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I am passionate about the integration of science and practice. After a successful career in health and fitness, as a personal instructor working primarily with performing artists, I retrained as a psychologist. I had recognised that there was nothing in the world that I could do for clients to help them change physically, if they did not mentally want to make that change. Having undertaken introductory training in systemic therapy at the Institute of Family Therapy in conjunction with Birkbeck College, I took my BSc and MSc at Goldsmiths, University of London. I then completed my PhD in Organisational Psychology at City University, where I worked with the Psychometrics Centre as a Senior Consultant and was also instrumental in setting up an MSc in Psychometric Assessment. I then moved to the University of Surrey, where she was Course Director for the MSc in Occupational and Organizational Psychology. I now hold a fulltime academic post at Birkbeck as a senior lecturer in the department of organizational psychology. My activities here are highly research focused. I convene our qualitative research group, lead a number of funded projects including acting as Birkbeck lead for a Home Office Policing Innovation Grant, and projects funded by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Home Office. I direct the MSc in Human Resource Development and Consultancy (HRDC), lead a number of modules and supervise MSc and BSc as well as doctoral students.

My particular research interests include working with the emergency services, and the development of work-life balance self-management competence, but also the use of psychometrics. I was chair for the Division of Occupational Psychology in 2013, and was active in reshaping the training path for occupational psychology in the UK. With Professor Gail Kinman, I lead the DOP funded working group on work-life balance. I hope that our work will be completed when we don’t have to lobby the issue anymore, the recognition that workers have a ‘life outside’ should be integral to best HR practice. I regularly act as a speaker and keynote at academic and industry events and am committed to dissemination. My work has been featured in the press, including Grazia Magazine, the Financial Times and the Sunday Times, and I regularly speak on national and regional radio (as well as the odd TV appearance).

Dr Almuth McDowall

Dr Almuth McDowall

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