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Research Board

We advise on science and research policy, the funding of psychological research, and the submission of evidence to public or private bodies.


The Research Board acts as champions and advisors for high quality research for the Society. The Research Board reports to and advises the Board of Trustees on science and research policy, the funding of psychological research, the submission of evidence to public or private bodies, as well as other matters relating to the promotion and advancement of psychological science.

The main responsibilities of the Research Board are:

  • Influencing internal and external funding for the support and encouragement of research
  • Reviewing psychological research within the UK and elsewhere, research conducted by our members, and research sponsored by the Society
  • Providing informed and impartial advice on research issues in response to internal and external enquiry
  • Commissioning or undertaking enquiries to produce expert and authoritative reports on research issues of interest to the Society and the wider public
  • Supporting, on grounds of eligibility and quality, research activities planned or conducted by Society members
  • Promoting research (both discipline based and multidisciplinary) through the dissemination of results through conferences, seminars and other means
  • Defining standards for the training of postgraduate students in research methods
  • Working to maximise the availability of funds to support psychological research

Download the Research Board terms of reference

For any enquiries please contact the Research Board team

Research Board Members


Chair 2021-2024
  • Professor Andy Tolmie
Deputy Chair
  • Dr Duncan Guest is a cognitive psychologist with expertise in attention and memory. Duncan has been Deputy Chair of the BPS Research Board since 2021, and before that was part of the Cognitive Psychology Section committee for 8 years, in that time organising the 2014 conference, the CogDev 2019 conference, creating and editing The Cognitive Psychology Bulletin and serving as Chair from 2017-2021.  Gaining his PhD in 2008 (Warwick University) Duncan held postdoctoral positions at Warwick, Oxford Brookes, Università Bocconi and Università della Svizzera italiana before joining Nottingham Trent University where he is now Head of Department.
Deputy Chair
  • Dr Richard Stephens is Deputy Chair of  the Research Board (appointed in October 2021) and serves as Chair of the British Psychological Society Psychologist and Digest Editorial Advisory Committee. Richard is a former Chair of the British Psychological Society Psychobiology Section (2013-2017) and continue to serve as a committee members, while also working as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Keele University. His current research area is the cognitive psychology of flow and state disinhibition. 

Section nominees

Consciousness & Experiential Psychology Section
  • Ms Jane Henry, Chair of Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section. Previously Senior Lecturer in Applied Psychology at Open University. Research on long term-outcomes of personal development strategies, wellbeing and creativity. Has held UK, European and US grants. Published 10 books.
Crisis, Disasters and Trauma Psychology Section
  • Dr Siobhan Currie
​​​​Cyberpsychology Section
  • Dr Catherine Talbot
Developmental Psychology Section
  • Dr Chris Jarrold is a Professor of Cognitive Development at the University of Bristol. He is currently the Chair of the British Psychological Society's Developmental Section and has previously served as the Honorary Secretary of the Experimental Psychology Society. His research focuses on children's cognitive development, and particularly on the processes that support goal-directed behaviour and the maintenance of information in immediate memory.
History & Philosophy of Psychology Section
  • Professor Gavin Sullivan
Male Psychology Section
  • Dr Deborah Powney
Mathematical, Statistical & Computing Section
  • Dr Mark Andrews
Political Psychology Section
  • Professor Catherine Lido
Psychobiology Section
  • Kyla Pennington
Psychology of Education Section
  • Dr Louise Taylor
Psychology of Sexualities Section
  • Dr Robert Agnew
Psychology of Women and Equalities Section
  • Bipasha Ahmed
Psychotherapy Section
  • Ms Erica Brostoff, M.Sc. is Psychotherapy Section Treasurer.  She worked as a Research Assistant and Research Fellow at Guy's and St. Thomas's NHS Mental Health Care Trust on cognitive analytic therapy and telemedicine in psychiatry and before that in market research.  She will serve on the review of BPS guidelines for good practice. She has organised two conferences for this Section.
Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section
  • Sarah Seymour-Smith & Laura Kilby
Social Psychology Section
  • Dr Sara Vestergren
Transpersonal Psychology Section
  • Professor Ho Chung Law was an international consultant in psychology, research & development with over 35 years' experience. He was the first equality advisor to the Assistant Permanent Under Secretary of State in the UK Home Office Research, Development Statistics Directorate. Ho is currently the Editor of the BPS Transpersonal Psychology Review, supervising a dozen research doctoral students, advocating a new narrative action research while dividing his time between research, supervision, writing, and family.

