No photo of Kelly Rushton

Kelly Rushton, BSc, PhD


Personal profile


I currently work as a Research Associate on an NIHR funded research programme aiming to enhance the quality of psychological interventions delivered by telephone (EQUITy). Within EQUITy I act as the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) lead, and Co-Lead of a workstream developing an app to support the delivery of therapeutic sessions within the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services in the UK. 

I also have an interest in the role that animals play in supporting people with mental health problems and have co-authored a number of publications on the subject which have received international media attention. This has enabled me to undertake public engagement work with school children alongside an animal charity dedicated to animal assisted therapy.

I am a passionate advocate for patient and public involvement in research, and have worked alongside colleagues to co-author a book on research methods for patient and public involvement contributors. I enjoy keeping up-to-date with the PPI field and contribute to public engagement within our research group, faculty and the wider University.



I have been involved with research at the University of Manchester since 2005 when I joined the Clinical Radiology department after graduating from my undergraduate degree. I then went on to undertake a PGCE in secondary science education, but decided to re-route back to reseach, and in 2007 obtained a Medical Research Council funded PhD studentship to undertake research with Dr Emma Gowen and Dr Ellen Poliakoff investigating sensory motor integration in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Upon completion of my PhD I joined the Mental Health Research Network and over the course of four years worked across studies in areas including psychosis, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. I joined the Mental Health Research Group in 2014 and have mainly worked around improving interventions and health services for people with serious mental illness, and most recently primary care. My 'pet' interest is in the area of animal assisted therapy (AAT) and the roles that animals and pets play in the lives of people with mental illness.  

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network

INVOLVE Public Involvement in Research



2007 - 2010: PhD Neuroscience, University of Manchester

2002 - 2005: BSc Biological Sciences, Lancaster University

Research interests

PhD Title: Investigating sensory-motor integration in autism spectrum disorders


Interests: Imitation, motor control, goal and non-goal directed actions, sensory-motor integration, perception and mapping of actions, autism, Asperger Syndrome.



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


Dive into the research topics where Kelly Rushton is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or