Honorary Senior Lecturer


Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Margaret A Coulter Smith (PhD , MSc, Dip , RNT, RCNT, General ICU Certificate (Barts, London)RM (North Lothian), RN (RVH, Belfast)) is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Nursing. She is also members of the Centre for Person-Centred Practice (full member)and the Centre for Applied Social Sciences (associate member).


Margaret qualified as a registered nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, in 1979. Before her full time academic career she gained over 10 years experience in clinical and clinical/ academic roles (A&E, general surgery, medicine, critical care, midwifery) as a staff nurse, midwife, senior charge nurse, joint appointment clinical specialist (I grade)/ clinical lecturer (University of Manchester). Margaret’s higher education career extended over 32 years in undergraduate and postgraduate education (including programme leadership roles in undergraduate nursing, masters advanced practice, critical care, masters in professional education) and she has supervised candidates on clinical doctorate, professional doctorate and PhD programmes from 2005. She has led a range of research projects, including as principal investigator (PI) on externally funded projects at University of Surrey and QMU. She was awarded a PhD in 2005 from the University of Surrey, Nurses’ early recognition of medical patients in transition states from acute to critical illness or cardiac arrest; The cue composition of clinical judgements. Her later research focus was on older persons with osteoporosis and high fracture risk. As PI for the ‘Lydia Osteoporosis Projectat QMU she led four successive research studies focusing on promoting bone health, mobility, and addressing moving and handling needs of older persons with osteoporosis in acute and community care settings. In 2019, a MOOC, ‘Caring for My Bones’ was launched reaching local, national and international practitioner audiences. 


Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Member of European Academy of Nursing Science.  

  • Member of RCN.  

  • Former Member of Centre for Person-centred Practice Research, QMU. 

  • Former Affiliate member of Centre for Applied Social Sciences, QMU. 

Professional Social Media:

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

Person-centred practice research: Healthcare Interventions.


Research interests: Osteoporosis, promoting bone health in older persons, public health, clinical judgement and decision making, patient assessment, healthcare interventions (moving & handling), professional education, and evaluation research.

Research and development pillar aligned to: Person-centred practice research: Healthcare Interventions.

Active research interests: As principal investigator for the Lydia Osteoporosis Project I undertook mixed methods, action research, professional education and evaluation projects in acute and community settings (LOP 2, LOP 3 and LOP Plus). These projects built on our research in the firstLydia Osteoporosis Project(LOP 1). The overall aim of the project was to raise awareness of osteoporosis and older peoples’ moving and handling needs in acute and community care. We undertook a range of dissemination activities including publication of findings for a range of audiences, launched a bespoke interactive website commissioned from an external IT company, and most recently, a MOOC, ‘Caring for My Bones’ (see above).  

Methodological interests included quantitative (survey style and observational designs), qualitative research (grounded theory, case study and phenomenology), mixed methods and evaluation research. Experienced in undertaking systematic reviews and quantitative and qualitative syntheses of evidence.

Margaret has provided doctoral supervision for a range of candidates completing PhDs or Professional Doctorates in Health Sciences and Applied Social Sciences at QMU. Subject areas have included health ombudsman, workforce sustainability in social care, out of hospital cardiac arrest in UAE, adolescents and propensity for risk taking behavior in Oman, nurse preceptorship in Egypt, advanced nurse practitioners in primary care in Scotland, cirrhosis screening using a portable Fibroscan© device in the community in Scotland, community district nursing, partnership working in persons with cystic fibrosis and, community midwifery consultations with overweight pregnant women. 

Doctoral student completions: 7 

Internal and external examining experience since 2005. 

Research Centre Name 

Centre for Person-Centred Practice (full member)* until retirement in December 2020

Centre for Applied Social Sciences (affiliate member)* 



Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

  • 2020 LOP Plus*. Principal Investigator Lydia Osteoporosis Plus Project. Funding of £94,908 confirmed 09.12.2019.
  • 2018- 2020. LOP 3*. Principal Investigator Action Research and Evaluation Project (Lydia Osteoporosis Project 3) to increase frontline healthcare staff’s awareness of osteoporosis care in the community. External funding, £78k.
  • 2016-2018. LOP 2*. Principal Investigator Lydia Osteoporosis Project 2 (LOP 2). An Action Research and Evaluation Study focusing on moving and handling practice in the acute care of older people with osteoporosis.* External funding in excess of £90K from a private benefactor.
  • 2011- 2015. LOP 1* Principal Investigator for the Lydia Osteoporosis Project (LOP 1). A research, education, implementation and dissemination project.* External funding of £560,000 from a private benefactor. 
  • 2010 Invited external member of Clinical Academic Research Careers Proposal Team for Critical Care practitioners with University of Edinburgh * (Project Lead Dr G Huby).
  • 2009 Evaluation of Education Programme for SHSWs and APs in children and young people’s health* Principal Investigator, QMU, Research Funding (£35,000) NHS Education Scotland, Principal Investigator.
  • 2008 Evaluation of the Succession Planning Development Pathway for NMAHP Consultants in Scotland Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh. Research Assistant. Lead investigators, Dr G Huby, Dr M McCreaddie.
  • 2008 Patients suffering severe and enduring pain in surgical wards Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh, Lead investigators, Dr J Tocher, Dr S Rodgers. University of Edinburgh Research Futures funding. £5000
  • 2006- 2007 Evaluation of physical assessment training Principal Investigator (Surrey research sites) collaborative project University of Brighton & University of Surrey, CI Professor Julie Scholes. Research funding £49,000 (Skills for Health & S&SSHA)
  • 2004 Nurses’ early recognition of medical patients in transition states from acute to critical illness or cardiac arrest; The cue composition of clinical judgements, unpublished PhD Thesis, EIHMS, University of Surrey. Funding for 1 year data collection (£29,000) from General Nursing Council Trust for England & Wales
  • 1986 British Commonwealth Nurses’ War Memorial Fund Scholarship for 1 year, employed as a Research Assistant undertaking MSc Nursing (Research option), University of Manchester

*retired December 2020. 

Undergraduate: BSc (Hons) Nursing. Dissertation module and supervision, year 4.

Postgraduate: MSc Person-centred Practice and MSc Professional & Higher Education include: Dissertation modules, Current Issues in Educational Practice, Managing Clinical Judgements and Decision-making.

Doctoral programmes: Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Sciences (contribute to modules) and doctoral study weeks), Doctoral Supervisor Professional Doctorate in Health Sciences and PhD (contribute to doctoral study weeks and doctoral research workshops). Panel member and Chair PhD probationary assessments. Panel member and Chair of final examinations for Professional Doctorate and PhD Awards (as internal and external examiner). Internal examiner final examinations for Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology.

Academic awards:

  • 2018 All Ireland Gerontological Nursing Association, 10 year Anniversary Conference, Poster Presentation, 1st Prize. Galway. Ireland.
  • 2016, 2015 Elsevier Publishers. Recognition of excellence in reviewing, I&CCN. England.
  • 2017 Elsevier Publishers’ Award: Excellence in reviewing, Intensive & Critical Care Nursing (member of Editorial Advisory Board and Panel of reviewers).


  • Member of panel of reviewers, Intensive & Critical Care Nursing (Elsevier). Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research (Elsevier), Journal of Nursing Philosophy (Wiley), BMJ Open, Journal of Clinical Nursing (Wiley).
  • Member of Senate at QMU (representing Division of Nursing Staff)
  • Member of Graduate School Board, QMU.
  • Member and former convenor or Research Governance Group within Division of Nursing, QMU.