Grants, awards and recognition
The Department’s success in further developing its research profile has been acknowledged by prestigious awards received by members of the Department since 2001. These include the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award, the Latsis Prize, the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, and two Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Awards.
- Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith of the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) was elected a Sir Frederic Bartlett Lecturer by the membership of the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS). The Bartlett Lecturership is the most prestigious award made by the EPS and is open to experimental psychologists worldwide.
- Dr Tobias Grossmann of the CBCD received an award for Early Research Contributions from the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), in recognition of his work in developmental social neuroscience. The award recognises early-career scientists who have distinguished themselves as researchers and scholars, as evidenced through research, publications, and scholarly activity. The award will be made at the SRCD meeting later this year.
- Professor Jacqueline Barnes was a commissioning panel member for the ESRC for the interdisciplinary (ESRC/MRC/Department for Work and Pensions/Department of Health/ Department of Children, Schools, and Families/Communities and Local Government) Subjective Wellbeing and Public Policy initiative to fund a major new interdisciplinary research group, in January 2010.
- Professor Jay Belsky has been made a member of The Academy of Europe, Behavioural Sciences section.'
- Dr Mayada Elsabbagh was named joint winner of the Neville Butler Memorial Prize by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for her research on the brain basis of behavioural genetic disorders. Dr Elsabbagh is the co-ordinator of ‘The British Autism Study of Infant Siblings’ (BASIS), a collaborative research network launched in 2008 for the study of infants at-risk forautism in the UK, with research centres based at Birkbeck’s Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development as well as the Institute of Education, the Institute of Psychiatry, Cambridge University, Oxford University, and the University of Manchester. BASIS and its affiliated research projects have received funding from a consortium of charities led by Autistica, as well as the Medical Research Council (MRC), The British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust, and the ESRC.
- Professor Johnson was appointed a member of the Autistica Grants Panel.
- Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Amsterdam on 8 January 2010, in recognition of her ground-breaking research in the area of cognitive development and her significant contribution to cognitive psychology and its related disciplines.
- Professor Karmiloff-Smith also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Psychological Society Research Board on 15 April 2010 for her outstanding record of personal achievements and contributions to the advancement of psychological knowledge.
- Professor Melhuish was praised in a speech by The Earl of Listowel to the House of Lords in a debate on the Child Poverty Bill (6 January 2010):
- 'Professor Melhuish, Professor of Human Development at Birkbeck College, University of London, made a powerful presentation on the effectiveness of good quality pre-school education on improving the educational attainment of children in deprived areas. He clearly demonstrated that children from similar deprived backgrounds had quite different educational trajectories depending on their exposure to good quality pre school. In particular, he showed that good quality pre school care inoculated children against the effects of poor quality primary education. At the age of eleven all those children who had experienced good quality pre school were, on average, doing well in education, whether they had experienced a poor primary school or a good one. Good quality childcare is a key factor in breaking the cycle of failure and I hope this Bill will make it more available to families in poverty.'
- Professor Hermann J. Müller has been elected for the Science Prize of the Wilhelm Wundt Society 2010 (‘Wissenschaftspreis der Wilhelm-Wundt-Gesellschaft 2010’) by the German Psychology Society (Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie, DGPs). The Prize is awarded for outstanding achievements in fundamental psychological research. The award ceremony will take place at the 47th Convention of the DGPs in Bremen on 26-30 September.
- Dr Victoria Southgate of the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development was awarded the Margaret Donaldson Early Career Prize by the British Psychological Society for her outstanding contribution to the field of developmental psychology. The prize is the UK’s major mid-career award in developmental psychology, and entails delivering a keynote address at the Developmental Psychology Section Annual Conference at Goldsmiths College in September.
- Rachel Wu was awarded the Annual Graduate Student Prize by the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology for her PhD thesis on the development of social and non-social attention cueing effects on infants' learning in a noisy environment.
- A poster presented by Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith and Dean D’Souza won first prize against 70 other posters at the British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience's annual conference, held at the Institute of Child Health at University College London.
- Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith has been named a joint recipient of the British Psychological Society Research Board Lifetime Achievement Award 2009. The award recognises distinctive and exemplary contributions by academics and researchers in any area of psychology, who have an outstanding record of personal achievements and have made significant contributions to the advancement of psychological knowledge. Many congratulations to Professor Karmiloff-Smith for this exceptional honour.
- The Department of Psychological Sciences turned in an impressive performance in the Roberts@BBK 2009 Postgraduate Competition for PhD Students.
- Presentations by Laleh Ansari (Title: ‘Cognitive and neural correlates of impaired inhibition in anxiety’) and Rachel Wu (Title: ‘Binding across multiple redundant cues in a noisy environment’) shared first prize for Talks.
- First prize for Posters was awarded to Sarah Lloyd-Fox for her poster entitled ‘Illuminating the infant brain: the use of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) for studying brain function in young infants.‘ Ms Lloyd-Fox is supervised by Professor Mark Johnson. Roberts@BBK is a college-wide competition held by the College Research School and is open to postgraduate students from all disciplines. Many congratulations to all involved for this outstanding result.
- Professor Jonathan Smith has been elected an Academician of the Academy of the Social Sciences for his pioneering work in the application of qualitative methodology in psychology, and his contribution to the integration of qualitative approaches within mainstream psychology.
- Professor Smith was nominated for the title by the British Psychological Society Research Board based on his outstanding research record in the areas of health, social and clinical psychology. He is credited with the development of interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA), a distinctive qualitative approach to the investigation of personal experience, which is now the most widely used qualitative method among UK postgraduate students in clinical and health psychology.
- Professor Smith has used this method to explore the experience of participants in a range of domains. The primary themes in his research have been: psycho-social aspects of the new genetics, family and health, life transitions and identity.
- Professor Mark Johnson received the British Psychological Society President's Award and delivered the award lecture at the BPS Annual Conference in Brighton on 1-2 April.
- Birkbeck BSc Psychology finalist Idalmis Santiesteban was awarded the University of London Sir Cyril Burt Prize for the best undergraduate psychology project submitted from all of the colleges in the area of individual differences. Congratulations to Ms Santiesteban and her supervisor Dr Sarah White (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience), and also to Dr Simon Green and Professor Mark Johnson, who coordinated supervision.
- Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society.