UCL Institute of Mental Health


Supervisors and steering committee

The UCL Wellcome 4-year PhD Programme in Mental Health Science is an exciting opportunity for students to train in a wide range of the latest methods and techniques in the field of mental health research. This programme, funded in 2019, is the first of its kind in the UK, representing an investment of over £5 million by the Wellcome Trust. It is based in the UCL Institute of Mental Health, and will recruit six students per year from 2020-2024.

A call for supervisors for the programme is issued on an annual basis, typically in March. The criteria for being approved as a supervisor are as follows:

  1. Be eligible to be primary supervisor according to UCL regulations, including completion of the required courses.
  2. Have either an open-ended position or proleptic appointment with UCL, or a substantive fixed-term contract that would outlast the length of a studentship (for example, for students starting in September 2023, the contract must end no earlier than September 2027).
  3. Have experience of supervising (either as primary or as secondary supervisor) at least one PhD student to the point of thesis submission.
  4. Have a strong track record of research directly relevant to mental health, which is a good fit with the programme.

Additionally, once approved, all supervisors must undertake a mandatory half-day supervisor training course specifically designed for the programme and submit at least two examples of possible rotation projects.

Consistent with the interdisciplinary ethos of the programme, the steering committee is drawn from a wide range of disciplines relevant to mental health research. 

Steering committee member


Prof Jonathan Roiser (Director)                           

Professor of Neuroscience and Mental Health in the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. He founded and directs the UCL-NIMH Joint Doctoral Training Program in Neuroscience, and previously directed the UCL MRC 4-year PhD Programme in Mental Health.

Dr Alexandra Pitman (co-Director)                                       

Associate Professor in the UCL Division of Psychiatry and Honorary NHS Consultant Psychiatrist. She uses epidemiological approaches to identify risk factors for suicide and self-harm, and designs preventative interventions to address modifiable risk factors.

Prof Sunjeev Kamboj (co-Director)Professor of Translational Psychology. He works at the interface between clinical psychology and neuroscience to develop novel psychological and pharmacological treatments (and their combination) for addiction, anxiety, depression and trauma-related disorders.

Prof Anna Remington

Professor and Director of the Centre Research in Autism and Education at the UCL Institute of Education. She holds a Wellcome Hub Award on wellbeing and productivity in people with autism and learning disability, and has received awards for her public engagement and participatory work.

Prof Marcus Richards 

Professor of Psychology in Epidemiology, and leader of the Mental Ageing Programme for the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing. He is heavily involved in UCL’s Inclusive Advocacy scheme for black and minority ethnic (BAME) students and staff.

Dr Rachel Hiller 

Associate Professor in Child Mental Health, Head of Postgraduate Studies for the child mental health postgraduate programmes, which are delivered at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. 

Dr Natalie MarchantAssociate Professor in the Division of Psychiatry, with a focus on Influence of mental health and lifestyle on healthy ageing, neurodegeneration, cognitive impairment and dementia.
Prof Anthony David

Professor of Mental Health, Director of the UCL Institute of Mental Health

The supervisor list comprises around 80 leading researchers at UCL, including several early-career researchers, distributed across the three themes of the programme.



Research Area

Dr Rick Adams

Clinical Research Fellow

Computational modelling of the brain and behaviour in schizophrenia (Mechanism)

Dr Vaughan Bell

Associate Professor

Social cognition in psychosis and neuropsychiatric disorders (Mechanism)

Prof Daniel BendorProfessor and Director of the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience

Neuronal substrates of perception and memory (Mechanism)

Prof Elvira Bramon

Professor of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Biological markers for psychosis and their genetic influences (Mechanism)

Dr Marc Busche

Programme Leader

Cellular and circuit mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders (Mechanism)

Prof James CoxProfessor of Human Pain GeneticsGenes for human pain insensitivity with direct links to depression (Mechanism/Intervention)

Dr Michael Devine 

Group Leader

Mitochondrial regulation of neuronal function in health and disease (Mechanism)

Prof Ray Dolan FRS

Mary Kinross Professor of Neuropsychiatry

Computational and neural basis of motivation in health and disease (Mechanism)

Prof Stephen Flemming Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

Mechanisms supporting conscious awareness and metacognition in the adult human brain (Mechanism)

Prof Aikaterini Fotopoulou

Professor of Psychodynamic Neuroscience

Body representation and interoception in eating disorders (Mechanism)

