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UOA 44 - Psychology

University of Hertfordshire

RA5a: Research environment and esteem


In 2003, the University of Hertfordshire reviewed its research portfolio and the School of Psychology was selected as one of six Units to receive concentrated support for research. Consequently, Psychology has received 100% of the University’s QR funding for the UOA since 2004, plus further ‘top-up’ funding. This has enabled strategic appointments of new staff to be made within key research groupings, supported by PhD studentships and research assistants. QR has also been used to develop research facilities, provide teaching release and support attendance at international conferences. These strategic decisions have been informed by i) likelihood of generating external income/good publications, or ii) potential for research applications (in both public and private sectors) or practice-based research applications. 

Research Infrastructure 

Our 2001 submission identified a future strategy for growth that has been realized. Infrastructure investment, resulting in over 15,000m2 of additional teaching/laboratory space and a new £4.5m Health and Human Sciences Research Institute complex, has relieved the pressure on space and facilities highlighted in the 2001 submission. 

Key strategic decisions since 2001 include: 

- Appointment of 5 professors, 3 recruited (Gilhooly, Laws, Marcel) and 2 internal promotions (Wiseman, Pine) in some cases with a research assistant/PhD student. 

- Reduced teaching loads for active researchers (high proportion of workload allocated to research time, on top of normal research allocation). 

- Drawing more staff into the School’s research culture (6 Early Career Researchers currently supported in the School, 3 submitted in RA2). 

- PhD bursaries, on average 2 p.a., to applicants with potential to complete within 4 years. 

- Improved completion rates for PhD students, based on a structured quality assurance scheme (see below)

- Included in the annual staff appraisal process, meaningful research output targets (relating to publications/options to increase grant applications). 

- Teaching release to a member of staff to provide statistical support for all researchers. 

The success of the School’s strategy during the assessment period is evidenced by: 

- A significant increase in the overall number of research outputs (averaging 68 p.a. 2001-06). 

- A significant increase in the quality of outputs: more publications in high impact journals, 14% increase in the average impact factor of the journals published in. 

- More (80%) staff submitted as research active having worked on externally funded projects since 2001. 

- Research active staff increasingly taking a leading role in both national and international research projects, collaborating with more than 60 other Universities around the globe. 

Research in the University is focused in three Research Institutes; Psychology comes within the Health and Human Sciences Research Institute. Each Research Institute has a Research Committee, which reports to the Research Committee of Academic Board and oversees QR allocation and research infrastructure (e.g. facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations and research administration). 

Cross-disciplinary collaboration is also facilitated by University bursaries for Inter-Faculty Studentships. These were introduced in 2007 and 3 were awarded to Pine/Woods, Wiseman and to the Centre for Life Span and Chronic Illness Research (CLiCIR) in collaboration with, respectively, Education, History and Electrical Engineering. 

The Research Office of the University provides a centralised support service and in 2004 the University extended its remit by investing resources to offer a comprehensive research grants pre-award service for academic and research staff (e.g. regular dissemination of funding opportunities, specialist help for managing EU projects, full support for the JE-S system and a costings service for grant applications). 

Research facilities and research student support 

The School has dedicated laboratories and testing rooms to support research. The neuroscience laboratory, housed within the School of Psychology, offers researchers and students a range of methods and techniques including in-vivo brain microdialysis, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), immunohistochemistry,and intracerebral drug microinjection. There is computer-aided behaviour observation with Observer and EthoVision, as well as a fully equipped Observation Laboratory. The School also has laboratories specialising in advanced auditory and sound analysis techniques and a fully supported Biological Services Unit (BSU), with animals for behavioural neuroscience and pharmacological research. All facilities are fully supported by a technical team.

The University has a long-established and well-developed programme of training for research students and staff and, in 2005, successfully bid competitively to host the UK GRAD East of England Regional Hub. The Hub has developed productive links with seven universities and six research institutes in the region. 

Psychology has a healthy critical mass of internally and externally funded postgraduate students. Since 2001 this has included Doctorate in Clinical Psychology students, currently recruiting 15 trainees p.a. (accounting for 74% of students on research doctorates 2001-07 and 41% of doctoral degrees awarded). There have also been CASE studentships, with partners such as British Telecom, and PhD support from Independent Television Commission/Ofcom. 

