Dr Jen Carroll

Dr Jen Carroll

Honorary Research Fellow

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health)



2023 - present Honorary research fellow and PhD supervisor for project entitled 'Development and pilot testing of a parent reported quality of life measure for childhood epilepsy treated with ketogenic diet therapy'. This body of research follows on from the CORE-KDT study which Jen led for her PhD. 
2020-2022 Programme lead for MSc Advanced Professional Practice in Paediatric Dietetics and MSc Advanced Professional Practice in Dietetics. Lecturer on BSc (hons) Dietetics where my clinical experience informs my approach to teaching, preparing students to bridge the gap between their academic background and a career in clinical practice. 
2016-2020 Placement Lead; coordinating our undergraduate clinical placement capacity and delivery including clinical supervisory skills training for practice educators across the South West.


Jen completed her honours degree in Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork, Ireland in 2006, then undertook a MSc in Dietetics at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh graduating in 2008. She went on to work as a dietitian in the NHS specialising in paediatric dietetics, developing expertise in a wide range of areas including neonatal medicine, gastroenterology, metabolic disorders and neurology, faltering growth, obesity, allergies, and respiratory. While working as a senior specialist paediatric dietitian at The University Hospitals of Leicester; Jen redesigned and led the dietetic ketogenic diet service providing a bespoke service for children with intractable epilepsy and metabolic disorders. In 2023, she graduated with her PhD entitled 'Core Outcomes for Refractory childhood Epilepsy treated with Ketogenic Diet Therapy'.The CORE-KDT study. 
2023 PhD, University of Plymouth
2016 PgCert in Higher Education (FHEA), University of Nottingham 
2013 PgCert Behaviour Change, University of Nottingham
2008 MSc Dietetics RD, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
2006 BSc (Hons) Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork Ireland

Professional membership

Registered with The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), Member of the British Dietetic Association (BDA) 
Member of the BDA Paediatric Specialist group 
Member of The Ketogenic Professional Advisory Group (KetoPAG) 
Member of the Ketogenic Dietitians Research Network (KDRN)

Roles on external bodies

2015 present BDA NICE group and Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN) Advisory Committee2020 present Co Publicist for the Ketogenic Dietitians Research Network 


Teaching interests

I taught a range of clinical and professional dietetic skills across the dietetics programme with particular interest in paediatric dietetics, neurology (use of ketogenic diet therapy), communication skills and behaviour change. I supervise MSc student projects; supporting students to achieve their research goals. Module lead
DIET503 'Dietetics in Practice 1'
ADV741: Nutrition and Dietetics in Infancy and Childhood 
ADV742: Nutrition and Dietetics in Common Paediatric Disorders 
ADV743: Clinical Dietetics for Infants and Children 
ADV720: Dietetic Management of Inherited Metabolic Disorders 
ADV744: Neonatal Nutrition 
ADV749: Dietetic Supported Study (pathway lead) 


Research interests

My research area of interest is the use of ketogenic diet therapy for neurological conditions but predominantly childhood epilepsy. I led a study to develop a set of Core Outcomes for Refractory childhood Epilepsy treated with Ketogenic Diet Therapy (CORE-KDT). The study identified core outcomes to be measured in clinical effectiveness trials but will also guide health care professionals when undertaking audit or service evaluation in clinical practice. Parents, health care professionals and relevant charities were consulted to ensure the core outcome set reflects the interests of all and facilitates future decision making.
Find out more here: http://www.comet-initiative.org/Studies/Details/1116
CORE-KDT Study webpage: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/core-kdt

Other research

Pedagogic research interestDietetic and Speach therapy students readiness and attitudes towards inter professional learning. 

