developing and implementing a research strategy to support evidence-based practice associated with enhancing lifelong mental health and wellbeing. 

In 2011, Susan became the Director of the Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research (ACTR). In 2012, she was promoted to Professor of Trauma Research (Faculty of Health & Social Care, RGU). She joined Anglia Ruskin University in February 2017 as a part-time Professor of Health and Social Care, with a specific remit to act as a strategic research advisor to our Veterans & Families Institute for Military Social Research.

Research interests

  • Disaster and critical incident psychosocial response management
  • Prehospital emergency care
  • Post-traumatic growth/ resilience
  • Psychosocial models of trauma care
  • Digital health and wellbeing innovations

Susan has a broad research interest in health and wellbeing, with a particular emphasis on psychosocial aspects relating to trauma within the clinical, educational and occupational domains. Her extensive international experience in the design and methodology of psychosocial trauma-related projects includes the evaluation of the impact of critical incidents on the mental health and wellbeing of military and emergency personnel, healthcare staff, and offshore workers.

Areas of research supervision

Current supervisions

  • The changing fraternal relationship: the impact of military service on brotherly relationships in the UK context (PhD)
  • Current practices in remote and rural offshore medical emergency response in the Oil and Gas Industry of Nigeria: A mixed method study (PhD)
  • Black, white and grey – a study of the interface and pathway between police, those in mental health distress and emergency health services (PhD)
  • Prevention of occupational irritant hand dermatitis in healthcare workers within NHS Grampian (DPP)
  • Psychosocial and physical factors influencing employment in adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (PhD)
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of Pre-hospital Emergency Medical Services in the United Arab Emirates (PhD)

Successful completions

  • The experiences of former UK military personnel re-entering the civilian world (PhD)
  • Resilience and well-being in a Scottish Police Force (PhD)
  • Psychological wellbeing following miscarriage from a salutogenic perspective (PhD)
  • Exploring structures and processes of medicines management in elderly hospitalised patients in the United Arab Emirates (PhD)
  • Promoting and implementing self care: a mixed methods study of offshore workers and remote healthcare practitioners (PhD)
  • The development and evaluation of a self-care intervention for informal caregivers of relatives with bipolar disorder (PhD)
  • A long term follow-up study of the survivors of the Piper Alpha oil platform disaster (MD)
  • Information and emotional support post-miscarriage: assessing the needs of women and their partners (MSc)


Currently, Susan's teaching responsibilities focus predominantly on research (eg, DProfHSC summer workshop on mixed methods research) and research degree student supervision. She has taught communication skills training, research methods and trauma awareness management across a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD courses in the UK and abroad. She was previously a Board member of the Doctorate in Professional Practice at Robert Gordon University.


  • MA (Hons), Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Aberdeen
  • PG Certificate in Counselling Skills [COSCA accredited], Centre for Continuing Education, University of Aberdeen
  • PhD, Faculty of Medicine, University of Aberdeen
  • World Health Organisation Certified Trainer for the International Study of Health and Stress Diagnostic Interview, University of Michigan and University of Harvard, USA

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Invited Member, Armed Forces Mental Health Working Group, NHS England
  • Invited Member, Scottish Trauma Advisory Group (STAG), Scottish Government
  • Associate Member, Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)
  • Visiting Professor, School of Health Sciences, Robert Gordon University
  • Honorary Professor, University of Highlands & Islands (UHI) Scotland
  • Honorary Professorship in the field of Psychotrauma and Behavioural Sciences, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Digital Health Institute. Well@WorkTM: A mixed methods evaluation of proof of concept. Klein, S., White, A., Morrison, L., Bell, S., 2015, £52,938
  • Dunhill Medical Trust. Peer support for community dwelling older adults to facilitate self care of chronic low back pain.  In collaboration with Universities of Dundee and Greenwich. Cooper, K., Smith, B.H., Schofield, P., Klein, S., 2013 -15, £80,156
  • Scottish Institute for Policing Research. Interagency adult support and protection practice of police and health and social care professionals: A realistic evaluation approach. In collaboration with Police Scotland. Sundari, J., Klein, S., Heyman, I., Diack, L., McCluskey, S., Menzies, C., Woolnough, P., 2013-14, £28,85
  • Shell International. International medical evacuations and repatriations: A retrospective statistical review (2008-2012). In collaboration with the Institute of Remote Healthcare. Klein, S., Williams, H., Norman, N., 2013-13, £17,190
  • Headley Court Trust. The identification of factors which conduce to and prevent rehabilitation and adjustment in military personnel following combat-related injury: A pragmatic evaluation of patients and their partners. Klein, S., Alexander, D.A., 2009-12, £153,861
  • Economic & Social Research Council. Are the Armed Forces Understood and Supported by the Public? British Social Attitudes towards Members of the Armed Forces and Contemporary Conflicts. In collaboration with King’s College London and National Centre for Social Research. Dandeker, C., Fear, N., Klein, S., Bailey, R., Wessely, S., Alexander, D.A., 2011-13, £344,197

Selected recent publications

Alexander, D.A., and Klein, S., (in press). Psychological reactions to trauma. In: I. Greaves, K. Porter and J. Ryan, eds. Trauma Care Manual. London: Hodder Arnold.

