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Jo Yarker and Rachel Lewis works in a job share arrangement – their research, supervision and professional achievements are a shared endeavour.

Our research applies psychology to solving problems in the workplace. Our own personal research is focused on tackling the challenges faced within work, health and wellbeing; while our supervision across the Professional Doctorate allows us to collaborate in research across the field – from evaluating inclusive talent management programmes to examining the barriers and facilitators for women seeking company board positions.

We are fortunate to collaborate with a number of academic partners both in the UK and abroad and work closely with academic colleagues and the Affinity team to ensure that our research is both internationally relevant and is of direct benefit for employees, manager, employers and professional bodies. Examples of our research include:

  • Developing an evidence-based toolkit to support return to work following a period of absence with the Department of Work and Pensions and the Joint Health Unit.
  • Understanding the psychological risks of International Business Travel and how we can prevent and manage these with International SOS.
  • Developing a competency framework for integrated care, to be used across two NHS trusts for team development, selection and assessment with Donna Willis of ELFT NHS Trust
  • Exploring the link between culture and physical workspaces, particularly in agile workplaces, to understand how our office space impacts the way we work, and contributes to our health and happiness at work in partnership with AECOM.
  • Trialling Flexible Work interventions to understand what works, for whom, and under what circumstances with Lendlease.

Doctoral Candidate Supervision on the Professional Doctorate in Organisational Psychology

Over the past four years we have supported 11 doctoral candidates achieve their Professional Doctorate in Occupational and Business Psychology; five students are close to completion and a further eight students have joined the Research Thesis part of the new programme at Birkbeck. Our doctoral candidates join us with a passion to learn, develop and reconnect with the evidence base in order to advance their practice and contribute to the development of our profession. They typically combine study with holding senior roles or running their own businesses. Aware of the challenges of juggling study alongside successful careers, we have developed a programme that is both supportive and structured, while enabling students to work flexibly throughout their journey. Thus far, we have been fortunate to see all of our students through to completion and many have published their research in academic and trade journals, and shared their work at conferences. We are also enthused to see that so many of those who have finished are keen stay connected with research and note that it has fundamentally changed their practice – demonstrating that the programme meets its aims of increasing practice-led research and evidence-based practice.

Current Professional Doctorate in Organisational Psychology, Part 2 Research Thesis

  • Justin Spray (current). Ttbc, The impact of perspective taking
  • Jerry Martin (current). Ttbc, Impact of workplace environmental sustainability strategies.
  • Clare Mulligan (current). Ttbc, Older worker transitions to contemporary careers.
  • Hannah Matta (current). Ttbc,Efficacy of intervention to facilitate multi-team systems.
  • Timothy Gore (current). Ttbc, Employee participation in organisational restructuring.
  • Gemma Robers (current). Ttbc, The role of resilience in enhancing work performance.
  • Hayley Lewis (current). Ttbc, Individual psychological factors influencing success of women SME business owners.
  • Denise Taylor (current). Ttbc,Individual psychological factors influening adjustment to retirement.

Past Professional Doctorate in Occupational and Business Psychology

  • Alan Redman (2018). The psychology of cycle commuting. Kingston University.
  • Anna Kane (2018). Self-confidence at work: understanding and developing the construct. Kingston University.
  • Claire Barnes (2018). Women on Boards. Kington University.
  • Hazel McLaughlin (2018). The Impact of Relational Power; uses and implications for organisations. Kingston University.
  • Rob Archer (2018). The Impact of a Focused Acceptance and Commitment Training Workplace Intervention: Is Less, Less? Kingston University.
  • Roy Childs (2019). Developing a methodology for evaluating the impact of Career Guidance in the modern age. Kingston University.
  • Donna Willis (2019). Supporting the NHS Doctor in their darkest hour: A research thesis. Kingston University.
  • Emma Donaldson-Feilder (2019). Exploration of the application of mindfulness and interpersonal mindfulness in leadership and management development
  • Amanda Super (2019). Exploring the development of self-compassion in the workplace. Kingston Universtiy.
  • Antonia Dietman (2019). Investigating the nature and importance of social conversations at work. Kingston University.
  • Michelle Murtagh (2019). Workplace executive coaching and employee self-confidence: A delphi study. Kingston University
  • Kate Godfree, PhD  (2020). Obesity stigma in the workplace. Kingston University.
Rachel Lewis

Rachel Lewis

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