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Current SERNS research opportunities

Current SERNS research opportunities

Providing adolescents with knowledge and skills to improve their wellbeing is important, as it can promote better mental health and prevent psychological problems. We designed a board game for adolescents, using augmented reality technology to create an immersive and engaging experience. Students play the game with their peers and complete various tasks to progress in the game.The game tasks are based on PSHE wellbeing curriculum and are grounded in well-established psychological models to promote learning

We will recruit students from Years 9, 10, and 11 (between ages 13 and 16). We are looking to recruit two classes from each year group.

Info document

My name is Stefanie Habermann and I am a research fellow within the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway. I am also a member of the VALISE (Values in School Education) research group. I am contacting you today to offer a free PSHE morning/afternoon to Year 2 and 3 classes.


In collaboration with Royal Holloway, University of London, the University of Westminster and the University of Basel, the VALISE research group is interested in children’s value development within a school setting. We are offering a free PSHE morning/afternoon (your choice) running for approximately two hours. Within this morning/afternoon, we will:  

  • Host activities and games educating children about values around the world
  • Produce evidence of pupil’s learning (which can be stuck in children’s books or displayed elsewhere)
  • Invite pupils and their teacher to complete a questionnaire about their values (children will be working with stickers)
  • Provide all pupils with stickers and pens to take home
  • Provide additional resources for teachers/parents


Importantly, our research team comprises individuals experienced within education settings. For example, our research team is comprised of two ex-primary school teachers and three experienced researchers in developmental and educational psychology. We therefore completely understand how busy school days are and are very flexible to your needs.  


If you are interested, or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Also, please feel free to follow the project (@VALISEproject) or myself (@SteffiHabermann) on Twitter to keep up-to-date with other research opportunities.  


It would be great to have your school on board and I very much look forward to hearing from you.



Project Webpage:

Letter to teachers and head teachers
Info document 

In the current climate, it is more important than ever that we support young people's mental health. We are running a study looking at whether a free 30-minute online intervention can improve how young people feel and help them cope with stressful situations. This intervention has previously been trialled in the USA and improvements in anxiety and low mood were shown over a 9-month period. We are hoping to replicate these findings in the UK with the aim of increasing the availability of evidence-based support for young people. 

We are looking to recruit young people aged 8-16 who are struggling with symptoms of low mood or anxiety, and their parent/ caregiver. Young people and their parents/caregivers will be asked to complete some questionnaires and then will be randomly allocated to one of two 30-minute online educational interventions.

We are looking for schools to advertise this research to parents through newsletters or on their social media. In exchange for support with recruitment we will be offering participating schools a 30-minute webinar for parents or teachers on how to support young people's mental health during the pandemic. Alternatively, for secondary schools, we are willing to do a presentation on careers in psychology if that would be of interest. 

If you are interested in finding out more about this research or in collaborating, please contact Harriet Clarkson via email on: 


Info video

One of the current studies being undertaken by Melissa Barker is looking at how our understanding of body signals and sensations (including feeling hungry, thirsty, cold or tired) is related to eating. We are looking for 9, 10 or 11 year old girls. 

What is involved?
At school: Children will complete some questionnaires (covering issues such as the perception of sensations in their body, their attitudes towards food, body image, and perfectionism). They will also complete a task which measures their perception of their heartbeat, and a computer game related to body image. This should take 1 hour for each child.
At home: Parents will be asked to complete questionnaires about themselves and their child.
If you would like to know more about this study please contact Melissa Barker

Jessica Dyson is currently running a project exploring sleep and learning in adolescents. You must be age 13-16 to take part and will be asked to learn made-up words and wear sleep monitoring equipment. 


To find out more about this project please contact Jessica Dyson

Alice Parker is currently running a study looking at how our values link to how we think and feel about ourselves in a three-part study. You need to be in year 10 or 11 and be able to complete all sessions. In the first session, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire in a group setting and perform a writing task on your own. The subsequent sessions will be follow up sessions where you answer a questionnaire. 


If you would like more information then please contact Alice Parker

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