Quality assurance of research student training has been improved substantially since 2001 in the following ways: 

- Supervisory teams tailored to each student's need and to their research programme.

- Regular and consistent supervision from the supervisory team (plus annual monitoring). 

- Individually assessed Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and a development roadmap based around the University Generic Training programme, comprising 60 sessions consistent with the Research Council’s Joint Skills Statement (JSS). 

- Providing ESRC recognised postgraduate training (e.g. MSc in Research Methods) to all PhDs, based on the TNA. 

- A residential Summer School for part-time research students unable to attend the generic training sessions. 

- Training all supervisors to implement the Code of Good Practice for the Supervision of Research Degrees. 

- Encouraging and funding students to present their work at internal and external conferences/seminars. 

Staffing policy and staff development 

The University has a long-standing procedure for research staff career development, involving progression from fixed-term, to rolling- to open-ended contracts at all academic levels. Many Psychology researchers have benefited from this process, e.g. fixed-term contracts for Pine and Kvavilashvili were made permanent during the period. 

New staff are mentored for their first year and enter the research culture through integration into research teams, research away days, reading groups, research collaborations and weekly seminars. All staff are encouraged to participate in our extensive outreach programmes that have received support from Research Councils and the British Psychological Society. 

Early Career Researchers (ECRs) follow an induction programme and receive mentoring during their first year. The School lays on regular ECR master classes to support their research career development. 


Research Sub-areas and Groups 

From a strategic position, research comes under one of the following research groupings: 

- Neuropsychology and Behavioural Neuroscience 

- Learning, Memory & Thinking 

- Development and Language 

In addition, a number of staff are engaged in 

- Applied and practice-based research 

The groupings add value to individual research by i) promoting collaboration (e.g. preferential allocation of QR funded studentships to collaborative projects), joint grant holdings and authorships, peer review of grant applications and papers, co-supervision of research/MSC students, sharing expertise and ideas at specialist reading groups (e.g. psychosis, working memory, dopamine and cognition reading groups; distributed cognition) as well as interfacing with business and community partners. 

Neuropsychology and Behavioural Neuroscience 


Research in the area of cognitive neuropsychology involves patient-based studies (e.g. stroke, dementias, schizophrenia, OCD) and healthy participants. The School has a strategic approach to maximizing patient engagement and collaborative research with clinicians through: i) Outreach to research-interested clinicians and rewarding substantial contribution through co-authorship and visiting researcher status within the University and ii) Collaboration with the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme, which provides access to the regional Brain Injury Unit (BIRU) and local mental health services. 

Marcel’s Honorary Fellowship in Neurology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, ensures access to stroke patients with relevant disorders. Marcel also has Senior Research Associate positions at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge and Institute of Philosophy, University of London and access to the facilities at MRC CBU, Cambridge. 

Disorders of space and awareness 

Marcel has identified a role of perceptual migration in spatial neglect and a potential genetic contribution with implications for recovery (with Della Sala, Edinburgh; Beschin, Milan; Manly and Nimmo-Smith, CBU, Cambridge). Work on anosognosia for hemiplegia (AHP) has yielded a lead article in Cortex (with commentary), publication of a new diagnostic test of unawareness of bilateral disability, and current testing of separate kinds of unawareness in AHP and the nature of delusional symptoms (with Tegnér, Karolinska & Sophiahemmet Hospitals, Stockholm; Nimmo-Smith, MRC CBU, Cambridge). Methods include metabolic PET and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (with Walsh, ICN, London). This and continuing work on attention, consciousness and emotion experience (with Lambie, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge) mutually inform each other. 

Neuropsychological studies of perception and action. 

Dittrich’s research in collaboration with Atkinson (Durham), Kischka (John Radcliffe, Oxford), Fineberg (Visiting Prof, UH, Hertfordshire Partnerships Trust) has focused on perception of moving objects/people and control of actions in healthy adults and patients. New paradigms have been developed, especially i) causal and intentional displays, ii) point-light displays to test Dittrich’s Interactive Encoding Model. Dittrich has developed a standardised set of emotional body stimuli now used world-wide for research. 


