Dr Gulnar Ali

Dr Gulnar Ali Dip-Nsg, BA, MA, MSc, PhD, FHEA, FRSPH

  • Lecturer
  • DBA Supervisor

E-mail: g.ali@uwtsd.ac.uk

Role in the University

  • Lecturer
  • DBA Supervisor


Gulnar's professional experience includes teaching, education management, mentoring and research consultation. She has been involved in teaching undergraduate/postgraduate courses in Health and Social care ranging from Psychiatric Nursing, Psycho-social aspects of Health and Illness, Counselling and Mentorship, Mental health, Qualitative Research to Public Health over the last 20 years.

As a primary investigator and a co-researcher, Gulnar has conducted multiple case studies, action research and descriptive studies relating to mental health issues in ethnic minorities, informing national policies and educational frameworks, across Pakistan and England.

Member of

  • Royal Society for Public Health (Fellow)
  • Enhancing Nurses Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care (EPICC) (European Spirituality in Nursing and Midwifery Research Network at Staffordshire University)
  • British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (Member)
  • Higher Education Academy (Fellow)
  • Spirituality Scholar Network (British Association for the study of Spirituality)
  • Spirituality Special Interest Group (University of Huddersfield)
  • Honour Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International Rho Delta Chapter (Aga Khan University)

Academic Interests

Gulnar diligently blends ontological and humanistic perspectives with mental health and wellbeing. She has extensive teaching, research, and leadership experience in higher education relating the philosophy of care to knowledge creation and human development.

Gulnar teaches on modules such as:

  • Counselling and Mentoring
  • Life course
  • Research Methods
  • Global Health
  • Health and Illness
  • Health promotion
  • Public Health
  • Mental health Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Physiology
  • Children, young adults and families
  • Leadership and Management
  • Education
  • Social Enterprise

Research Interests

Gulnar's teaching and research interests are majorly aimed at ontological reasoning to bring further innovation in health care education. With a vision to embrace transformative learning approaches in health education and practice, she has developed a reflexive tool: SOPHIE (Self-Exploration through Ontological, Phenomenological, Humanistic, Ideological and Existential Expressions). SOPHIE is a pedagogical framework that could embrace spiritual and existential care aspects in health education and practice.

Gulnar's research interests include Health promotion, Leadership and Education, Service Evaluation in Healthcare, and Women empowerment and social enterprise.

Enterprise, Commercial & Consultancy Activities

Gulnar offers research and/or training consultancy in areas such as Spirituality and Existential health, Health promotion, Transformative learning approaches, Professional authenticity in health care, and Self-care.


Book Chapters:

Ali G., Snowden M. (2019) SOPHIE (Self-Exploration Through Ontological, Phenomenological, Humanistic, Ideological and Existential Expressions): A Mentoring Framework. In: Snowden M., Halsall J. (eds) Mentorship, Leadership, and Research. International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice. Springer, Cham.

Wattis, J., Rogers, M., Ali., G. and Curran, S. (2019). Bringing Spirituality and Wisdom into Practice. In: Practice Wisdom: Values and Interpretations, Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Brill-Sense Publishers. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004410497_014

Snowden, M. and Ali, G. (2017). How can spirituality be integrated in undergraduate and postgraduate education?. In: Spiritually Competent Practice in Health Care. London, UK: CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group. ISBN 9781138739116.

Peer reviewed Journals:

Ali, G., Snowden, M., Wattis, J., and Roger, M. (2018). Spirituality in Nursing Education: Knowledge and practice gaps. In: International Journal of Multidisciplinary Comparative Studies, International Journal of Multidisciplinary Comparative Studies, Volume 5 Nos. 1-3, 2018, pp.27—49. http://www.ijmcs-journal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Ali.pdf

Ali, G., Wattis, J. and Snowden, M. (2015). Why are Spiritual Aspects of Care so hard to Address in Nursing Education?’ A Literature Review (1993-2015), International Journal of Multidisciplinary Comparative Studies, 2 (1), pp. 7-31. ISSN 2059-4976.

Ali, G., Lalani, N., and Charania, N. (2015). Community mental health initiatives in Pakistan. Nursing Standard. Royal College of Nursing, UK - 29, 22, 44-48.

Ali, G. (2015). Crises Cries- Understanding Spirit Possession from Transcultural Perspective. The Patriarch vol. 2- St-Patrick’s College, London, UK.

Ali, G. & Lalani, N. (2012). Community Mental Health Nursing-An Innovation through Faculty practice in Pakistan. Journal of Pakistan Psychiatric Society, Vol (2). Pakistan.

Ali, G. (2012). Spirit Possession- a Cry of identity Crises in Woman! I -Manager’s Journal on Nursing, Vol 02, Issue 01 Feb-April 2012, India.

