Dr Claire Stapleton graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science at The University of Birmingham (1993-1996) before qualifying as a Chartered Physiotherapist at Coventry University (1997-2000, BSc (Hons), First Class). Claire’s background combines experience from both academic and clinical roles specialising in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy. She worked at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS trust specialising in musculoskeletal physiotherapy before accepting a lectureship in Sports Therapy at The University of Hertfordshire. Claire completed a post-graduate certificate in Health Research at Leeds University (2005) and later undertook her PhD at Liverpool John Moores University with research on the mechanisms, and diagnosis, of vascular compression syndromes at the shoulder (2009). She was awarded the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists Robert Williams International Award and an Educational award to fund the completion and dissemination of her research. She held a post-doctoral research post at the University of Salford for an NIHR Health Technology Assessment funded project involving biomechanical gait laboratory data collection and analysis. In 2013, Claire joined Keele in the School of Allied Health Professions as a Lecturer and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2021.

Whilst undertaking her PhD Claire set-up and managed her own private sports injury clinic based at Liverpool John Moores University. She has provided physiotherapy support for Olympic and Paralympic athletes funded by the English Institute of Sport, elite athletes in higher or further education funded by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and Liverpool John Moores University sport scholarship students. Related sports injury experience includes: the Commonwealth Games (Manchester 2002) and the World Transplant Games (Leicester 2002).

Research and scholarship

Claire’s specialist clinical interest focuses on haemodynamics and screening for risk of cervical artery dysfunction with work disseminated both nationally and internationally. She leads the development and implementation of the evaluation, evidence and research theme within pre-registration health profession curriculums which was showcased in a Council of Deans of Health publication. She is a keen advocate for the implementation of digital healthcare and the development of digital literacy in student health professionals and is recognised for her innovative applications to engage learners with technology by work presented on national and international platforms, a Keele Excellence Award and a Keele Teaching Innovation award.

Claire is currently Programme Director for the MSc (pre-registration) Physiotherapy, an Education representative for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead.

Claire's research expertise:

  • Screening for injury prevention
  • Screening for risk of harm (in particular, vascular conditions associated with cervical spine manual therapy)
  • Haemodynamics
  • Health inequalities/Digital exclusion/Digital literacy 


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School of Allied Health Professions
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Keele University

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