Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research



We pride ourselves on the applied nature of our research work. We are a vibrant community of psychologists with a clear focus on ensuring that our work has meaning for the academic community as well as for those whom we research, practitioners, patients, policy makers and the wider public.

Our aim

The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research (SCPR), established in 2016, conducts socially relevant research which has a positive impact on psychological health. The SCPR collaborates with industry, the NHS, service users, policy-makers and global academic partnerships.

Our work corresponds with the following UN Sustainable development Goals:

  • 3 - Health and Well-being: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • 4 - Good quality education: ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • 10 - Reduced inequalities – reduce inequality within and among countries

We have two key strengths:

  • The applied nature of our work: for example, we work on generating insights and understanding to support and encourage health behaviour change, coping with long term conditions, creativity in children and healthy ageing.
  • The methodological approaches we employ, which unusually for a psychology department recognise the value of innovative qualitative approaches. In addition to the more traditional approaches to psychological research (e.g. surveys, eye-tracking, photo-elicitation, interviews), the SCPR has strength in the application of novel research methodologies. For example, SCPR members use drawing, art, photography, and facial ageing software in their work. In using more novel approaches, participation in our research is made more accessible to those with different needs.

Group leaders

Dr Richard Jolley

Associate Professor

My research interests mainly lie in children's use and understanding of representation, particularly in their making and understanding of pictures.

Richard's profile

Dr Rachel Povey

Associate Professor

I'm the course leader for the Health Psychology Professional Doctorate. My areas of expertise are healthy eating, dietary change and psychological aspects of diabetes.

Rachel's profile

Researchers within Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research

Dr Claire Barlow

Course Director

Claire's research is primarily focused on children's drawings with further projects focussing on the development of expressive drawing, and more specifically how this compares to the development of representational drawing skill, longitudinal de…

Claire's profile

Dr Emily Buckley

Head Of Department - Psychology

I am Head of the Psychology Department, and am a registered Health Psychologist. Most of my research has been within the areas of health promotion and health inequalities.

Emily's profile

Dr Amy Burton

Senior Lecturer

My research interests focus on improving health care communication in areas including: gerontology, pain management, visual impairment and sensory disability.

Amy's profile

Lisa Cowap


My expertise is within Health Psychology and conducting research employing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Lisa's profile

Dr Sarah Dean

Senior Lecturer

Sarah's research has focussed on children and adolescents. Her PhD explored the effects that writing about stressful experiences has for early adolescents and why written emotional disclosure may not be a suitable intervention for them.

Sarah's profile

Dr Justine Drakeford

Senior Lecturer

I joined Staffordshire University as a senior lecturer in January 2012. My research interests are in the areas of cognitive neuropsychiatry and cognitive neuropsychology.

Justine's profile

Dr Daniel Herron


Daniel's profile

Dr Jo Heyes

Clinical Director

Jo's areas of interest for research are early attachment relationships, parenting programmes and early childhood behaviour difficulties. She also has an interest in perinatal mental health and in the supervisory relationship.

Jo's profile

Sarah Higgins


I began work as a Technical Skills Specialist in January 2014 alongside my studies on the part-time MSc Health Psychology award, of which I completed with a distinction in 2015.

Sarah's profile

Dr Louise Humphreys

Senior Lecturer

My interests are broadly in the area of attention and memory. I'm particularly interested in how human emotion influences attention and memory performance.

Louise's profile

Dr Gemma Hurst

Course Director

I am the Course Leader for the MSc Health Psychology. My research focuses on measuring the impact of environment exposures on health and wellbeing and exploring the wider determinants of health in relation to health inequality. I am also experie…

Gemma's profile

Dr Samuel Jones


I am a lecturer in Quantitative Research Methods and Statistics in the Psychology Department at Staffordshire University.

Samuel's profile

Dr Saskia Jones


I graduated with a first-class BSc (Hons) Psychology degree from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2014 and then went on to study for a PhD and work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Leeds Beckett University until 2019.

Saskia's profile

Dr Sarah Krahenbuhl

Senior Lecturer

Sarah's area of expertise is in investigative interviewing strategies used with children and subsequent legal proceedings. She is module leader for Forensic Applications of Psychology.

Sarah's profile

Dr Erica Holland

Senior Lecturer

Erica's research interests lie in the area of human reasoning. Her PhD work was on relevance and rationalisation processes on the Wason selection task. She is particularly interested in the use of different methodologies that can be utilised t…

Erica's profile

Dr Yvonne Melia

Principal Clinical Lecturer

Yvonne's main research interests relate to attachment relationships, developmental trauma, applications of clinical psychology in social care contexts and psychological issues pertaining to Looked After Children and adopted children.

Yvonne's profile

Dr Alison Owen


After carrying out my undergraduate psychology degree here at Staffordshire University, I completed the MSc in Health Psychology at Staffordshire in 2010.

Alison's profile

Dr Zachary Parker


Zachary joined Staffordshire University in 2019 as the course leader for the MSc of Foundations in Clinical Psychology. In 2016 Zachary completed his PhD and graduated in 2017. Since 2014 he has taught research methods and since 2016 he has work…

Zachary's profile

Sarah Rose

Senior Lecturer

Sarah is a developmental psychologist with a particular interest in the influence of education on the development of children's creative abilities. Her other areas of research expertise are the effect of television on children's behaviour and un…

Sarah's profile

Dr Helen Scott

Research Director

I completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology with German, and in 2004 completed my doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at Birmingham University.

Helen's profile

Nichola Street

Senior Lecturer

Nikki's research interests are mainly within the realm of environmental psychology, individual differences and impact of visual beauty, such as art or the physical spaces in which we spend time. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinar…

Nichola's profile

Dr Jennifer Taylor

Senior Lecturer

My research interests are in exploring health risk behaviours, particularly those which have potentially negative, identity implications, such as sunbed tanning.

Jennifer's profile

Dr Romina Vivaldi


Romina's research interests are focussed on symbolic development as it relates to pictures and occupational gender stereotypes.

Romina's profile
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