Staff Pen Portraits
Our world class academic community
Our university recruitment campaign offers you a unique opportunity to join a leading university at one of the most exciting times in our history. We nurture an academic environment which values our scholars and students alike. We provide the highest rewards – both personally and professionally, as well as the opportunity to contribute to the wider social agenda.
We have provided the following profiles to help illustrate our breadth of experience.
Dr Martin Dempster
I was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology in October 2011, following a post-doctoral research fellowship (1997-2000) and lecturer position (2000-2011) at Queen’s. My post-doctoral research was based in the Faculty of Medicine at Queen’s, although I was supervised by a psychologist.
Through these links it became clear to me that health psychology was a growing field at Queen’s, as it was throughout the UK and Ireland at that time. The School of Psychology was a natural home to develop this field, and already housed a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The cross-over between health and clinical psychology was a fertile ground for research and this has continued to be the case throughout my time in the School. The School has invested in the areas of health and clinical psychology and the University is well-positioned to develop internal and external collaborations in the area, which have led to significant, high quality research outputs.
As an academic and a HCPC Registered Health Psychologist, it is important to me that I can conduct excellent applied research in the area of health psychology, in a supportive environment, which is what the School of Psychology at Queen’s provides.
Dr Mihalis Doumas
I joined Queen’s in 2011 as a lecturer after a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium where I investigated mind-body interactions in older adults’ balance control.
My main research interests include the behavioural and neural control of human movement with a particular focus on ageing. My research aims to identify and moderate age-related decline in human movement and to reduce fall accidents in older adults.
I chose to join the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast because it comprises a very strong group of researchers specialising in human movement and provides full access to the facilities I need for my research including a state-of-the art Movement Innovation Lab, balance control and brain stimulation laboratories.
I very much enjoy living in Northern Ireland. People here are very friendly, the city provides a variety of activities and cultural events, and areas of supreme natural beauty are only a short drive away. I find living and working here very rewarding.
Dr Tim Fosker
I came to Queen’s in 2009 as a lecturer in developmental psychology. I was initially encouraged to move to Queen’s (from University of Cambridge), because of strong child development research that was already being carried out in the School of Psychology.
Since my arrival, I have been supported in developing a new child-friendly EEG laboratory for my research. I have found the research environment in Queen’s to be particularly stimulating. Home to such a variety of expertise, I have been able to pursue exciting new interdisciplinary collaborations.
The School of Psychology is a particularly supportive environment for new lecturers, with more experienced academics being sensitive to the needs of those setting the foundations of a research programme.
Belfast has become a real home for me and I find myself really appreciating the facilities that a large city has to offer, as well as the beautiful countryside and coastline of Northern Ireland.
Professor Peter Hepper
I arrived at Queen’s straight from my PhD research in Durham University and have remained, having found an environment that facilitated research and rewarded individuals for success.
I was appointed as Professor in 1993. My research interests are in human and animal behavioural development and dento-facial deformity. Most of my research involves collaboration with external organisations (e.g. Hospital Trusts, Zoos) and I have found that Northern Ireland is welcoming to partnerships and external organisations actively cooperating to advance research.
The School provides excellent support for research, enthusiastically ensuring the balance between teaching, research and administration is regularly monitored, and enabling opportunities to excel in each area.
The students provide a vibrant community and are dedicated and hard-working in their pursuit of studying Psychology.
Northern Ireland is well-connected to the rest of world and the School has a high number of international collaborations, with other researchers on each of the five continents. In addition, Northern Ireland is a truly wonderful place to live, has beautiful scenery and is easy to get around.
Dr Ioana Latu
I joined Queen’s School of Psychology in 2016 as a Lecturer in Experimental Social Psychology, after being an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University Camden in the US. In my research I focus on the interplay between social cognition and nonverbal behaviour. I am particularly interested in understanding the interpersonal mechanism through which targets of intergroup bias are negatively influenced by existing implicit and explicit stereotypes, particularly in consequential organizational interactions such as job interviews, negotiations, and leadership tasks.
I was initially encouraged to move to Queen’s because of the strong social psychology research that was already being carried out in the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations, as well as the state-of-the art lab facilities, which include virtual reality technology and tools to capture and analyse verbal and nonverbal behaviour.
Once at Queen’s, I was particularly impressed with the supportive environment for new lecturers, including mentorship from more senior academic. What particularly impressed me in the School of Psychology at Queen’s is the dedication to gender equality, which is embedded in the practices of the School. In fact, this year the School has won its second Gold Athena SWAN award, a testimony to the dedication and knowledge that the School has in creating an inclusive climate for diversity.
I also enjoy living in Belfast. Although relatively small, the city has a vibrant cultural life, a great restaurant scene, good schools for my children, and affordable cost of living. I also enjoy exploring the beautiful countryside and coastline of Northern Ireland. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy living and working here.
Professor Teresa McCormack
I came to Queen’s in 2002 as a lecturer after a PhD at the University of Cambridge and lectureships at the Universities of Warwick and Kent.
My research is on cognitive development and I have found the laboratory facilities and technical support for research at the School of Psychology to be excellent.
My work has also been greatly assisted by well-established links with local schools and other organisations. The University has a long-standing commitment to supporting research on children, and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration in this area.
This research environment has allowed me to progress my career rapidly to promotion to Professor in 2010. The School and the University proactively support career development in women, and family-friendly policies have allowed me to balance home and working life very effectively.
Dr Kostas Papageorgiou
I am a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) since September 2016 and the Director of the InteRRaCt Lab. I use an interdisciplinary approach in my research, combining diverse disciplines, including cognitive and developmental neuroscience, personality assessment and genetics. I am particularly interested in exploring infants’ visual attention and its links to later symptoms of psychopathology, temperament and cognition; individual differences in personality in relation to educational performance, cognitive traits and resilience; and the aetiology of high cognitive ability.
I found the School of Psychology at QUB to be an extremely supportive environment since it has provided me with all the necessary resources and guidance to facilitate the holistic development of my academic profile. The School is characterised by a very eclectic mix of members of staff both in terms of their research experience and research interests, which contributes to creating a highly stimulating and friendly environment for new and more experienced academics alike.
Finally, Belfast is an extremely lively and fast developing city that offers the opportunity to experience a rewarding city life without losing access to areas of outstanding natural beauty that are only a few miles away for the urban scenery of the city centre.