Dr Anna Weighall

BSc (Hons) in Psychology, DPhil in Psychology

School of Education

Reader in Psychology and Education

Research Governance Lead for Education

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Dr Anna Weighall
School of Education
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Dr. Anna Weighall is a Reader in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology at the School of Education, with a cross-disciplinary focus encompassing Education and Psychology. She specialises in the intricate relationships between sleep, memory, and learning, along with spoken language development and vocabulary acquisition across different age groups and linguistic backgrounds. She is also an expert in sleep research, including the role of sleep in mental health and wellbeing.


DPhil Psychology, University of York

BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of York

Research interests

Dr. Weighall’s research employs a multi-faceted experimental approach aimed at understanding the complex interplay between sleep, memory, and language learning. Notable areas of focus include:

  • Vocabulary learning among monolingual and multilingual speakers.
  • Memory consolidation processes in typically developing children and those with learning disorders, such as dyslexia.
  • The role of sleep in mental health and wellbeing.
  • Application of implementation science to educational interventions.
  • The symbiotic relationship between physical health and cognitive performance, and the development of interventions that holistically improve well-being and educational outcomes.

Journal articles




PI: A modelling and feasibility study of a Positive Early Childhood Education (PECE). The Nuffield Foundation. Weighall, A., Ian Kellar, I., Bowyer-Crane, C. £260.198. (April 2022 - February 2025)

Co-I: Using dynamic learning tasks to identify children at-risk of reading disorder. Nuffield Trust. Nash, H., Clarke & Weighall, A., 330K. (Jan 2019-Jan 2021)

Academic Lead: White Rose ESRC PhD Network (2015) “Understanding and enhancing reading and language skills in children learning English as an Additional Language (EAL)”,  ~£170, 000 (October 2015 – Sept 2018)

PI: Promoting memory for newly learned words in adulthood: Comparing the effects of wakeful-rest and interference.Experimental Psychology Society Research Bursary, £2k, Weighall, A. (July 2015-Sept 2015)

Co- I: Low cost, long-term measurement of motor activity and REM sleep. ESRC White Rose Collaboration Fund. £10,893 (Wade, A., Weighall, A., Cairney, S., Burke, M., Bandmann, O, McNeill, A. (July 2015 – Sept 2016)

Academic PI: Does adenotonsillectomy improve sleep in preschool children with sleep disordered breathing and does this lead to improvements in cognition?” £35K NHS R & D South Tees: Pump priming funding.  Tremlett, M., Weighall, A. Nash, H. & Kellar, I. (April 2016 – Aug 2017)

Steering group member: ‘A Better Start Bradford’ Big Lottery, £49m.  ‘Innovation Hub’  Language and Communication workstream. (Jan 2015 – Jan 2225)

Co-Investigator: “Sleep and language learning in dyslexia and co-occurring disorders”. The Waterloo Foundation.  51k. (PI Dr Lisa Henderson, York). (March 2014 – Feb 2015)    

Co- Investigator: “Novel word integration in adults and children”. PI Professor Gareth Gaskell, University of York. Leverhulme Trust, £159,000. (co-wrote and co-managed the grant). (Sep 2010-Aug 2015).

Teaching activities

Dr Weighall teaches across the MSc Psychology and Education (Conversion) MA in Psychology and Education and BA. Key areas of teaching include:

  • Developmental Psychology and language development 
  • Sleep in development
  • The role of sleep in memory consolidation
  • Quantitative Research Methods 
  • Neuroscience and Education
  • Cognitive Psychology
Professional activities and memberships

Dr. Weighall’s professional contributions extend beyond academia. She serves on the executive committee of the British Sleep Society and holds memberships in the Experimental Psychology Society, The British Psychological Society, and the Royal Society of Medicine. Her work is integral to various thematic clusters within the School of Education, including Education and Psychology, Early Childhood Education, and Literacies and Language.


Media Appearances and Contributions

Dr Weighall has made numerous media appearances on national TV and radio. She has also contributed to non academic publications and podcasts. These include: