Ellen Schafheutle

Ellen Schafheutle, PhD, MRes, MSc, MPharm, FFRPS, FRPharmS, PFHEA

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Personal profile


Ellen is Professor of Pharmacy Policy and Practice, and Director of the Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies (https://sites.manchester.ac.uk/cpws/).

Ellen has over 25 years experience as a health services and pharmacy practice researcher and has a particular interest in pharmacy policy.  Building on her experience researching the impact of prescription charges and providing evidence to government reviews, more recently her research interests have focussed on professional regulation, pharmacy policy, workforce and education.  In 2014, Ellen won the 2014 Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s prestigious Pharmacy Research UK award.

Ellen has a strong publication record, ensuring timely dissemination at academic and professional conferences, and effective engagement with various stakeholders.  To date, she has published over 80 full peer reviewed journal papers.

Ellen's expertise is recognised through her membership of a range of external panels, such as the RPS publication 'Medicines, Ethics and Practice,' and the Department of Health policy advisory group Rebalancing of Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation - Partners’ Forum.

Ellen is responsible for the teaching of pharmacy law and professional regulation to our undergraduate MPharm students and leads this through all four years of our new curriculum.  Ellen also supervises final year MPharm student projects, most of which are published at conferences and some as full academic papers.  Between 2016 and 2021, Ellen was Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning, overseeing a programme of Postgraduate degrees and CPD in pharmacy and optometry.  

Ellen supervises a number of PhD and MPhil students (ten to completion), as well as MClinRes and MSc students; she has acted as external examiner for PhD and DPharm awards.


Ellen Schafheutle is a pharmacist, originally qualified in Germany and registered in the UK since 1994.  Following an MSc in clinical pharmacy and a PhD in pharmacy practice in the University of Manchester's Drug Usage and Pharmacy Practice Group (DUPPG), Ellen became a member of staff in 1998.  In 2002, she secured one of only three National NHS Primary Care R&D Post Doctoral Awards, as the first pharmacist from an open field of health services researchers.  As part of this Ellen completed an MRes in Health and Community (Policy & Management pathway) thus extending her formal training in research methods and broadening her understanding of policy and management issues.  Ellen joined the Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies (CPWS), which is part of DUPPG, in 2007, and she became its Director in 2014.

Following a career as a research associate and then research fellow, Ellen became a lecturer in 2009, senior lecturer in 2013, and professor in 2018.

In 2014, Ellen received the RPS Pharmacy Research UK award, which ‘recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of pharmacy practice research and has the potential to become a leader in the field.’ Ellen received this award in recognition of her research into prescription charges, and professional regulation and education, and delivered a lecture entitled 'Research informed pharmacy policy & practice: Answers to big questions – getting the detail right,' at the RPS conference in Birmingham in September 2014. (www.pharmacyresearchuk.org/winner-2014-royal-pharmaceutical-societys-pharmacy-research-uk-award-announced/)

Research interests

Ellen's research interest is grounded in policy, and informing policy change.  Since joining CPWS, she has become increasingly interested in workforce and professional regulation.  Ellen has an interest in pharmacy education at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and has collaborated with the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) over many years.  She has led projects informing revalidation in pharmacy, supervision in community pharmacy, novel services and quality in community pharmacy, and quality of pharmacy and healthcare professional education and training.  Funding has been mainly from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), Pharmacy Research UK, NIHR, NHS England, and Health Education England.

Ellen’s early research interests had centred upon the cost of prescription charges and their influence on GP prescribing and particularly patient behaviour.  The research project she undertook as part of her MSc effectively launched her interest in medication cost and its impact on health and access to medicines.  It represented important work for herself as well as the DUPPG, as it laid the foundation for further research, including a three-year six nation European collaboration.  Ellen secured a highly competitive NHS Post Doctoral award entitled "Is the prescription charge a barrier to meeting primary health care goals?  Ellen provided both written and oral evidence to the Health Committee enquiry into NHS Charges in England.