Alexander, D.A., Klein, S., Eastbridge, B.J., and Elliott, T., (in press). War and families. In: I. Greaves, J.J. Rasmussen, B.J. Eastman, J. Garner, eds. Principles and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Toner, S., Wiltens, D.H.A., Berg, J., Williams, H., Klein, S., Marshall, S., Nerwich, N., and Copeland, R., 2016.  Medical evacuations in the oil and gas industry. A retrospective review with implications for future evacuation and preventive strategies. Journal of Travel Medicine, pp1–7. doi: 10.1093/jtm/taw095.

Cooper, K., Schofield, P., Klein, S., Smith, B.H., and Jehu, L.M., (online, accepted). Exploring peer-mentoring for community dwelling older adults with chronic low back pain: a qualitative study. Physiotherapy. DOI:

Papadatou, Z., Cooper, K., Klein, S., MacDuff, C., and Steiner, M., 2016. Effectiveness of interventions for preventing occupational irritant hand dermatitis: a quantitative systematic review protocol. JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, 14(10), pp72-81.

Klein, S., and Mohammed, H., 2016. Reaching a Consensus on the Competency and Training for Healthcare Practitioners Working in Remote Oil and Gas Operations: A Collaborative Approach. Leading Article. The Journal of the Institute of Remote Health Care, 7(1), pp8-11.

Al Shemeili, S., Klein, S., Strath, A., Fares, S., and Stewart, D., 2016. A modified Delphi study of structures and processes related to medicines management for elderly hospitalised patients in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, (early view). The published version of this will be made available at

Stuart, D., and Klein, S., 2016. The use of theory in research. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 38(3), pp615-19. doi: 10.1007/s11096-015-0216-y.

Gibson Smith, K., Paudyal, V., Stewart, D., and Klein, S., 2015. The health and wellbeing of offshore workers: a narrative review of the published literature. The Journal of the Institute of Remote Health Care, 6(2), pp10-23.

Gribble, R., Wessely, S., Klein, S., Alexander, D.A., Dandeker, C., and Fear, N.T., 2014. British Public Opinion after a Decade of War: Attitudes to Iraq and Afghanistan. Politics. Article first published online: 16 SEP 2014 DOI: 10.1111/1467-9256.12073.

Recent presentations and conferences

Klein, S., 2016. Mental Wellbeing in Emergency Settings. Invited Presentation. Emirates Society of Emergency Medicine Scientific Conference, Intercontinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai, UAE, 7-10 December 2016.

Falconer, M., Alexander, D.A., Klein, S., and Woolnough, P., 2016. An exploration of well-being, resilience and vulnerability factors in Scottish police officers, and outcomes in response to ‘trauma’ exposure. Oral presentation as part of a Concurrent Session entitled “Optimising police-academic collaborative research on public health and protection: A Scottish Model”. The Third International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH), Amsterdam, 2-5 October, 2016.

Henderson, S., Forbes-McKay, K., Klein, S., Rennie, A., and Sheach-Leith, V., 2016. A salutogenic perspective of wellness: a comparative study of those with and without miscarriage. Oral Presentation. European Health Psychology Conference, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Aberdeen, 23-26 August, 2016.

Forbes-McKay, K., Henderson, S., Klein, S., Rennie, A., and Sheach-Leith, V., 2016. Predictors of enhanced mental wellbeing in women 13 months post-miscarriage. Oral Presentation. European Health Psychology Conference, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Aberdeen, 23-26 August, 2016.

Gibson Smith, K., Paudyal, V., Quinn, F., Klein, S., and Stewart, D., 2016. Self care behaviours of offshore workers: exploration using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). Oral presentation. Health Services Research and Pharmacy Practice Conference, Reading, 7-8 April, 2016.

Mohamed, H., Kennedy-Bolam, A., and Klein, S., 2016. Competency and Training for Healthcare Professionals working in Remote Environments Interactive Workshop, Remote Healthcare Middle East Conference, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 16-17 February, 2016.

Klein, S., 2015. Remote Healthcare Research: Lessons Learned. Keynote Address. UHI Health & Wellbeing Research Cluster Conference, University of Highlands & Islands, Inverness, 17-18 September, 2015.

Berg, J., Williams, H., Toner, S., Klein, S., Stilz, R., Nerwich, N., Marshall, S., and Mohammed, H., 2015. A-717-0012-00163 Medical Evacuations in the Oil and Gas Industry. A Retrospective Review with Future Evacuation and Preventative Strategies. Poster. The 14th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine, Quebec, Canada, 24-28 May, 2015.

Klein, S., 2015. Remote Healthcare Research: Lessons Learned. Keynote Address. UHI Health & Wellbeing Research Cluster Conference, UHI, Inverness, 17-18 September 2015.

Berg, H., Toner, S., Stilz, R., Klein, S., Williams, H., Pearson, J., Fraser, A., and Norman, N., 2015. OTC 22549 Remote Health Care: A Game Changer for the Arctic, J. Berg, S. Toner, R. Stilz; S. Klein, H. Williams; J. Pearson; A. Fraser; N. Norman. Paper. The Arctic Technology Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 23-25 March, 2015.

Klein S., 2015. Preparing For Emergencies. Invited workshop. Early Interventions for Trauma Workshop, British Psychological Society, 8 January 2015.