Dr Shaunna Burke


I am an Associate Professor in Exercise and Health Psychology at the University of Leeds. My research is focused on the role of physical activity in health and disease. I am particularly interested in physical activity for the prevention and treatment of cancer and improving quality of life in advanced disease populations. I am also interested in the advancement of qualitative research methods within clinical and healthcare services research, evaluations of exercise interventions in public health, and strategies to increase activity levels and decrease sedentary behaviour across the lifespan.

Recent research projects have been funded by Cancer Research UK, National Institute of Health Research, Yorskshire Cancer Rsearch, Research England, Arts Council England, and Cyclists Fighting Cancer. My projects have been published in high impact factor journals including Cancer, Journal of Health Psychology, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Psycho-Oncology, Disability and Rehabilitation, and Supportive Care in Cancer.


  • Assessment Lead

Research interests

Current research projects:

  • PREHABS: Prehabilitation Radiotherapy Exercise, smoking Habit cessation and Balanced diet Study – Yorkshire Cancer Research (CoI)
  • Move to Improve: Investigating the feasibility of embedding physical activity into routine breast cancer care in Indonesia – Reasearch England (PI)
  • Investigating the feasibility and acceptability of geocaching for promoting physical activity in childhood cancer patients and their families - CRUK (PI)
  • A pilot study to investigate improvements in physical fitness and quality of life resulting from a 9-week structured responsive endurance training programme following neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy prior to elective rectal cancer surgery - NIHR (CoI)
  • Physical activity in pallitative and hospice care: Clinical practice recommendations - UoL (PI)
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA 1997-2000; McGill University, MA 2001-2003; University of Ottawa, PhD 2003-2007; University of Ottawa

Student education

Academic roles:

  • Examinations Officer for UG Programmes - Sports Science programmes
  • Examinations Officer for PGT Programmes - Sports Science programmes


  • Member of Masters Taught Student Education Committee
  • Member of Undergraduate School Taught Student Education Committee (Programme Manager: Sport and Exercise Sciences, Sport Science and Physiology)
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>