Division nominees

Division of Clinical Psychology
  • Dr. Cordet Smart is the Research Director for Exeter University DClin Psy programme, and Interim Programme Director.  Here research areas include clinical communication, teamwork and wellbeing at work, with numerous publications in these areas.  She has successfully led numerous grants including NHIR clinical research, and is a Director of project 5, a national wellbeing organisation.  She has held multiple senior director roles in Higher Education and has a keen interest in developing organisational structures to improve enjoyment of work and enhance success of staff and students.
Division of Coaching Psychology
  • Dr Catherine Steele is an Occupational and Coaching Psychologist.  She is the Academic Director for Postgraduate Programmes in Psychology at the University of Leicester.  Catherine represents the Division of Coaching Psychology on the research board.  Her personal research interests are in the area of wellbeing and health at work. 
Division of Counselling Psychology
  • Dr Terry Sergeant
Division of Education & Child Psychology
  • Professor Olympia Palikara
Division of Forensic Psychology
  • Martin J. Fisher is a Forensic Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and Honorary Fellow of the BPS. He has worked in the criminal justice field for over 34 years in England and Wales. He has honorary appointments within NHS Secure Services and Academia. He is also co-editor of Forensic Update, a past Chair of the BPS Committee on Test Standards, past member of the BPS Ethics Committee and Chairs the Psychology Research Board in HMPPS.
Division of Health Psychology
  • Dr Rhiannon Phillips
Division of Neuropsychology
  • Dr Karen Brandt is a Cognitive Neuropsychologist, Head of Employability and Programme Leader in the School of Psychology at the University of Roehampton.  Her research explores cognitive function in patients with focal brain lesions and how neuropsychological interventions can be used to enhance memory across the life-span.
Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology
  • Dr Daniel Brown

Special groups

Special Group for Psychologists and Social Services
  • Dr John Newland

Other representatives

AGM Elected
  • Dr Jackie Greatorex
AHPD representative
  • Martin Corley
Early Career representative
  • Dr Catherine Talbot
Early Career Representative
  • Dr Jasmine Childs-Fegredo is a senior lecturer at York St John University. She is a registered counselling psychologist and has worked as a clinician in the NHS and in private practice. Her research interests include yoga-integrated psychotherapy, mind-body approaches to mental health, and mental health in schools.
Editorial Advisory Group Chair
  • Dr Katherine Berry
  • Professor Thom Baguley
Ex-officio Chair HOPC Committee
  • Professor Ingrid Lunt
ATSiP Representative
  • Mr Sean Rooney
Rep for Scar Free Foundation
  • Dr Andrew Thompson
Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) nominee
  • Dr Jo Taylor


Through its activities, the Research Board promotes the advancement and diffusion of knowledge through new developments in psychological science.

These activities include:

Working parties

The Research Board liaises closely with other society boards and committees on a number of working parties.

Lobbying and liaison

The Research Board via its membership of the Joint Committee for Psychology in Higher Education liaises with key funding bodies such as the ESRC, BBSRC, MRC and the Wellcome Trust, as well as the Higher Education Funding Councils for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It links with other relevant bodies to ensure psychology is represented in appropriate forums.

Our partners include the Association of Heads of Psychology Departments, the Higher Education Council, Campaign for Science & Engineering , the Royal Society, the British Academy, Academy for Social Sciences and the British Science Association. 

Awards and grants

To promote, encourage and reward outstanding achievements in psychological science the board administers a range of awards. Grant schemes are also offered to support the advancement of psychological science.

Research guidelines and policy documents

The board publishes a range of guidelines and documents to promote high standards of ethical conduct and to promote psychological science.

The Research Excellence Framework subgroup brings together members of the Research Board, and others more widely, who have experience of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and research assessment.

The group reviews and responds to findings from each cycle of the REF, and guides the BPS' work regarding research assessment.

For example, this group responds to consultations about the REF run by UKRI, to influence future iterations of the exercise.


Our activities include:

  1. Development of a paper defining rigour within research
  2. Responding to consultations about upcoming REF exercises
  3. Reacting to results from previous REF exercises
  4. Investigating the impact of psychological research within the REF's Impact Case Study Database


The REF subgroup differs from the Research Board in that it does not have a set schedule of meetings.

Rather, the group meets as and when it is needed, for example when a response is required to REF activity.


  • Professor Andy Tolmie
  • Dr Duncan Guest
  • Dr Richard Stephens
  • Professor Thom Baguley
  • Dr Jo Taylor
  • Professor Martin Corley
  • Dr Joanna Semlyen