Heather May Morgan

Heather is a multidisciplinary social scientist and health services researcher. She has worked at the Chief Scientist Office-funded Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, since February 2012. Heather specialises in research into the use of (digital) technologies to provide information about and monitor human biomarkers and behaviours, by individuals and public services. She researches how the addition or integration of such technologies into everyday living is viewed and experienced, the ways in which they impact on social life at a number of levels (e.g. personal, public, political, economic) and their implications, including unintended consequences. Heather primarily uses qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis, often involving ethnographic, narrative and case study methods, in a range of settings. She also leads and/or contributes to mixed methods studies and has: undertaken systematic reviews (mixed methods and critical interpretive syntheses); utilised and developed behaviour change taxonomies; co-designed and co-analysed two large scale surveys and a discrete choice experiment; and managed feasibility and intervention (randomised controlled trial) studies.

Heather is a member of several national and international research groups, is co-founder of the newly formed SAGES Fora ‘Pollinating Wellbeing’, and works closely with NHS England/Scotland, the Scottish Government, Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Scottish Health Technologies Group, Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Digital Health and Care Institute Scotland, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen City Council Health and Social Care Partnership, Sport Aberdeen and numerous industry and third sector partners to undertake and apply her research. To date, Heather has individually or jointly secured research funding totalling more than £1.6m. She is lead author or co-author of over fifteen peer-reviewed papers (including four as lead author in the last year) and two edited collections. She reviews for a number of high impact journals/publishers and has assessed grant applications for the German government. Heather is co-creator/developer of Aberdeen’s original, free-to-play, location-based, augmented reality game for iOS devices: [m]apping. Through these collaborations, as well as a portfolio of public engagement with research activities, including extensive media coverage of her work on digital fitness tracking, Heather has become a STEM ambassador, NCCPE network leader for our Institute of Applied Health Sciences and champion for research and science co-production and communication. Heather was awarded Principal’s Prizes for Public Engagement with Research in 2015 and 2016. Heather actively uses Twitter for research-related purposes (@hm_morgan) and writes an autoethnographic blog detailing her own experiences of health self-tracking and being a ‘quantified self’: ‘Confessions of a fitness tracker’. Heather has external experience in the independent monitoring of prisons (Scottish Government, 2010-2013) and, in 2016, was invited to become a Trustee of the New Nicotine Alliance charity, following her work in the field of smoking/air quality research, and to join the board of the Open Data Institute’s Aberdeen node.


  • –present
    Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen


  • 2013 
    University of Aberdeen, Social Science