Sharon was born in 1975 and completed her early education in Cheshire and on Merseyside. She attended Hertford College, Oxford where she studied Chemistry from 1993-1997. After completing a Royal Society summer studentship, she remained in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford, in the group of Dr Stephen Wimperis, studying for her DPhil, (“New NMR Techniques for the Study of Quadrupolar Nuclei”). During this time she held the Carreras Senior Scholarship at Hertford College. Sharon then moved with the Wimperis group to Exeter for a two year postdoctoral research fellowship.


In 2002, Sharon moved to the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge as a Teaching Fellow in Mineral Physics. She was then awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship in 2003, which she held in Cambridge alongside the Charles and Katherine Darwin Research Fellowship at Darwin College.


In October 2005, she moved to her current position in the School of Chemistry, at the University of St Andrews, where she held (until Oct 2007) a Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship and an RCUK Academic Fellowship (05-10). Sharon was awarded the RSC Harrison Prize in 2004 for contributions to solid-state NMR and the 2009 BRSG-NMRDG Prize for Excellent Contribution to Magnetic Resonance by an Early Career Researcher. Sharon was promoted to Reader in 2009 and Professor in 2013. In 2011, Sharon was awarded the RSC Marlow Award for Physical Chemistry, and was also admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She was also named as one of the first members of the RSE Young Academy. In 2014, Sharon was a member of the Physical Sciences RAE panel for Hong Kong. In 2015, she was awarded the RSC Corday-Morgan Prize. She was awarded a Wolfson Merit Award in 2015, and in 2016 was elected FRSE. In 2017, she was the recipient of a Suffrage Science Award, celebrating the achievements of women in science. This followed from her work on the “Academic Women Now” booklet, describing the experiences of mid-career academic women in Scotland and the “Academic Women Here” booklet, highlighting mid career female academics in St Andrews.


Her current research interests focus on the development of new methods in solid-state NMR, particularly for quadrupolar nuclei, such as 17O, 23Na and 27Al. She is also interested in the application of these methods to a wide range of systems including minerals, zeolites and ceramics. More recently, Sharon has developed an interest in the application of first-principles calculations of NMR parameters in the solid state.

Outside NMR, Sharon is a big fan of football and in particular, of Liverpool FC. She was a keen gymnast when younger and is also a qualified coach and judge.

Sharon Ashbrook

Name: Sharon Ashbrook FRSE

DOB: 26/01/1975

Nationality: British

Position: Professor in Physical Chemistry


MChem (Oxon) 1997 (First Class)

MA (Oxon) 2001

DPhil (Oxon) 2001

Awards, Fellowships and Prizes:

Hertford College Scholarship

Carreras Senior Scholarship

Teaching Fellowship in Mineral Physics

Charles and Katherine Darwin Research Fellowship

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship

RSC Harrison Prize 2004

RCUK Academic Fellowship

BRSG-NMRDG Early Career Prize 2009

RSC Marlow Award 2011

Royal Society of Edinburgh Makdougall Brisbane Medal 2012

RSC Corday-Morgan Prize 2015

Wolfson Merit Award 2015

FRSE 2016

Suffrage Science Award 2017

Professional Activity:

Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)

Member of the Institute of Physics (MinstP)

Member of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain

Chair of RSC Tayside Local Section

Member of the Facility Executive for the UK High Field Solid-State NMR Facility

Committee member for the Mineral Physics Group of the Mineralogical Society

Member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland 2011-2016

Director of St Andrews Centre of Magnetic Resonance

Member of management group for CCP-NC

Chair of the ISMAR Nominating Committee

Member of 2014 RAE panel for Hong Kong

Chair/member of RSC NMRDG interest group

Chair of RSE Chemistry and Earth Sciences Fellowship panel

Member of RSE Education Committee

Member of Ampere Board of Trustees

Member of Euromar Board of Trustees

Expert Database of Outstanding Female Academics

Editor-in-Chief of eMagRes

Editorial Board Member for Solid State NMR

Editorial Board Member for Magn. Reson. Chem.

Editorial Board Member for Phil. Trans. A

Editorial Board Member for J. Chem. Phys.