Postgraduate Research Supervision

for completed theses, please see ’theses’ tab

Current supervision

- Wenjuan Chen: ‘Implementation of integrated primary care for patients with Type 2 Diabetes’  Co-supervisor Dr Imelda McDermott - jan 2023 start

- Raja'A Al-Qudah: ‘Access to and regulation of antibiotics in Jordan’  Co-supervisor Dr Sarah Willis - Jan 2021 start

- Fatima Abdulhakeem Ikolaba: 'The impact of provision of pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists on people living with diabetes’  Main supervisor: Dr Douglas Steinke - Sep 2018 start


Undergradute teaching

Building on her teaching experience related to her research interests and expertise (research methods and infuences on professional practice), Ellen took over responsibility and delivery of all teaching of law relating to pharmacy in July 2009.

In August 2011, Ellen became Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), in 2017 she was awarded Senior Fellow (SFHEA), and in 2019 she became Principal Fellow (PFHEA).

Ellen has been supervising final year MPharm projects since 2005.  Many of these have been published at conferences, some have been published as full peer-reviewed journal articles.

Postgraduate teaching

Between 2016 and 2021, Ellen was Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning, where she oversaw a number of PGT and CPD programmes in pharmacy and optometry.

MSc supervision

Current projects

 MSc PIAT 2022-23

Past projects

‘Comparative Study between European Medicines Agency and US FDA in Authorizing Clinical Trials and Granting Emergency Use Marketing Authorizations for Covid-19 Medicines’ Marina Ghadanian. MSc PIAT 2021-22

‘Regulatory processes associated with licensing seasonal influenza vaccines in the US and EU’ Calvin Cook. MSc PIAT 2019-20

'Black and ethnic minority students’ progress and support needs’ Victoria Tavares (MClinRes - PRUK funded) 2017 - 2019; co-supervisor Dr Sarah Willis

'Comparison of Proof-of-Concept-Funding in the UK and Germany'  Jürgen Walkenhort. MSc PIAT 2017-18

'What support do COPD patients feel primary care professionals provide following discharge from hospital?' Tom Fegan (MClinRes – NIHR funded) - 2015 - 2016; co-supervisor Prof Darren Ashcroft


My collaborations

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Invited member of advisory panel for Medicines, Ethics & Practice (MEP), an annual RPS publication and key professional support text underpinning pharmacists’ professional and legal practice - since 2010

University representative on the CPPE Operations and Advisory Board (OAB), which recommends CPPE’s costed plan and organisational strategy to the Contract Management Board, and offers expert and professional opinion on CPPE’s strategic development plans - since 2014

Pharmacy Schools Council (PhSC) representative on the Department of Health policy advisory group Rebalancing of Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation - Partners’ Forum - since 2013

PhSC representative on Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Revalidation Advisory Group - 2014 - 2018

Appointed member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Practice Research Conference Panel, which contributes to the content and organisation of the practice research stream at the annual RPS Conference and peer reviews all practice research submissions (abstracts & PRUK award) -  2013 - 2018

Methodological knowledge

Ellen has been a health services and pharmacy practice researcher for over 25 years.  Her particular expertise is in qualitative methodologies - interviews, focus groups, critical incident technique.  She has also used the nominal group technique, and has considerable experience in designing questionnaires and conducting surveys.


  • 2005 - MRes - University of Manchester
  • 1999 - PhD - University of Manchester
  • 1994 - MSc - University of Manchester
  • 1992 - 4 year Pharmacy degree (MPharm) - University of Bonn, German
  • FFRPS - Faculty Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, since 2014

  • FRPharmS - Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society - since 2017
  • Pharmacist, GPhC registered, since 1994
  • MRPharmS - Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society - since 1994
  • Approbierte Apothekerin (Registered pharmacist in Germany), 1993
  • PFHEA - Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy - since 2019
  • SFHEA - Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy - since 2017
  • FHEA - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy - since 2011

Social responsibility

I used to be a 'big sister' in an organisation called 'Girls Out Loud' (http://girlsoutloud.org.uk).  They have a number of programmes to support girls aged 13 to 18 through their teenage years and times of big changes and important decisions.  They provide discovery days, role model relays and a mentoring programme (big sisters) which are all about inspiring teenage girls to raise their aspirations and become confident, rounded young women.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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