Prof Sarah Garfinkel

Professor of Clinical and Affective Neuroscience

Emotion processing in anxiety, autism, PTSD and psychosis (Mechanism)

Prof Alasdair Gibb

Professor of Pharmacology

Dopaminergic neuron NMDA receptor function and pharmacology (Mechanism)

Dr Talya GreeneAssociate ProfessorPrediction, prevention and treatment of mental disorders following trauma exposure (Mechanism)

Prof Antonia Hamilton

Prof of Social Neuroscience

Social skills in autism, neural mechanisms of social interaction (Mechanism)

Prof Michael Hausser

Professor of Neuroscience

Cellular basis of neural computation in the mammalian brain (Mechanism)

Prof Quentin Huys

Professor of Computational Psychiatry

Developing computational and cognitive methods to address clinical problems in psychiatry (Mechanism)

Prof Josef Kittler

Professor of Molecular Neurobiology

The genetic mechanisms driving synaptic dysfunction in neuropsychiatric conditions (Mechanism)

Prof Jennifer LindenProfessor of Neuroscience

Central auditory processing and disruption in brain disorders affecting hearing (Mechanism)

Dr Andrew MacAskill

Senior Research Fellow

Synaptic and circuit process in rodent analogues of mental illness (Mechanism)

Dr Liam Mason

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

Mechanisms of mood instability and decision-making in bipolar disorder (Mechanism/Intervention)

Prof Eamon McCrory

Professor of Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology

Neurocognitive mechanisms implicated in mental health vulnerability following childhood maltreatment (Mechanism)

Prof Andrew McQuillin

Professor of Molecular Pschiatry

Genetic underpinnings of a range of mental illnesses and substance misuse disorders using large scale molecular genetics (Mechanism)

Dr Pranjal MehtaAssociate ProfessorMechanisms linking social hierarchy and stress, with clear implications for mental health (Mechanism)
Dr Michael Moutoussis Clinical Lecturer in Neuroscience

Computational psychotherapy, targeted research on mechanisms directly relevant to psychological therapies (Mechanism)   

Dr Andrei OkorokovAssociate ProfessorNeuronal transcription factors and long-noncoding RNA genes that modulate sensation of pain (Mechanism)

Prof Anna Remington

Professor, Programme Committee

Cognitive skills and abilities in autism and their practical application (Mechanism)

Prof Oliver Robinson

Professor of Neuroscience and Mental Health

The neurocognitive and computational basis of mental illness, focusing on anxiety (Mechanism)

Prof Jonathan Roiser

Professor of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Programme Director

Neural and cognitive mechanisms driving mental illness, especially depression (Mechanism)

Prof Anette Schrag

Prof of Clinical Neuroscience

Imaging and clinical correlates of anxiety and depression in Parkinson's (Mechanism)

Prof Tali Sharot

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

Information seeking and mental health, Belief formation and mental health, Affective disorders (Mechanism)

Prof Trevor Smart

Schild Professor of Pharmacology

The molecular, cellular and circuit basis of mental health disorders from the perspective of dysfunctional brain inhibition (Mechanism)

Dr Nikolaus Steinbeis

Principal Research Fellow

The development of emotion regulation in children and its role in psychological wellbeing (Mechanism)

Prof Argyris Stringaris

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Mood and the mechanisms that lead to depression, particularly in adolescents (Mechanism)
Dr Vaso TotsikaAssociate Professor in Intellectual Developmental DisabilityMental health and wellbeing in intellectual and developmental disabilities (Mechanism)

Prof Essi Viding

Professor of Developmental Psychopathology

Genetic, environmental and neurocognitive mechanisms contributing to the development of antisocial behaviour (Mechanism)

Prof Jason Warren

Professor of Neurology

Systems neuroscience of auditory, socioemotional and other complex behaviours in neurodegenerative disorders (Mechanism)

Dr Sarah White

Senior Research Fellow

Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying autism (Mechanism)

Dr Emma AndersonAssociate Professor of Dementia EpidemiologyApplication of causal inference methodology to understand genetic and non-genetic determinants of Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia (Population)

Dr David Bann

Associate Professor in Population Health

Effects of societal changes in physical and mental health (Population)

Dr Rochelle BurgessAssociate Professor

 Mental wellbeing, experience of common mental disorders, social interventions in Global Mental Health (Population)

Dr Alexandra BurtonSenior Research Fellow in Behavioural Science

Relationship between social support and health outcomes and the development and testing of psychosocial interventions to improve outcomes for people with mental health problems (Population)