Visual and semantic processing in dementia and schizophrenia 

Laws’ research, in collaboration with Sartori (Padua), Moreno (Madrid), Crawford (Aberdeen) and Gale (Visiting Research Fellow), on category specific impairments has given rise to lead articles with peer commentaries (e.g. Cortex). This research, which has included studies with a range of neurological and psychiatric patients, has been influential in the debate on how to conceptualise and measure category specific effects. Laws and Done have published around 30 papers on semantic memory dysfunction in schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s dementia since 2001. This research has contributed to debates on i) whether semantic memory impairments in schizophrenia result from disordered access to, or loss of, semantic representations ii) the link between semantic memory dysfunction and psychotic symptoms, especially thought disorder and delusions iii) whether object recognition failure in dementia is a semantic or high-level perceptual disorder. Methods have included computational modelling in collaboration with the Neural Computation Research Group at UH. There is also collaboration with the Behavioural Neuroscience Group through a common interest in the role of dopamine in behaviour and cognition (joint reading group and grant applications, e.g. under the ESRC/MRC addiction programme) 

Neurodevelopmental models of schizophrenia 

Done, in collaboration with Leask (Nottingham) and Crow (Oxford) has evaluated neurodevelopmental pathways to schizophrenia using two national UK birth cohorts (NCDS and BCS70). Done was a co-applicant with Joshi (Institute of Education) in a successful £1.3 million ESRC grant to extend electronic access to previously archived NCDS and BCS70 data. In 2006 he established the Centre for Life Span and Chronic Illness Research (CLiCIR) to develop statistical methods for exploring change over the lifespan. Two recently funded OST studentships (ESRC/MRC and ESRC CASE) were awarded (after July 2007) to explore psychological/mental trajectories in chronic illness. Collaborators include the national Early Rheumatiod Arthritis Study (joint applicants in NIHR Programme Grant in 2007), Sacker (Essex) and Kulinskaya (Imperial London)

Statistical and methodological issues in neuropsychology 

Both Marcel and Laws, in collaborations with Crawford (Aberdeen), and Nimmo-Smith (Cambridge), together with Page (Learning, Memory and Thinking group) have published work on methods used in neuropsychological research. In particular limitations of fMRI in formulating cognitive models (Page) and statistical methods, including software development, for analysis of case study data (Laws). 


Together with colleagues from the School of Life Sciences, the behavioural neuroscience group utilise animal research facilities located within the School’s Biological Services Unit. Research focuses on the role of dopamine in disease models of addiction and Parkinson’s disease. A programme of research, funded by the Parkinson’s Disease Society UK, is investigating the neuroprotective properties of physical activity in a dopamine lesion model and how such properties interact with drug treatments for Parkinson’s disease (Annett, Hasenöhrl, Thiemann). Results suggest that physical activity may lessen the impact of a dopamine lesion whereas inactivity may make the lesion worse. Annett collaborates with groups in Cambridge (Barker) and Padua (Cozzi) on the FP6 funded Xenome project aiming to produce genetically modified porcine tissue that will reduce the risk of rejection of neural transplants for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. 

Research on addiction focuses on the role of endogenous cannabinoids in psychomotor stimulant induced behavioural sensitisation and reward using genetically engineered animals (Hasenöhrl, Thiemann). A new pharmacological principle for the prevention and treatment of psycho-stimulant addiction has been discovered, based on blockade of CB1 cannabinoid tone in reward-related forebrain regions like the nucleus accumbens. The research is multidisciplinary involving active interactions with local research groups in Life Sciences (pharmacology and electrophysiology), Pharmacy (clinical pharmacology) and Computer Science (neural networks), and international collaborations (DiMarzo, Naples, cannabinoid neurochemistry; Ledent, Belgium, genetically engineered mice).

