Dr Heidi Williamson

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  • Qualifications:RN, BSc (Hons), MSc, DHealth, CPsychol
  • Position:Associate Professor in Applied Health Research
  • Department:HAS - Health and Social Sciences
  • Telephone:+4411732 81572
  • Email:Heidi3.Williamson@uwe.ac.uk

About me

Dr Heidi Williamson is an Associate Professor in Applied Health Research with an international reputation for conducting impactful and mixed-methods research with multi-disciplinary national and international partners. Committed to co-participatory research, she partners public advisor and health professional stakeholders to develop evidence-based, innovative interventions to improve body image and promote acceptance of appearance diversity in community and healthcare settings. Heidi has a successful record of working collaboratively to secure grants from UK and international funders, including the National Institute for Health Research, The Scar Free Foundation, European Commission, and the Norwegian Research Council. She often works alongside businesses, health and non-profit organisations (e.g.: NHS England, Unilever, Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston, UNICEF), has authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and is regularly invited to discuss her research at international conferences and public knowledge exchange events.

At the Centre for Appearance Research, Heidi assists Professor Diedrichs with leading the Dove Self-Esteem Project and CAR academic partnership team at UWE, and works with researchers, global youth groups, businesses and non-government organisations to develop and evaluate digital body image interventions for children.  Her work has previously focused on the co-production of interventions to address the specific psychosocial needs of individuals with appearance concerns arising from a wide range of appearance-affecting conditions, injuries and treatment side effects (e.g. YP Face IT, SPIN-COACH, Confidence Talks); she also initiated and developed training programmes to support families and educate healthcare professionals living and working with these groups (e.g., ACT Now). 

Heidi is a Registered Health Psychology Practitioner and Higher Education Academy Fellow, with recent experience as a MSc Health Psychology Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer. She supervises PhD and Professional Doctorate students in the UK and overseas; many working on a range of initiatives in hospital, school and community settings to improve the health and wellbeing of those impacted by appearance concerns and socially disadvantaged because of an unusual appearance. Before becoming a Health Psychologist, Heidi was a Critical Care Nurse working with multi-disciplinary NHS teams, with leadership and teaching responsibilities in Accident & Emergency, General and Cardiac Critical Care Units across the UK.

Area of expertise

Health psychology, Body Image and visible difference research, 
Developing and evaluating interventions 


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