Prof Neil DaviesProfessor of Medical StatisticsAppliation of methods for causal inference in epidemiological and clinical research (Population)

Prof Daisy Fancourt

Associate Professor of Psychobiology & Epidemiology

Links between social, cultural and community engagement and psychological, biological, social and behavioural factors (Population)

Prof Eirini Flouri

Professor of Developmental Psychology

Social and biological influences on children’s emotional and behavioural problems (Population)

Dr Steven Jivraj

Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Public Health

Mental health of ageing populations and social inequality (Population)

Prof James Kirkbride

Professor of Psychiatric and Social Epidemiology

Social epidemiology of psychotic disorders, including migration, ethnicity and urbanization (Population)

Dr Karoline Kuchenbaecker

Associate Professor

The genetics of depression in diverse populations (Population)

Dr Gemma Lewis

Associate Professor in psychiatric epidemiology

Epidemiology of common mental health disorders (Population)

Prof Glyn Lewis

Professor of Epidemiological Psychiatry

Epidemiology of psychiatric disorders and randomised clinical trials of depression (Population)

Dr Clare Llewellyn

Associate Professor

How genes and the environment impact habits, obesity and mental health (Population)

Dr Louise Marston

Associate Professor

Applied statistics in randomised control trials and digital healthcare records in mental health  (Population/Intervention)
Dr Peter Martin Associate Professor of Statistics and Psychological MethodsApplied statistics in psychology, epidemiology, and health services research (Population/Intervention)
Dr Emily Joan MidouhasAssociate Professor of Psychology

Role of risky, promotive and protective environments in the longitudinal patterns of mental health and behaviour of typically-developing children and children with special educational needs (Population)

Prof Janaina Mourão-Miranda

Professorial Research Fellow

Development and application of machine learning models to neuroimaging (Population)

Prof Irwin Nazareth

Professor of Primary Care and Population Science

Mental health in lower & middle income countries (Population)

Prof Courtenay Norbury

Professor of Developmental Disorders of Language and Communication

Developmental relationships between language disorder and social, emotional, and mental health outcomes (Population)

Dr Bonamy Oliver

Associate Professor in Developmental Psychology

Child and family factors in association with children and young people’s emotion regulation and mental health (Population/Intervention) 

Prof David Osborn

Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology

Mental health epidemiology including outcomes in psychosis and physical comorbidity (Population)

Dr Praveetha Patalay

Associate Professor

Mental health across the lifecourse; developmental trajectories, antecedents and consequences (Population)

Prof Irene Petersen 

Professor of Epidemiology and Health Informatics

Links between physical and mental health in primary care (Population)

 Prof Jean-Baptiste Pingault

Professor of Developmental Psychopathology and Genetics

Genetic and environmental pathways to childhood and adolescent mental health (Population)

Dr Snehal Pinto Pereira 

Associate Professor in Population Health and Applied Statistics

Understanding (i) long-term implications of child maturement, (ii) the inter-play between physical and mental health and (iii) well-being and mental health during the pandemic (Population)

Prof George Ploubidis

Professor of Population Health and Statistics

Antecedents and consequences of common mental disorders over the lifecourse (Population)

Prof Marcus Richards

Professor of Psychology in Epidemiology, Programme Committee

Life course approaches to mental ageing: depression and cognitive function (Population)

Prof Nick Tyler 

Chadwick Chair of Civil Engineering

Understanding human/environment interactions  considering the physical and sensory state of the environment and the sensory, cognitive and physical state of the
person (Population)

Prof Kate Walters

Professor of Primary Care & Epidemiology

Predicting and improving mental health outcomes in people with complex needs  (Population)

Dr Keri WongAssociate Professor of Developmental Psychology and co-Director of the Centre for Education and Criminal JusticeSocial and developmental causes, correlates, and consequences of psychosis, schizotypal traits, and antisocial behaviour in relation to child and adolescent mental health across cultures (Population)
Dr Joshua BuckmanAssociate Professor in Clinical PsychologyThe use of clinical decision making tools to support the delivery of routine psychological therapies for depression and anxiety disorders (Intervention)

Dr Georgina Charlesworth

Associate Professor

Behaviour change and stigma in dementia (Intervention)

Dr Ravi DasAssociate Professor

Translating novel methods of targeting maladaptive neuroplasticity into experimental interventions in drug use and stress disorders (Intervention)