Grants & contracts

2024 Nutricia Danone £21,000
2024 Matthew's Friends £16,750
2021 Nutricia Danone £19,875
2021 Vitaflo £10,000 (award declined owing to success with other grant application)
2019 British Dietetic Association General and Education Trust Fund £8574


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Carroll JH, Parkin T, Cross JH, Hickson M, Williams E, Aldridge V & Collinson A (2024) 'Drug-resistant epilepsy and ketogenic diet therapy – a qualitative study of families’ experiences' Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy 118, 137-147 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Vervesou A, Diamantis DV, Maslin K & Carroll JH (2023) 'Different doses of phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin D in premature infants and their effect on bone mineralization: systematic review and meta-analysis' Nutrire 48, (2) Publisher Site , DOI
Bara VBH, Schoeler N, Carroll JH, Simpson Z & Cameron T (2023) 'Patient and carer perspectives on the use of video consultations in the management of the ketogenic diet for epilepsy' Epilepsy & Behavior 145, 109280-109280 Publisher Site , DOI
Carroll JH, Cross JH, Hickson M, Williams E, Aldridge V & Collinson A (2023) 'A Core outcome set for childhood epilepsy treated with ketogenic diet therapy ( <scp>CORE‐KDT</scp> study): international parent and health professional consensus' Epilepsia , DOI Open access
Carroll JH, Cross JH, Hickson M, Williams E, Aldridge V & Collinson A (2022) 'The CORE-KDT study: a mixed methods protocol to establish core outcomes for refractory childhood epilepsy treated with ketogenic diet therapy' Trials 23, (1) , DOI Open access
Carroll J, Martin-McGill K, Cross JH, Hickson M, Williams E, Aldridge V & Collinson A (2022) 'Core outcome set development for childhood epilepsy treated with ketogenic diet therapy: Results of a scoping review and parent interviews' Seizure - European Journal of Epilepsy 99, 54-67 , DOI Open access
Whiteley VJ, Martin-McGill KJ, Carroll JH, Taylor H & Schoeler NE (2019) 'Nice to know: impact of NICE guidelines on ketogenic diet services nationwide' Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics , DOI Open access
Carroll J, Martin-McGill K, Cross H, Hickson M & Collinson A (2019) 'Outcome measurement and reporting in childhood epilepsy treated with ketogenic diet therapy: a scoping review protocol' JBI database of systematic reviews and implementation reports 17, (5) 633-639 , DOI Open access
Conference Papers
Joshi, M., Kearns, J., Wilford, E., Hussain, N., & Khan, A. (2016) Effectiveness of ketogenic diet to reduce seizure related acute paediatric admissions in children with Epilepsy. Dev Med Child Neurol. 58, (Suppl. 1), 43 (abstract)

Storer L.C.D., Darren, A., Paine, S.M.L, Kearns, J., Layfield, R., Walker, D.A. & Grundy, R.G. (2016) Ketolytic and glycolytic enzymatic expression in paediatric ependymomas: implications for ketogenic diet therapy. Neuro Oncol. 18 (suppl.3), 32 (abstract)

Westran, N., Kearns, J.& McCullough, F. (2016) A service evaluation of parental satisfaction within a new paediatric ketogenic diet service. J Hum Nutr Diet.29 (Suppl.1), 22 (abstract)

Presentations and posters
Malinson, A.L., Wisdom, F.O., Carroll, J.H. & Pearse, L.Y. (2020) An experiential, case-based model of interprofessional learning at university improves measures of perceived competence for SLT & dietetic students.​ (8th UK Swallowing Research Group Conference UCL 2020)
Whitely, V.J., Martin-McGill, K.J., Carroll, J.,Taylor, H. & Schoeler, N. on behalf of the Ketogenic Dietitians Research Network. (2017) Nice to know: impact of NICE guidelines on ketogenic diet services nationwide. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 50 (suppl.S4):pp 84 (poster)

Baker, H., Ryan, H.L., Kearns, J.& Jethwa, P.H. (2016) Is the ketogenic diet a feasible treatment option for neurological diseases: a scoping review. (Alzheimer's Research UK Confernece 2016)

Other Publications
Kearns, J. (2014) Clinical Guideline on the Dietary Management of Children with Intractable epilepsy treated with ketogenic diet.

Khan. A., Kearns, J.& Hussain, N. (2014) Management of children on Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy. Children’s Services Medical Guideline.

Kearns, J.(2012) An audit of paediatric epilepsy related admissions and readmissions prior to commencing ketogenic diet therapy.

Kearns, J. (2010) Guidelines for commencing enteral feeding post gastrostomy insertion in paediatric patients

Kearns, J. (2010) Guidelines for commencing feeding post nissens fundoplication and gastrostomy insertion in paediatric patients.