 Learning, Memory and Thinking 

The research of this group focuses on cognition and emotion; ageing and cognition; working memory: mechanisms and models; and everyday cognition. This research has led to funding from ESRC (2 project grants), Leverhulme Trust (1 research grant), BBSRC (1 research grant), British Academy (Fellowship) and Royal Society. 

Cognition and Emotion 

The group’s work in this area has contributed to a more detailed understanding of cognition-emotion interactions. The ongoing work of Schlagman and Kvavilashvili has revealed depression effects in autobiographical memory. Msetfi’s work on depressive realism has included studies on time perception and context processing, arising from joint work with Murphy (formerly UH, now UCL). Published studies by Gilhooly have indicated the impairing effects of non-neutral moods for older people on planning. Page has collaborated on working memory and emotion with Baddeley, Huang and Banse at York.  Advantages have accrued from a shared research environment; e.g., Kvavilashvili, Msetfi and Page have collaborated on projects requiring participant screening, jointly developing electronic (web-accessible) instruments, which yield a common pool of pre-screened participants. 

Ageing and Cognition 

This research, funded by ESRC (Gilhooly, Kvavilashvili), includes age effects on priming, planning, problem-solving, prospective, autobiographical and flashbulb memories. Studies conducted under the ESRC Growing Older Programme, for example, examined cognitive functioning in old age and found that intentional mental exercise was linked to better problem-solving (Gilhooly), which has practical implications for maintaining functioning in later life. Work on cognitive control and psychological well-being discovered a high incidence of repressive coping style in older adults, explaining the absence of negative involuntary memories and decreased psychopathology with age (Kvavilashvili, Schlagman). Research into differential effects of age on involuntary and voluntary autobiographical memories has resulted in the first two published studies on this topic (Schlagman, Kvavilashvili). External collaborations include Aberdeen (Phillips), Brunel (Myers, M. Gilhooly), Reading (Cockburn) and Leeds (Conway). Work on these collaborations is facilitated by a shared subject pool of older adults, used extensively by this and other research groups. 

Working memory: Mechanisms and Roles. 

This research involves two principal areas. First, Page’s work on theoretical models of components of working memory involves the development of quantitative (connectionist) models, in particular those relating to the representation of serial order. This research encompasses collaborations with York (Hitch, Baddeley), MRC CBU (Norris), Plymouth (Cumming). Its extension to models of serial representation in language has led to collaboration with MPI, Nijmegen (Cutler, McQueen, Jesse) and Western Sydney (Tyler). Page was Invited Visiting Research Fellow at MPI Nijmegen in 2004-5. Second, Page’s work is complemented by Gilhooly’s Leverhulme and ESRC funded studies applying working memory measures and concepts to complex thinking tasks. Work in this area has benefited from regular meetings of a Working Memory Discussion Group. 

Everyday Cognition 

This research has attracted funding from the ESRC and the British Academy, as well as two ESRC competitive studentships, and involves work on prospective (Kvavilashvili), autobiographical and flashbulb memories (Kvavilashvili, Schlagman), medical decision-making (Gilhooly), and errorless learning (Page). Recently, a new laboratory method of eliciting and measuring involuntary autobiographical memories has been developed (Schlagman, Kvavilashvili), enhancing the validity of studies of normal and intrusive involuntary autobiographical memory. Collaboration with Grafman (National Institute of Health, US), on the Vietnam Head Injury Study (a large scale study of Vietnam veterans with penetrating head injury, funded by Henry M Jackson Foundation, $2,436,440), has enabled examination of the role of prefrontal cortex in prospective memory tasks and Kvavilashvili has responsibility for this aspect of the project. 

Future plans (Kvavilashvili) involve studying neural mechanisms of prospective memory and involuntary memories. The collaboration with Grafman, one of the leading authorities on frontal lobe function, is yielding a unique data set that will enable examination of the role of various areas of the prefrontal cortex on the performance of several different prospective memory tasks (specifically designed by Kvavilashvili for this project) as well as involuntary mind-popping. 

Gilhooly’s studies of decision-making in GPs found systematic departures from official guidelines and use of relatively few cues. Page's collaboration with Norris, Wilson and colleagues, on the theoretical underpinnings of the errorless-learning advantage in memory rehabilitation, has resulted in further collaboration with the Cambridge Computer Laboratory (Blackwell, Dubuc) and Bangor (Clare), from which a major grant application has resulted. This project focuses on the application of portable multimedia devices to care of people with Alzheimer's Disease. 

