Professor Yvonne Wren, BSc (Hons), MEd, PhD, FRCSLT

Professor Yvonne Wren, BSc(Manch)(Hons), MEd(Bristol), PhD(Bristol), FRCSLT

BSLTRU, Director 

Yvonne is Director of Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit, Associate Professor of Speech and Communication at the University of Bristol and Reader in Speech and Language Therapy at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She was elected to receive the Fellowship of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in 2022 in recognition of work of special value that she has carried out for the profession. She was also chair of the Child Speech Committee and on the board of the International Association of Communication Sciences and Disorders (aka IALP) from 2016 to 2022, is the founder and inaugural chair of the Child Speech Disorder Research Network and was Associate Editor for the journal Folia Phoniatrica et Logopedica from 2016 to 2019.

Yvonne qualified as a speech and language therapist at the University of Manchester and then worked in a clinical capacity in Liverpool and Bristol for ten years before joining BSLTRU. She obtained her PhD in 2005 from the University of Bristol and was awarded a fellowship from the National Institute of Health Research in 2011. While Yvonne’s specific research interests are in speech sound disorder and cleft lip and palate, she leads a team of researchers and clinical academics conducting research across a wide range of areas related to speech, language, communication and swallowing impairment.

Yvonne is senior research advisor to the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist (RCSLT) and a member of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech. The impact of her work includes the development of two sets of guidelines for the transcription and analysis of children’s speech with the Child Speech Disorder Research Network, both of which have been endorsed by RCSLT, and the identification of risk factors for persistent speech disorders, which has contributed to the All Wales Speech Pathway and clinical guidance provided by the RCSLT. 

Her awards include a Giving Voice award from the RCSLT in 2022, Certificate of Appreciation from the International Association of Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2021, Patient Involvement and Engagement in Research (PIER) Award from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (with colleagues in the Cleft Collective) in 2020, and the Editor’s award for the Speech Section of the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research (with Sound Start Study colleagues) in 2017.

Yvonne receives numerous invitations to speak and give keynote presentations at both national and international conferences and has over 100 publications.

Current research

Yvonne is the Chief Investigator for the Cleft Collective Cohort Studies – the national longitudinal study investigating the causes, treatments and outcomes of being born with a cleft lip and/or palate. This unique study has over 9000 participants from over 3000 families and is growing day by day. More information is available at The Cleft Collective | Bristol Dental School | University of Bristol and on twitter @cleftcollective.

Yvonne is also the Chief Investigator of the NIHR funded MISLToe_SSD study. This study will use existing evidence, a participatory workshop and an expert panel to agree the content for a core outcomes set and collection of minimal data for speech and language therapists working with children with speech sound disorder. It is anticipated that a similar model may be adopted for agreeing core outcome sets with other clinical populations working with speech and language therapists. You can follow this study on twitter @MISLToe_SSD.

Selected publications

Edited Books

Dobinson, C. and Wren, Y. (Eds) (2019) Creating practice-based evidence: A guide for SLTs – 2nd Edition. Guildford: J&R Press.

Book Chapters

Wren, Y. & the CLAPA Cleft Collective Patient Consultation Group. Working with people across the lifespan. In Volkmer, A. & Broomfield, K. (Eds) Seldom Heard Voices in Service User Involvement: The how and why of meaningful collaboration. Guildford: J&RPress.

Sell, D., Pereira, V., Wren, Y. & Russell, J. Speech disorders related to cleft palate and velopharyngeal dysfunction. In Damico, J., Muller, N. & Ball, M. (Eds) Handbook of Language and Speech Disorders (2nd Edition). Hoboken, NJ; Wiley. 

Researchgate profile


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