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Our research

Our research is structured around four thematic research clusters, each with a focal research centre and associated labsOur academics and researchers work together in a range of research clusters, centres, networks and groups. These cut across subjects and areas of expertise, to encourage and enable innovative, interdisciplinary research


Research centres

Research projects

Labs and research teams

Research Partners

We work with national and international research partners across different sectors to generate new knowledge which leads to changes in understanding, policy and practice. These collaborations support our long term strategy to develop interdisciplinary excellence in those areas where we are world-leading. Partnerships have played a key role in developing our offer to doctoral students. We have ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) status along with other London and Bloomsbury-based universities. We are also part of the BBSRC London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme (LiDo) DTP as well as the UCL-Birkbeck MRC DTP. Our Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) was awarded a European Industrial Doctorate (EID) programme by the European Commission.

Current and recent partnerships include academic collaborations with UK universities such as the University of Oxford, UCL, the University of Glasgow, The Institute of Education, the University of Cambridge, the University of Lancaster, Kings College London, the University of East London, SOAS and the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine. Internationally, we are currently partners with universities including the University of Warsaw, Ghent University, Uppsala University, Utrecht University and Istituto Superiore di Sanita, along with many others. As well as academic partnerships we co-produce knowledge with non-academic organisations including government organisations, charities, private corporations, NGOs, schools and heritage organisations. Examples of recent and current partners include Learnus, the Department for Education, Proctor and Gamble, Tobii, Artinis, EGI, Autism Europe, the Science Museum, SOFAR (Supporting Outstanding Female Academics and Researchers), NSPCC, Breast Cancer Now, CoramBAAF, Autistica, the Education Endowment Foundation and the World Bank.

Research news and blogs

Departmental Impact

Our Department produces internationally impactful research that influences policy, understanding, culture and practice in health, education, corporate settings and beyond. We work closely with research partners from non-academic organisations and engage with government and policy makers to communicate our research, ensuring that it brings long term societal benefits. In the last REF (2014) our department was awarded a 4* rating, recognising the impact our research has had on different areas of social life. The case studies that we submitted to this assessment are available on our College website and cover the following topics: Communicating developmental research to parents worldwide; Early years experience and development; Interventions for vulnerable mothers; and Using Eyetracking in Art Restoration.

Facilitating and developing impact is an integral part of our department's research strategy. The departmental Impact Officer supports decision-making around impact and promotes the understanding of impact through training and development. There is a department-wide focus on communication and coherence within and between our research clusters to maximise opportunities for synergy and innovation, as the basis for producing impactful and beneficial research. Research impact is also embedded within the research life cycle across the department. Since 2014 our research has shown impact and emerging impact through our applied research projects and the work of our centres and clusters, including: the IPA Research Group (IPARG), the Health and Lived Experience cluster; the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings Study (BASIS); the Toddler Attentional Behaviours and Learning with Touch-screen (TABLET) project; the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP); the Centre for Educational Neuroscience (CEN); and The Integrative Centre for Building Resilience in Breast Cancer (BRiC).

Our submission to REF 2021 includes three impact case studies that highlight the contributions by our colleagues to policy, legislation, practice and understanding. These case studies are currently undergoing assessment as part of REF 2021 but should become publicly available in 2022.

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