Research in the School of Psychology

Venn Diagram showing relationship of research groups in psychology

The School has two main research groupings:  Cognitive and Biological Psychology and Social & Developmental which overlap in a shared interest in Health and Ageing.

All staff and postgraduate students belong to one or more of these groupings. Anyone interested in pursuing PhD or postdoctoral research in any of these areas should contact the relevant member of staff identified below.

Cognitive and Biological Psychology

Research into neuropsychological and cognitive processes

Social & Developmental

Research into social relationships and development

Health & Ageing

Critical psychological approaches to understanding health and illness and promoting wellbeing

Children and Young People in Society Special Interest Group

For those interested on conducting research with children and young people.  The group is open to those across the university and external to Keele.  Please contact Claire Fox ( for details.

Keele Action Research Network

This network brings together action researchers across Keele University and beyond.  For more information or to become a member, contact  Emee Estacio

Recent and Current Funded Research

Psychology staff are involved in a wide range of research projects.  Below is a sample of the projects that are externally funded on which staff are currently involved.

  • Michael Murray (PI: Ryan Woolrych (Heriot Watt); Co-Is: Adriana Portella, Judith Sixsmith, Harry Smith, Soledad Garcia Ferrari, Jenny Fisher, Rebecca Lawthon, Eduardo Rocha, Maria Cristina Lay, Antônio Tarcísio Reis , Isolda de Araújo Günther and Hartmut Günther). Place-making with older adults: Towards age-friendly communities. ESRC Urban Transformations (£480,931, 2016-2019).
  • Nicky Edelstyn (PI Dr Simon Ellis, PhD student Tom Shepherd, Co-Is, Keira Watts, Julius Sim, Andrew Mayes) A Phase IV Acceptability and Feasibility Trial of the ?Effects of Medication on Memory in Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease without Cognitive Impairment, NIHR-Research for Patient Benefit (£250,000, 2013-2015).
  • Nicky Edelstyn (PI Simon Ellis, Co-Is: Alice Martini, Tony Fryer, Tom Shepherd) Prevention is Better than Cure: A Proof of Concept Study Investigating Vulnerability Factors for Impulse Control Behaviour in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. University Hospital of North Staffordshire Research Charity and private donations (£20,000 + £1,000, 2015-2018).
  • Emee Estacio Readability assessment of health information materials in GP Practices. Stoke-on-Trent City Council, £1,500. April 2013 to April 2014
  • Emee Estacio Action on health literacy: Engaging target populations. NHS Stoke and Stoke City Council, £49,000. April 2011 to May 2012
  • Emee Estacio Experiences of migrant nurses in the UK: An action research project [pilot study]. Richard Benjamin Grant, £9,980. October 2010- July 2011
  • Claire Fox (Co-I, Dr Pete Lonsdale) Project Blog: enhancing our understanding of the final year Psychology project through reflective writing. Higher Education Academy (£4800, 2012-2014).
  • Claire Fox Humour Styles and Bullying in Schools. ESRC (£123,266, 2011- 2012).
  • Claire Fox (Co-I, Prof David Gadd) READAPT – Relationship Education and Domestic Abuse Prevention Tuition. European Commission – Daphne III (€309,500, 2011-2013).
  • Claire Fox (PI, Prof David Gadd) From Boys to Men: Precluding the Proclivity to Perpetrate, ESRC (£385,000, 2010 – 2013).
  • Michael Murray (PI: Mim Bernard; Co-Is, David Amigoni, Lucy Munro, & Jill Rezzano). Theatre, memory, ageing and locality: a study of the role of theatre in representing ageing. New Dynamics of Ageing (MRC/ESRC/AHRC) (£577,585, 2009-2012).
  • Michael Murray (Co-Is, Roger Beech, Sian Maslin-Prothero & Tom Scharf). Promoting independence and social engagement among older people. New Dynamics of Ageing (MRC/ESRC/AHRC) (£417,851, 2007-2011).
  • Michael Murray (PI: Ari Väänänen; Co-Is: I. Williamson, A. Järvensivu, L. Kokkinen, A. Koskinen, A. Kouvonen, A. Kuokkanen, A. Petersen, A. Smolander, J. Turtiainen, P. Varje, S. Virtanen). The rise of the vulnerable mind at work: The case of Finland in 1960-2010. Academy of Finland (€675,000, 2013-2016).
  • Michael Murray (PhD student: Katie Wright-Bevans) Community based intergenerational approach to health promotion in disadvantaged communities. Stoke City Council/Beth Johnson Foundation (£24,000, 2012-2015).
  • Richard Stephens (Co-I, Dr Lauren Owen) The cognitive consequences of the alcohol hangover. Marie Curie Research Fellowship (£148,975, 2012-2014).
  • Chris Stiff Campus Citizenship Behaviours: Predicting students' pro-social actions, Leverhulme Trust (£71,000, 2014 – 2015).
  • Chris Stiff Cross-cultural elements of cyber-bullying, Royal Society International Exchange (£2900, 2014).