Future work (Page) will include continuing development of the primacy model of immediate serial recall and its extension to long-term sequence learning, including word learning. This work is in collaboration with Norris (CBU,Cambridge) and McQueen (MPI, Nijmegen). Other planned projects include one on technology-assisted memory rehabilitation in people with Alzheimer's disease, in collaboration with Clare at Bangor. 

Gilhooly’s work on decision-making continues in collaboration with colleagues at Brunel. A research grant application to ESRC’s New Directions in Aging Programme (Gilhooly co-applicant) has recently been awarded in September 2007(Detecting and preventing financial abuse of older adults: An examination of decision-making by managers and professionals: £268,526). Gilhooly has also just (Nov. 2007) been awarded £72K from ESRC for a programme of research entitled Incubation Processes during Problem Solving.

Development and Language 

The group comprises three returned researchers (Leinonen. Pine, Woods), supported by research assistants, research fellows and six PhD students. 

Children’s language comprehension 

Leinonen’s work in the area of language comprehension in children is conducted in collaboration with Purdue University, USA, Budapest, Hungary and the University of Oulu, Finland where she holds an honorary post (doscent). Current research includes cross-linguistic comparisons of specific language impairment in children, funded by a $3m grant from the NIH to Leonard at Purdue (with Leinonen as co-applicant). This work has been complemented by an ongoing programme of research based at UH into children’s pragmatic comprehension (Leinonen). 

Gestures and cognitive development

Pine’s work on gestures has been funded by c £100,000 in ESRC grants since 2001 and the Gestures and Communication Research Centre specialises in investigating children’s gestures. One key area is infant communication. An internally funded PhD programme is evaluating the use of ‘Babysign’ on children’s development with a four-group longitudinal study. Also, Pine is heading a community-based infant communication project being undertaken with Hertfordshire County Council (in line with the government’s ‘Early Years’ Initiative) and funded by the SureStart programme. The plan is for this to produce a validated baby communication package deliverable to parents in disadvantaged areas across the county, whose infants may be at risk of language delay. 

The microgenetic approach underlies much of the developmental research and the group co-ordinated a series of four seminars on the Microdevelopmental Approach to Cognitive Development in 2004 and 2006 with funding from the BPS and ESRC (to Pine & Flynn, St Andrews). A Current Developments in Gesture Research seminar series was funded by the BPS (Pine) and held at Hertfordshire in 2006 and Manchester in 2007. Pine has collaborated on developmental projects into cognition with Siegler (Carnegie Mellon University) and Haddad-Zubel (University of Friebourg), and Messer (Open University UK). The application of developmental models to children’s spelling is undertaken with Steffler (Concordia, Canada) and the School has funded a PhD student on this project. 

Social factors, bullying. 

Developmental psychologists in the School have completed the first UK longitudinal study into the impact of alcohol advertising, following children from 9 to 13 years old. This research arose from a commission (and funding) from the Independent Television Commission (Pine). The findings, the first to show alcohol awareness in children as young as 9, have been used by Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Agency and have informed policy and regulations. Future work involves developing effective interventions for primary school children. 

Woods' work on bullying began in The Wolke Research Group at UH (1998-2002; ESRC funded).Collaboration with Wolke (Warwick) continues. From 2002-06 Woods was the psychologist on two European interdisciplinary research projects (Victec and Cogniron), with the School of Information Sciences (UH) and business partners. The Victec project investigated platforms for school anti-bullying initiatives (FP5 STREP for £2.3 million Euros to Information Sciences), and the Cogniron project explored Human Robot Interaction. Woods is collaborating with E-Circus, a follow-up project evaluating anti-bullying software in schools (FP6 IST for 2.6 million Euros to Computer Science). There has been extensive dissemination including joint publications, conferences, media coverage, and education workshops. With international collaborators, Woods is co-applicant on FP7 European STREP grant submission for 2.9 million Euros. 

