Community of Scholars Academic Facilitator

Dr Emma Tonkin

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research & Innovation in Care Sciences, University of South Wales


Within the Research Centre, Emma is based in the Genomics Policy Unit where her work focuses on health professional education and engagement, and service development initiatives for mainstreaming genetics/genomics. From 2005-2012 her research position ran concurrently with her role within the NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre (Birmingham) as Education Development Officer for the the UK-wide Nursing Professions Programme.


Emma applies both qualitative and quantitative methods to her research and has experience in service evaluation, consensus development, needs analysis and the use of storytelling/personal narrative. She has seven first author papers and has co-authored 21 peer reviewed manuscripts and three reports. Emma regularly teaches nursing and midwifery students at the University of South Wales and has been closely involved in the design, development and expansion of a free online teaching and learning resource. Emma was the only member of the university selected for Welsh Crucible 2012, a programme of personal, professional and leadership development for ‘future research leaders of Wales’.


Her early research career was as a laboratory-based scientist. She has a BSc in Applied Biological Science from the University of the West of England, Bristol and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen. Emma postdoc’d for seven years at Newcastle University’s Institute of Human Genetics where she identified the first gene associated with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS). During this time she regularly met with patients and their families to help them understand the research process and findings, and was a member of the UK Scientific & Clinical Advisory Team, a component arm of the CdLS Foundation. It was these interactions that stimulated the move into education and service development research for patient and family benefit.


She has been a member of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics since 2005 and has served on the ISONG Board as the Member-at-Large representative.


Emma can be contacted by email and telephone on 01443 483156.




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