Prof Anthony David

Professor of Mental Health

Insight and awareness, depersonalisation disorder and functional neurological disorders (Intervention)

Prof Jessica Deighton

Professor in Child Mental Health and Wellbeing

Evaluation of interventions to support mental health and well-being in children (Intervention)

Prof Julian Edbrooke-Childs

Professor of Evidence-Based Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Evaluations of new treatment and approaches for young people with multiple needs, particularly mental health and forensic needs, within community services and also secure settings (Intervention)

Prof Peter Fonagy

Professor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Developmental Science

Psychosocial treatments for youths and individuals with persistent mental disorders (Intervention)

Prof  Rebecca Gould

Professor of Psychological Therapies

Psychological interventions in mental and physical health disorders (Intervention)

Prof Leslie GutmanProfessor of Applied Developmental and Health PsychologyMental health and wellbeing; risk and resilience; and intervention development, implementation and evaluation, with a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion for children, adolescents and young adults (Intervention)

Dr Amy Harrison

Lecturer in Psychology

Developing treatments for eating disorders through understanding their cognitive, social and emotional mechanisms (Intervention)

Prof Angela Hassiotis

Professor of  Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability

Interventions and epidemiology of neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disability (Intervention)

Dr Daniel Hayes

Senior Research Fellow in Behavioural Science and Health

Personalised care and community mental health (Intervention)
Dr Joseph HayesPrincipal Research Fellow

Epidemiology and social psychiatry, data science (Intervention)

Dr Rachell Hiller Associate Professor in Child Mental Health

Complex child trauma and mental health,  improving the identification and support of the mental health needs of care-experienced young people (Intervention)

Prof Robert Howard

Professor of Old Age Psychiatry

Improving treatment for psychosis, anxiety, depression and symptoms of dementia (Intervention)

Prof Sonia Johnson

Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry

Development, evaluation of psychosocial interventions; social influences on mental health (Intervention)

Prof Sunjeev Kamboj

Professor of Translational Clinical Psychology

Memory modification as a therapeutic strategy for psychological disorders (Intervention)

Prof Helen Killaspy

Professor of Rehabilitation Psychiatry

Evaluation of effectiveness of specialist services for people with complex mental health needs (Intervention)

Prof John King

Professor of Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience

Virtual reality embodiment as a tool for modifying self-compassion in mental illness (Intervention)

Prof Gill Livingston

Professor of Psychiatry of Older People

Life course interventions to prevent and delay dementia, treat neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia and improve mental health of family carers (Intervention)

Prof Bryn Lloyd-Evans

Senior Lecturer

Mental health services research, especially crisis care (Intervention)

Prof Will Mandy

Professor of Neurodevelopmental Conditions

Improving recognition and clinical care of autistic people (Intervention)

Dr Natalie Marchant

Associate Professor

Influence of mental health and lifestyle on healthy ageing, neurodegeneration, cognitive impairment and dementia

Prof Nick Midgley

Professor of Psychological Therapies with Children and Young People

Child and adolescent psychotherapy (Intervention)

Dr Nicola Morant Associate Professor 

Qualitative methodologies to understand the experiences and perspectives of stakeholders n mental health, and inform treatment and service development (Intervention)

Dr Vasiliki Orgeta

Associate Professor 

Psychological and psychosocial interventions for people with dementia, risk factors for dementia, trauma and ageing. (Intervention)

Prof Stephen Pilling

Professor of Clinical Psychology and Clinical Effectiveness

Effectiveness of psychological interventions, including prognosis and prediction of response (Intervention)

Dr Alexandra Pitman

Clinical Associate Professor, Programme Committee

Risk factors for suicidality; links between loneliness and mental illness (Intervention)

Prof Greta Rait

Professor of Primary Care and Health Services Research

Dementia and common mental disorders in primary care and complex interventions: epidemiology and trials (Intervention)

Prof Katrina Scior

Professor of Clinical Psychology and Stigma Studies

Stigma associated with disability and mental health problems (Intervention)

Dr Rob SaundersAssociate Professor in Mental Health Data ScienceThe use of data science to understand mental health disorders and improve the delivery of treatment (Intervention)

Prof Roz Shafran

Professor of Translational Psychology

Development and evaluation of psychological interventions (Intervention)

Prof Aimee Spector

Professor of Clinical Psychology of Ageing

Development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions in ageing (a) dementia and b) menopause transition) (Intervention)