The research into bullying is being extended into a community-based project (Woods/Pine) with Red Balloon Schools, evaluating a recovery programme for severely bullied children, funded by an Inter-Faculty Studentship from 2007. 

Applied and Practice-Based Research 

Researchers in the School engage actively with partners in the public and private business community, the health service and with the wider public. Marcel, for example, has advised Westminster and Edinburgh councils on the Sense of Enclosure as a factor in planning the built environment. 

FIT Science 

Fletcher’s research led to the formation of The FIT Corporation, a University company, in 2000 and b-Flex Health Ltd. in 2005 (finalist, Hertfordshire Business Awards, 2007/08). The global license for the FIT product set is held by Corporate FIT Science Ltd. This research has been the focus of funded projects with the Eastern region development agency, the Dept. of Trade and Industry/Tti and widely implemented in public organisations. Research by Fletcher was quoted by the Cabinet Office in the 2002 review of stress at work. A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) was awarded in 2004 (Fletcher/Pine) to work with Heales Medical Ltd. using research-based evidence to produce a validated stress assessment instrument (Person Environment Stresss Tool) for use in an occupational health setting. A second KTP has been awarded )Fletcher/Pine with Heales Medical) in November 2007 to build upon these research applications.

Health Research and Development Support Unit 

HRDSU (funded by NHS R&D since 1995) is now a NHS R&D support service arm of CLiCIR (see above). Since 2002 HRDSU staff have co-authored 33 peer reviewed publications. Since 2004, HRDSU has been commissioned to provide a statistical/methodology consultancy to the Pan Hertfordshire Hospitals R&D consortium (0.5 FTE funded from NHS R&D). These long term research links with regional NHS R&D also resulted in the establishment of a Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre (CTCC) within HHSRI in 2006 (2.75 FTE staff). 

Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) 

The School of Psychology has hosted the Centre for Personal Construct Psychology (founded by Fay Fransella, who is a Visiting Professor at the university) since 2005. This Centre offers consultancy and facilitates collaborative research. It also houses the Fransella Collection, the world’s largest archive of scholarly works on personal construct psychology. The Centre’s 2006 PCP conference was attended by over 70 delegates from around the world. 

The PCP research group is led by Professor David Winter, who has written/edited several books and over 100 other publications on PCP and psychotherapy research. Winter’s research covers personal construct models of, and therapeutic approaches to, psychological disorders, the repertory grid technique, serial killing, and the evidence base for personal construct psychotherapy and other under-researched therapies (supported by the UK Council for Psychotherapy). He is International Consultant for a research programme on consumer evaluation of mental health services (funded by the Australian Research Council), which received the Gold Medal for the best mental health research in Australia and New Zealand at the Australasian Mental Health Conference in 2004. His collaborative research is conducted with colleagues from the Universities of Barcelona, Bristol, Melbourne, Memphis, and Wollongong, the Institute of Psychiatry, and University College London. One of these colleagues, Richard Bell from the University of Melbourne, is a Visiting Professor at the University. 

Winter also brings a constructivist philosophy to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) programme, as its Programme Director. As Head of Clinical Psychology Services for Barnet, he leads the Mental Health Trust’s research programme on neuropsychology and psychological therapies (received the highest possible rating of ‘strong’ in the 2006 NHS Research Programmes assessment). Winter’s research on a personal construct intervention for self-harm has resulted in a specialist post to deliver PCP interventions within the Trust.

Public Understanding of Science 

A number of researchers from the School (e.g. Fletcher, Gilhooly, Kvavilashvili, Laws, Pine, Wiseman) have engaged in media activities, talking on TV, radio and to the national media about their research. Staff receive support in these activities from the University’s Marketing and Communications department. 

