We have consistently excelled in assessments of research quality. Over 80% of our department's research is internationally excellent or world-leading in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. According to the recent ESRC International Benchmarking exercise, the Department is currently the 5th highest in terms of QR and 7th in terms of research funding within the UK.
Research is organised across five collaborative research groupings:
Computational Neuroscience & Robotics
We design computational models and build robots based on how the brain works. Modelling helps us to understand the fundamental principles of neural processing, and by testing our models in robots we can better understand the intelligent behavior of animals and people. We also use insights from this work to develop technologies, such as assistive robots, that are adaptable and socially useful. Our work forms a part of Sheffield Neuroscience.
Brain recording and imaging technology allows us to investigate how the brain works, while it is working. Our research makes connections between the different levels of description of brain& function - anatomical, physiological and behavioural. Our work forms a part of Sheffield Neuroscience.
The group occupies one whole floor of the Psychology Department and has many specialist testing rooms for working with babies, children and adults, including video recording, state-of-the-art voice recording, EEG, specialist eye-tracking and virtual reality programs. We have particular expertise in the analysis of large data sets. We have a long established database of local families so that children can be tracked for years as they develop. We cover all aspects of typical and atypical development (including children with autism, Downs syndrome, Williams syndrome, children with language delay and dyslexia). Our applied research is related to such groups and includes: interventions to improve children's communication, to improve spatial reasoning, new interventions in dyslexia, and in health and diabetes education, and specialist work with young people with autism. The group currently collaborates on projects with researchers in 15 countries, and collects data from children in 18 countries - so our research reflects contemporary children’s lives world-wide.
Social, Health & Environmental
The SHEP group undertakes basic and applied research on issues of social and public health significance, with a particular emphasis on social cognition, emotion regulation and behaviour change. Current projects focuses on developing interventions to promote more positive attitudes and behaviour relating to health (smoking prevention, teenage pregnancy, improved diet and exercise participation), the environment (renewable forms of energy; sustainable consumption; resource dilemmas) and intergroup relations (prejudice, stereotyping, diversity and multiculturalism).
The Clinical Psychology Unit (CPU) houses a group of research active clinical academics who are committed to enhancing clinical research through publication in quality journals, contributing to developments in clinical practice through the dissemination of research findings, and providing excellence in professional training and the local provision of clinical services.
The CPU is uniquely placed to advocate for and disseminate the contribution of Psychology throughout the University and the local NHS. Accordingly, many staff collaborate with other clinical academics within the University and within the NHS, often leading to cross-cutting interdisciplinary research and publication in non-psychology journals. Staff also have national and international collaborations.