Dr Nicola Thomas

BA, MSc, PhD

Management School

Lecturer in Work Psychology

Nicola Thomas wearing a blue and white striped top.
Profile picture of Nicola Thomas wearing a blue and white striped top.

Full contact details

Dr Nicola Thomas
Management School
Sheffield University Management School
Conduit Road
S10 1FL

I am a Lecturer of Work Psychology based in the Institute of Work Psychology at Sheffield University Management School. I completed my PhD at the Technical University of Denmark, and a post-doctorate research fellowship at the University of Liverpool. My main research interests include emotions, affect and how emotions impact people at work.

I have published in a range of top management journals including Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and books such as the Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Additionally, I am currently writing a popular science book about the role of emotions at work, and how leaning into our emotions will become increasingly important in the age of AI.

In addition to my academic work, I am pleased to be a regular contributor to the BBC. I have appeared on various BBC platforms, including:

  • BBC Radio 4
  • Newsnight
  • Woman's Hour
  • BBC Radio Sheffield

As a passionate researcher, I actively engage with industry through my work. Previously serving as the Head of Research at the Institute of Student Employers, I have established strong links to the industry. I am frequently invited to speak at conferences focused on student employment and graduate outcomes, allowing me to share my expertise and insights with a broader audience.

I regularly contribute to the academic community by serving as a reviewer for esteemed journals and conferences in my field. This involvement helps maintain high research standards and facilitates the exchange of knowledge among scholars.

  • PhD - Technical University of Denmark
  • MSc - University of Leeds
  • Post-graduate Diploma - University of Massey, NZ
  • BA - Auckland University of Technology
Research interests

I am a passionate researcher, interested in how our emotions impact us at work. I am curious about mental health, well-being, neurodiversity, and emotions, and how these things play out in the context of work. I investigate the impact of emotions on our sense of self at work and throughout work conflict.

In my research, I use cutting-edge technology to answer questions related to emotions and affect at work. How can smartwatches remind us to take a break when we are stressed at work? How can AI facial expression analysis tell us how teams are functioning, are how people are feeling in a workplace argument? What can we learn to prevent people from experiencing burnout at work?

I am particularly interested in using epidemiological and big data to uncover new insights about the role of health and well-being at work. How do conditions like depression and anxiety impact our behaviour at work? What advantages can be conferred from different neurodiversity conditions?

I am an enthusiastic researcher who is always looking for collaboration opportunities. If emotions, affect, addition, well-being, or neurodiversity research is your domain, do not hesitate to reach out.


Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Thomas N & Lomberg C () Founders "Just Want to Have Fun": Substance Abuse and Entrepreneurship Addiction. RENT Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business RIS download Bibtex download

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries

  • Vasquez C & Thomas N Well-being in Work Teams. In Encyclopedia of Occupational Health Psychology Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

The Institute of Work Psychology

Teaching activities

I am an enthusiastic teacher and enjoy teaching across undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as to industry professionals. I specialise in teaching in organisational psychology subjects such as applied psychology in the workplace, psychometric assessments at work, and the psychology of teams and teamwork.

I believe that experiential learning, critical reflection and becoming an independent learner are essential in fostering a positive learning environment. Specifically, I believe that higher education is an incredible opportunity for students to build their ability to think critically and engage critically with what they are learning.

I currently teach across the following modules:

  • MGT243: Career Management Theory and Practice
  • MGT255: Leadership and Teamwork
  • MGT6118: Dissertation
  • MGT6162: Applying Psychology to Work and Organisations
  • MGT6166: Selection and Psychological Testing in Organisations

I enjoy being a personal tutor to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and am currently undertaking the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education.

Professional activities and memberships

Head of Research at the Institute of Student Employers

PhD Supervision

I am always seeking new PhD students who are interested in either the topic of emotions, teamwork, affect of mental health, or the method of biometric data and facial expression analysis (or both). Please reach out to me to discuss PhD supervision in more detail.