Dr Shelley Wilkinson

Senior Principal Research Fellow

School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 336 56849


Shelley is an Associate Professor and Senior Principal Research Fellow in the School of Pharmacy, UQ as part of the RECARD project. She is also a Project Officer - Research and Clinical Support in the Department of Obstetric Medicine, Mater Mothers Hospitals, Brisbane. She is recognised as a leading Australian researcher in maternal health and in implementation science.

Shelley's main research interests include:

  • Implementation Science and Translating Research into Practice
  • Health service redesign through co-creation
  • Nutrition and maternal health ('The first 1000 days')
  • Digital technologies and platforms to facilitate behaviour change

Shelley is an Associate Editor for Dietitians Australia’s national journal, Nutrition and Dietetics. In 2010, Shelley received Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian status as recognition of her professional leadership and expertise. The high quality of her research has been recognised with six awards in the field of Evidence-Based Practice and Clinical Research.

With 38 peer reviewed publications in the past 5 years, she has an h-index of 23 and her Field-Weighted Citation Impact score (1.48) is above average for her discipline, particularly in the areas of Gestational Diabetes (FWCI 2.89), Digital Health (FWCI 3.57), Intestinal flora (FWCI 4.13), and Social Media (FWCI 8.94).

Research Impacts

Knowledge, Health, and Societal Impacts

Dissemination of findings from her 2012-3 NHMRC TRIP Fellowship (implementation of gestational diabetes mellitus nutrition care guidelines at the Mater Mothers’ Hospitals to multiple sites around Queensland. This work has resulted in a reduction in medication use in gestational diabetes mellitus, improved diet quality and increased physical activity levels through building capacity and improving systems to allow adherence to best practice. Key learnings about the process of co-creation with health services with clinical and process improvements have also emerged (https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-019-3947-y). Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) engaged: Cairns & Hinterland HHS; Darling Downs HHS; West Moreton HHS; Metro South HHS. More information here and here.

Implementation of gestational weight gain guidelines at the Mater Mothers' Hospitals. She has demonstrated successful longitudinal, hospital-wide, effective, stepped identification and targeting of barriers to guideline adherence with large and significant changes in health provider behaviour known to influence gestational weight gain. The quality and relevance of this work was recognised with an invited blog post for the Biomedical Central journal website to accompany a published article, as well as Clinical Paper of the year award (MRI-UQ, 2019). More information here.

Co-creating education delivery to support a radical model of care change: As part of the Brisbane Mater Mothers’ Hospital’s re-imagining of the gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) service she led the co-creation of the education model of care from 2019. This occurred as part of a multifaceted digital solution in the busy and under-resourced GDM service. A service in which 16% of our 6000 women experience a pregnancy with GDM each year; the commonest medical disorder of pregnancy with potentially serious complications for babies. To achieve this she led a Dietetics team who collaborated closely with women who attended our GDM clinics, alongside Obstetric Medicine, Diabetes Education, Midwifery, Obstetrics, and Interpreting Services. In doing this work we posed the questions - how could we deliver care better? What would we want it to look like? What would women and their families want it to look like?

An element of the model of care refresh included the co-creation of an ‘Introduction to GDM’ video in six languages. The short video included the same script and footage for most parts, except for the dietary section. This was tailored to cultural preferences and practices. We involved women from all language groups for diversity and representativeness in the videos. In its first year of distribution (Oct 2020-21) the videos received almost 20,000 views. The English, simplified Chinese, and Somali videos have been viewed between 150-250 times each month each; the Vietnamese video has been watched over 1,000 times each month. This work received the "Allied Health Award" in 2021 at the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society meeting.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland


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