Jonathan Smith (Professor)

Jonathan runs the IPA research group at Birkbeck. He developed IPA and applies it in a wide range of areas. Among topics he is currently researching: pain, depression, genetics, dual-language use.

Dr Virginia Eatough (Reader in Psychology)

Virginia is interested in all aspects of emotional experience in particular feelings & moods. Current research: happiness, emotional aspects of living with Parkinson’s disease, developing phenomenological theory to understand emotional life, neurophenomenology of neurofeedback training.

Robert Allan (Collaborator)

Robert is an Assistant Professor at Denver University, Colorado and an experienced family and couples therapist. His current research focuses on learning an evidence based practice for counsellors.

Dominic Conroy (Postdoctoral Researcher)

Dom's post-doctoral work concerns adolescents’ experiences of multisystemic therapy as part of the NIHR-funded ‘START’ national study. Main interests: adolescent transitions, drinking behaviour, mixed methods, health interventions, gender relations.

Joanna Farr (PhD Student)

My research explores the experiences of people living with bipolar disorder focusing on the phenomenology of its moods, the interrelationship between mood states and their fluctuations over time.

Megumi Fieldsend (PhD student)

My research explores the experiences of women living with involuntary childlessness in midlife, focusing on the psychological impact and the meaning of life without children.

Prunella Gee (PhD student)

I’m investigating the psychological impact of retirement on men through the lens of the major existential concerns (meaning/purpose, embodiment, alienation/separation and death and dying). Life-span and masculinity issues are also of interest.

Suzi Godson (PhD Student)

My longitudinal research explores the female experience of midlife divorce and considers whether income affects either the experience or the outcome. It involves interviewing participants at Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute & post-divorce.

Kevin Hartie (PhD student)

I'm investigating the experience of spinal cord injury (SCI) on men living in the community 5-15 years post injury. The research focuses on men with a cervical injury (quadriplegia) with paralysis to all four limbs causing significant disruption to their life.

James Huff (researcher)

I am investigating the psychological journey of engineering students as they become engineers, being especially attentive to the fuzzy boundaries of technical and social features of their identity.

Chris Jacobs (researcher)

Chris is doing research with Jonathan exploring the experience of women who learn that their newly diagnosed breast cancer is, or could be hereditary. She is doing a part time PhD in this area at UCL. She is consultant genetic counsellor at Guy’s Hospital

Jamie Kirkham (researcher)

Jamie is working with Jonathan on research which is exploring the lived experience of chronic pain. Jamie is currently completing a doctorate in counselling psychology at City university.

Natalie Lancer (PhD student)

My research explores how young people experience and understand personal growth in the context of university life. I am interested in how personal growth may be enhanced by life coaching sessions or hampered in various ways.

Tin Liang (PhD Student)

My PhD study focuses on the relationship between individuals with visual impairment and their guide dogs.

Rosey McCracken (PhD Student)

Using IPA , my PhD focus is a longitudinal study of the lived experience of men diagnosed with Male Breast Cancer in the post -surgical recovery period.

Isabella Nizza (PhD Student)

My research concerns the lived experience of chronic pain patients attending a pain self-management programme as expressed using words and visual images.

Mah Rana (PhD student)

Using IPA and videography, the focus of my PhD research explores the lived experiences of dementia-caregiver dyads who engage in textile-based crafts at home. 

John Rhodes (Clin psy/researcher)

My research interests include types of depression (with Jonathan), aspects of psychosis (basic processes and effects of trauma) and states of the self.’

Pnina Shinebourne(Hon research fellow)

I am a Senior Lecturer at the Dept of Psychology, Middlesex Univerity. Main interests: addiction and recovery, interpretative phenomenological analysis, pluralism in qualitative research, visual and poetic methods in qualitative research.

Tìmea Shu (PhD student)

My work follows in the footsteps of Aristotle who already deliberated the use of images as a way to encourage individuals to accomplish personal excellence, eudaimonia. I am looking at how athletes use mental imagery in the sporting environment.

Johanna Spiers (Postdoctoral Researcher)

I completed my PhD at Birkbeck and have been involved in a number of postdoctoral projects. My current project with Jonathan & collaborators at Manchester Univ looks at the value of a narrative group for people affected by huntington's disease.


Rachel Starr (PhD student)

My research is about the phenomenology of aesthetic encountering. I am interested in how people experience looking at paintings, from what attracts them to particular artworks to how they feel after they have finished their viewing.

Lisa Thackeray (Completed PhD)

Lisa’s PhD focused on the experience of parenting and being a sibling of a young adult with developmental disabilities. Her interest in the sibling experience continues as well as work on parental intuition.

Wafa Turkistani (PhD student)

Reflecting on my previous work experience with spinal cord injury in the domain of vocational rehabilitation, I am particularly interested in exploring the experience of employment in this population.