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.

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.

Paul Conway (PhD Student)

Paul is pioneering “Skychology”, a new area of research exploring the human experience of looking at the sky and the role the sky plays in the experience of wellbeing. The aim: To create new sky-based Positive Psychology Interventions designed to make life feel better for people across the world.

Julia Durbin (PhD student)

Julia is a horticultural therapist exploring the experiences of those funding, delivering and taking part in gardening courses developed for those affected by homelessness.

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.

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.

Neda Hatami (PhD student)

My PhD research focuses on the lived experience of theatre actors. I am studying how the experience of role-playing on stage affect the actors’ relationships and identity.

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.

Adam Knowles (PhD student)

Adam is an existential psychotherapist researching the Amazonian plant medicine ayahuasca and its potential to help those in the UK with insight and well-being.

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.

Adnan Levent (PhD student)

I investigate the possible consequence of recreational drug use on memory, employing qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Tin Liang (PhD Student)

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

Jose Carlos Martinez

When there is family breakdown and one of the parents leaves the family home the relationship contact between the children and each of the parents also changes. My research is about making sense of that change in contact.

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.’

Alice Ryley (PhD student)

My research explores the decision-making processes involved in raising vegan children in the context of wider societal beliefs about child-rearing, health and the socialisation of young people.

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.