Dr Cindy Forbes


Career Development Research Fellow

Role at Hull York Medical School

Dr. Forbes joined Hull York Medical School in 2018 as a Career Development Research Fellow with the Yorkshire Cancer Research funded TRANSFORMing Cancer Outcomes in Yorkshire project. She is also part of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre and the Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research at the University of Hull.


Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Cindy completed her Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics at St Franicis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and continued her graduate training at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. After completing her PhD in 2015 in Exercise Oncology, she then worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In 2017, she was awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship with the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia that was awarded as part of the Australian Government’s Endeavour Scholar program. Then in 2019, she was awarded a place as an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) funded GetAMoveOn Fellowship. The GetAMoveOn Network aims to transform health through enabling mobility with the help of digital technologies.

Cindy’s TRANSFORM Career Development Research Fellowship is looking at how physical activity can help improve quality of life and cancer-related outcomes in people living with and beyond cancer.


Cindy’s main area of research is examining the role of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on quality of life and cancer-related outcomes among people living with and beyond cancer, particularly among older adults. Additionally, she is looking at how digital technologies – for example, wearable activity trackers, smartphones, and other smart devices – can be used to deliver tailored wellbeing advice and support wellbeing self-management.

A summary of research contributions can be found on ORCID or ResearchGate


A full list of publications and presentations can be found on Cindy’s ORCID and ResearchGate profiles.


Cindy’s previous fellowship awards and activities, conference and workshop attendance, and social media engagement has allowed her to foster professional relationships with researchers around the world. She is currently collaborating on different projects with researchers in Australia, Canada, Europe, and UK. Selected collaborations highlighted below.

United Kingdom

GetAMoveOn Network: currently PI on a project with three other Fellows (Bath, Cardiff, Northumbria), funded by this network, to investigate how cancer survivors use wearable activity trackers, and how they can be used them to help people form activity habits.


Collaborating on a systematic review investigating the potential inequalities associated with using digital technology in health. This group was recently awarded a small amount of funding to continue this collaboration with future reviews.


AtlanticPATH, a regional cohort of more than 35,000 Atlantic Canadians and part of the larger CanPATH National Project. Previously worked as a Research Scientist and currently collaborating with this group on two student led papers.


In 2017, Cindy was awarded a very competitive Visiting Postdoctoral Fellowship award from the Government of Australia. At the University of Adelaide in South Australia, she further developed my keen interest in using digital technology to support and deliver lifestyle behaviour change programmes by adapting a sophisticated web-based platform capable of delivering tailored support to be used among Canadian women with breast cancer (PI) and Australian men with metastatic prostate cancer (CoI).

Another Australian collaboration forms part of a prestigious International Investment Initiative (I3) grant awarded by Research England to the University of Hull in collaboration with University Technology Sydney; one of only eight awarded.

Postgraduate research supervision

Cindy is interested in supervising students that have an interest in looking at how physical activity and/or digital technology can help support people living with and beyond cancer.

Current and past supervisions

Doctoral Students

1. Jordan Curry, PhD student. 2019- present. Hull York Medical School. Project: Effect of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on quality of life in cancer survivorship: feasibility of online-delivered, computer tailored activity and nutrition programs. First Supervisor.

2. Holly Evans, PhD student. 2018-present. University of Adelaide. Project: Tailored, home-based physical activity programmes for men with metastatic prostate cancer. Supervisory Committee Member.

Masters Students

1. Samantha Ruilova, MSc Cancer Rehabilitation student. 2019-present. Faculty of Health Sciences. Project: Effect of relocating sedentary time to moderate-vigorous activity, walking, or sleep among people with cancer. Second Supervisor.

Undergraduate Students

1. Giovanna Licastro & Aliya Prihartadi. Undergraduate Medical Students. 2020. Hull York Medical School. Project: Uses or evaluations of NHS produced physical activity materials in community-based environment. Funded by INSPIRE programme. Project Supervisor.

2. Rebekah Pereira. Undergraduate Medical Student. 2020. Hull York Medical School. Project: Breast cancer risk factors according to mammography exposure and adherence. Supervision and mentorship.

3. Natasha Bocchetta. Undergraduate Medical Student. 2020. Hull York Medical School. Project: Environmental correlates of physical activity and quality of life among cancer survivors. Supervision and mentorship.

4. Fatima Babar & Afreen Salim, Undergraduate Medical Students. 2020. Hull York Medical School. Project: Nutrition and physical function among people undergoing cancer treatment. Funded by INSPIRE programme. Project Supervisor.

5. Fadel Lhaf, Undergraduate Medical Student. 2019. Hull York Medical School. Project: Attitudes, facilitators, and barriers to delivering nutrition and activity counselling/advice to patients with a cancer diagnosis. Funded by INSPIRE programme. Project Supervisor.

Honours and awards

Yorkshire Cancer Research Foundation, Career Development Fellowship, £385,895GBP – 5 years (2018).

Government of Australia, Endeavour Research Fellowship, $24,500AUD – 6 month visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (2017).

Dalhousie University, Department of Medicine, University Internal Medicine Research Fund, Internal Research Fellowship, $50,000CAD – 2 year part-time Fellowship (2017).

Oncology Nursing Society, Excellence in Writing Award for Quantitative Nursing Research $1000USD (for Prevalence and Correlates of Strength Exercise among Breast, Prostate, and Colorectal Cancer Survivors, 2016)