Applied Psychology Research and Innovation Group

Organisation profile

About us

The Applied Psychology Research and Innovation Group focuses on real-world issues to improve people’s mental and physical well-being, while contributing to the broader benefit of society.   

Through our research, we create effective interventions and advance understanding of the complex links between the brain, behaviour, and critical societal issues such as substance use.   


The Applied Psychology Research and Innovation Group is tackling real-world challenges in three key themes through collaborative partnerships.  

Integrative Addiction and Brain Behaviour 

Our research in this theme involves two strands. The first explores the intersection of neuroscience and psychophysiology, delving into topics such as the influence of perceptual biases and cognitive style on belief Ideologies, neural markers of recollection and familiarity, and the multifaceted role of imagery and observation in team environments.  

The second strand centres on understanding individuals facing addiction challenges and has examined alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD), gambling, and extreme sports.  

Our research on ARBD has been recognised at a UK level, leading to valuable contributions to policymaking. Our team members have also excelled in winning research funding, building collaborations with external partners, and driving innovation in educational materials for ARBD. 

Mental and Physical Health 

Research in this theme pushes the boundaries of understanding mental health, its intricate connection with physical well-being, and its impact on various aspects of human functioning. 

Our senior researchers’ specialised knowledge includes female health (e.g. exploring how the menstrual cycle and menopause influence; stress and daily performance), Health and housing (e.g engagement with energy saving interventions); and interventions in males (e.g walking football).

Psychological interventions 

Research in this theme explores the effectiveness and practicality of psychological interventions in health, well-being, and education.

Our researchers have expertise in behavioural interventions, which has been recognised through an NIHR grant. This grant supports a collaborative effort across multiple institutes to investigate specific behavioural interventions aimed at enhancing the psychological well-being of families with a child who has an intellectual disability. 

Other researchers in this theme specialise in learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, and have conducted studies examining these challenges in various contexts, including the workplace and prison populations.


We emphasise research that has impact across important aspects of mental health and behaviour. 

Our key impact areas focus on addiction research; female health; and improving mental health through sport.

Postgraduate Research

We welcome applications for postgraduate research in one of our areas of expertise. 

Contact us

Lead: Professor David Shearer

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or