Wiseman holds Britain’s only Chair in the Public Understanding of Psychology and has an international reputation for carrying out mass participation studies into the psychology of luck, paranormal belief, and deception. His awards include the BAAS’s Joseph Lister Award (2002), and a ‘Dreamtime’ Fellowship from The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (2005). In 2005 Wiseman served as President of the General Section of the BAAS. In 2006 he completed British Council sponsored speaking tours of Malaysia, New Zealand, and Japan, and in 2007 undertook a seven city speaking tour of Australia for their National Science Week. Wiseman has appeared on over 150 television programmes, written several popular books, and been dubbed the most-cited psychologist in the media. His activities are designed to demonstrate, to the wider public, the scientific rigor of psychological enquiry methods and to disseminate psychological research findings in ways accessible by a lay audience. 

Future strategy 

The University’s explicit vision is to be recognised as a new model of a business-facing, research-intensive University. UH has received £4.2m of government funding to continue implementing this vision, through far-reaching engagement with national/international public and private sector organisations (UH Evolution). The University's strategic plan recognises the importance of research and emphasises a commitment to growing and investing in its research centres to meet its objectives by 2011.The BSU, for example,  will receive a major upgrading over the next 3 years, in order to accommodate new postgraduate programmes (many involving research projects) in the recently established School of Pharmacy. Since the BSU is a shared facility this will greatly enhance the research environment for behavioural neuroscience, and support collaborative research with Pharmacy.

In alignment with University strategy, one of the School’s plans is to continue to develop the fruitful research links that are being established with the local community, business and industry. A member of the School (Page) has been appointed as London Technology Network Business Fellow to promote research applications for business and industry and develop collaborations. The establishment of a new Centre for Behavioural Change in 2008 will complement our existing centres in providing a focus for these collaborations and for user-led and enquiry-led research. In addition the School is involved in the development of a Centre of Excellence in the Built Environment with the Building Research Establishment Trust at Garston, which will have a special focus on Health and Clinical Psychology

The School will continue to invest in its research strengths and also to target strategic collaborations across research groups, e.g. psychology and ageing. A Masters in Research Methods in Cognitive Neuropsychology started in 2006. Further specialist Masters programmes deriving from areas of research expertise will be developed (e.g. Masters in Health Psychology from 2008) and strategic investments made in staff and facilities. 

Furthermore the School recognises the importance of sustainability of research and is committed to continue nurturing and developing new researchers. The professional development of all staff will remain a priority, with a strategic focus upon conducting and publishing research of the highest caliber. Recognising that some senior staff will need replacing over the next 5-10 years, the University has an active policy of supporting staff seeking promotion and leadership roles.


Indicators of Esteem 

The researchers returned in this submission engage in a wide-range of research related activities. In accordance with the UOA44 guidelines, we present here up to four examples per researcher. 


Member: The British Neuroscience Association committee, 2007-2010. Board member: Network for European CNS Transplantation and Restoration (NECTAR), 2000-2002. 

Member: International Organising Committee, International Symposia on Neural Transplantation (biennial meeting), 1999-present. 

Reviewer: Parkinson's Disease Society, UK, grant and fellowship applications, 2003-present. 


Hon.Secretary: UK Alexander von Humbold Association, 2002-05. 

Editorial board: Animal Cognition, 2001-present. 

Editorial Board: Psyche (founding Associate Editor) 2001-present. 

Plenary guest speaker: Embodied Communication, international ZIF-Conference, University of Bielefeld, Germany, 2005. 


Research adviser: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children Psychosis Research Group 2002-2005. 

Invited discussant: International Science Forum, Heidleberg, 2001. 

Invited presenter: Fifth Symposium 'Search for the Causes of Schizophrenia', Guaruja, Brazil, 2003. 

Chair: National Institue of Health Research Comprehensive Local Research Network for Hertfordshire and Essex(2007-)


University spin-off company formed, The FIT Corporation Ltd: markets the IPR from Fletcher’s research, now globally and exclusively licensed to VC-funded Corporate FIT Science Ltd. 

Award for Excellence for an 'Outstanding Paper', Emerald Publishers, 2003. 

Research Board: The British Psychological Society, 2007-present. 

External doctoral examiner: Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, 2005 (Neelu Sarai). 


Member: ESRC Research Grants Board, 2003-2007. 

Vice-Chair: ESRC Seminars Competition Panel, 2006-2007. 

Associate Editor (one of 3), Thinking and Reasoning, 2005-present. 