Karamali, N. & Ali, G. (2012) Integrating the concepts of Elderly Rehabilitation in the Baccalaureate curriculum at the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Karachi, Pakistan. i-Manager's Journal on Nursing; Nagercoil2, Iss. 3,  18-22.

Ali, G. (2008) Who Cares! A collection of certain recent book reviews on Medical Anthropology, Journal of Anthropology & Medicine, Volume 15, Issue 2 August 2008, pages 147 – 149. London: Rutledge

Ali, G. (2008) Sighing Heights- Ethnographic report on Susum population in Northern Areas of Pakistan, Pakistan Journal of Clinical and Social Psychology, Volume 06, June 2008, pages 66-70, Lahore, Pakistan.

International Conferences and Seminars:

Ali, G. (2019). Integrating Spirituality in Nursing Education, In: EPICC project- European Spirituality in Nursing and Midwifery Research and Learning event, University of South Wales July01-02, 2019. (Invited Research participant)

Ali, G. (2018). Integrating Spirituality in Nursing Education, In: EPICC project- European Spirituality in Nursing and Midwifery Research and Learning event, Malta, 24-29 Sept 2018. (Invited Speaker)

Ali, G. (2018). A framework for spiritually competent practice in Nursing Education-SOPHIE (Self-exploration through Ontological, Phenomenological, and Humanistic, Ideological, and Existential expressions) In: European Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Health. 17th-19th May 2018, Coventry University. https://www.ecrsh.eu/application/files/2515/2749/9655/ECRSH18_Conference_Folder_-_18.pdf/pg

Ali, G. (2017). Applying SOPHIE (Self-Exploration through Ontological, Phenomenological, Humanistic, Ideological and Existential Expressions) – A Mentorship framework for intuitive learning in Higher Education. In: International Research Symposium on Curriculum Development and Pedagogy within Social Sciences 12th -13th July 2017, University of Huddersfield, UK. (Invited Speaker)

Ali, G. (2017). SOPHIE (Self-Exploration through Ontological, Phenomenological, Humanistic, Ideological and Existential Expressions) - A framework to approach Spiritual care aspects in Health Education. In: 1st International Symposium, British Association for the Study of Spirituality (BASS), 10th July 2017, and University of Huddersfield, UK.

G., etal. (2017). Showcasing Newham infant feeding initiatives: working with partners to strengthen evidence-based practice. In: Research and Knowledge Exchange Conference 6th July, 2017. University of East London, UK.

Low Birth-Weight in Newham: Definitions, Antecedents and Prevention- UCL partners project with Newham Clinical Commissioning group. (Oct 2017). https://uclpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Low-birth-weight-in-Newham-definitions-antecedents-and-prevention.pdf

Ali, G. (2017). Proposing Ontological Learning Framework to transform Nursing education. In: Nursing steering Committee meeting 23rd February, 2017, University of East London. (Invited Speaker)

Ali, G. (2017). Approaching Spirituality in Health education. In: Research seminar- Institute for Health and Human Development, 26th January 2017, University of East London, UK.

Ali, G. (2016). Mental health and Spirituality. In: Workshop for carers- Aga Khan social welfare board for United Kingdom, 26th-27th April 2016. The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, UK. (Invited Speaker)

Ali, G. (2016). Issues and Challenges in Approaching Spirituality in Nursing education across England. In: The Spirituality Special Interest Group (SSIG) 10th March, 2016, University of Huddersfield, UK.

Ali, G. (2015). Exploring Issues in Relating Spiritual Care Aspects in Nursing Education. In: International Journal of Arts and Sciences’ (IJAS) conference, IJAS international conference, 3rd-6th November 2015, London, UK.

Ali, G. (2011). Sighting Sighs- Existential Issues underlying Maternal and Child health. In: Department of Maternal & Child Health Aga Khan University Hospital and   Rho Delta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, The Honor Society of Nursing 8th September 2011, Karachi, Pakistan.

Ali, G (2010). I v/s Me- Existential Issues and Wellbeing. In: Education, Research and Health Care, 14th National Health services Research Symposium, The Aga Khan University hospital, 5th November 2010, Karachi, Pakistan.

Additional Information

  • Chaired: Leadership Effectiveness and Gender Paradox in 1st Knowledge Exchange Symposium, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, London on January 29, 2020.
  • Star Laureate 2011 Award, in Galaxies of Who’s Who in Pakistan 2011, by South Asia publication, Pakistan (2012).
  • Co-Chair, Scientific Committee, 15th National Health Sciences Research Symposium (2012).
  • Co-Chair, Managing committee for International Nurses Day, Aga Khan University, PK (2011).
  • Showcase of Regional Excellence Award on Mental Health Awareness Programme, by Sigma Theta Tau International, Honour Society of Nursing (2010).
  • The Best Talented Girl Child Award for Pakistan, from SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. (1990)