Elected Chair: 2001-2007 (& Vice-Chair 2007-8) of Cognitive Psychology Section, British Psychological Society.


Organizer and Chair: International symposium, 37th Annual General Meeting, European Brain and Behaviour Society, Dublin, 2005 

Invited Lecturer: 3rd International Summer School and Symposium on Humour, Laughter and the Brain, Edinburgh, 2003. 

Editorial Board: 'Psychology Science' (former Psychologische Beitraege) Biological Psychology section, 2002-present. 

Guest Editor: Behavioural Brain Research, special issue, vol.124, 2001. 


Invited symposium speaker: Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, 2007.

Invited symposium speaker: 4th International Conference on Memory, Sydney, 2006. 

Member of Programme Committee: 2nd International Conference of Prospective Memory, Zurich, 2005. 

External doctoral examiner: University College London, 2006 (Zlotowitz). 


Guest Editor: (Dickins & Laws) Special issue 'History and Philosophy of Psychology' Vol. 6, 2004. Cognitive Science: the State of the Art. 

Invited symposium speaker: Joint Meeting of European Neuropsychological Societies, Italy, 2004. 

Invited symposium speaker: European Association of Psychiatrists, Czech Republic, 2003. 

External doctoral examiner:
Aberdeen, 2003 (Julie Henry).


Editorial Board: Journal of Multilingual Communication Disorders; Puhe ja Kieli (Speech and Language) 2001–present. 

Invited plenary speaker: XI Nordic Child Language Symposium, Oulu, Finland, 2007. 

Invited speaker: International Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics Conference, Hong Kong, 2002. 

Invited speaker: European Workshop on Cognitive Neuropsychology, Italy, 2003. 


Guest plenary speaker: North American and European Societies for Philosophy and Psychology, Joint annual meeting, Barcelona, 2004. 

External Examiner: Professorial Habilitations, Psychology; Université René Descartes, “Paris 5”, France; (e.g. Victor Rosenthal, June, 2001). 

Steering Committee and Programme Committee: European Workshop on Cognitive Neuropsychology. Throughout RAE period 

Editorial Board, Consciousness and Cognition. Throughout RAE period 

Msetfi (Early Career Researcher) 

Co-organiser: International Society for Psychophysics Annual Conference, UK, 2006. 

Invited symposium speaker: BPS Cognitive Section Conference, Lancaster, 2006. 


Associate Editor: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A, 2001-2004. 

Guest speaker: International Conference on Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston, 2002. 

Invited speaker: International Conference on Working Memory, Kyoto, 2004. 

PhD external examiner: Dublin City University, July 2006 (Steven Harford). 


Invited symposium speaker: British Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006. 

Invited Guest Editor, Special Issue, Infant and Child Development, Vol. 15, 2007 

Invited symposium speaker: Society for Research in Child Development, Biannual Conference, Atlanta, 2005

External doctoral examiner: UEL, April 2006 (Alan Martin). 

Schlagman (Early Career Researcher) 

Invited symposium speaker: The Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Maine, USA July 2007

Thiemann (Early Career Researcher) 

Invited presenter: ERBI's 8th Annunal meeting, Biopartnering, Cambridge, 2006. 


Chair of Research Committee: UK Council for Psychotherapy, 2004-2007 

Associate Editor: Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 2004-present 

Research Editor: European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 2003-present. 

Invited keynote speaker: 17th International Congress of Personal Construct Psychology, Brisbane, 2007. 


President: General Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 2005. 

Invited member: EPSRC Partnerships for Public Engagement Grant Programme Panel 2007 

Keynote Address: NHS Confederation Annual Conference, 2005. 

Devised and co-presented a 20 part BBC1 series on social psychology (to be broadcast November 2007) 


Invited speaker: 'Bullying - How to Spot it, How to Stop it' Conference, City University, 2006. 

Invited speaker: Annual ChildLine Conference, London, 2003. 

Workshop convenor and facilitator: 'I-Power - National Anti-Bullying Conference', Weston Super-Mare, 2006. 

Co-organiser: ‘Empathy in Human Computer Interaction’ Workshop, British HCI Conference, 2004.