UCL Psychology and Language Sciences



Current Members

Rachel Hillier photo of face
Rachel Hiller, head of research group
Rachel is a clinical researcher, head of the Child Trauma and Recovery Research Group and Principal Investigator of the ReThink, ADaPT, and RELATE projects. She is also the Head of Postgraduate Studies for the child mental health postgraduate programmes, which are delivered at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

Her research is in the field of complex child trauma and mental health. Broadly, her work spans three areas: (i) the identification of key psychological and social processes linking trauma exposure the mental health and wellbeing; (ii) the development and testing of scalable mental health intervention for trauma-exposed young people; and (iii) the implementation of existing best-evidenced practice within and across social care and mental health services. Much of her research is focused on improving the identification and support of the mental health needs of care-experienced young people.

Emily Staite
Emily Staite, Clinical Psychologist and Lab/Trial Manager

Emily is the Lab/Trial Manager of the Child Trauma and Recovery Research Group. She is also a Clinical Psychologist working for the NHS in Inpatient Services. Her research explores a range of mental health difficulties, with her doctoral thesis focusing on the mother-infant relationship in mothers with and without gestational diabetes. Much of her research and clinical work is focused on improving quality of life in both adults and young people.

Rosie's headshot
Rosie McGuire, Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the ADaPT project

Rosie is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on the ADaPT trial. Prior to moving to UCL and the Anna Freud Centre she completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of Bath, supervised by Dr Rachel Hiller and Prof Sarah Halligan. Rosie’s PhD explored transdiagnostic predictors of the mental health and wellbeing of young people in care, as well as broader questions around mental health support. During her PhD Rosie was awarded the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies award for Outstanding Student Advocacy and Service, for her commitment to working alongside young people in care and with the professionals who support them.

Eva Sprecher, Research Fellow in the ReThink project
Eva Sprecher, Research Fellow in the ReThink project

Eva is a Research Fellow on the ReThink Programme (UKRI funded) under Principle Investigator Dr Rachel Hiller. She has just completed her PhD at UCL’s Psychoanalysis Unit in 2023, supervised by Professor Nick Midgley and Dr Michelle Sleed. Her PhD focused on understanding the relationships between foster carers and the young people they care for. She is a co-founder, trustee and advisory board member for Lighthouse Pedagogical Trust, a residential care provider using models of social pedagogy. She is committed to participatory research and is co-developing a children’s book with care-experienced artists and advisors. 

Davin Schmidt, research assistant on the ADaPT project
Davin Schmidt, Research Assistant on the ADaPT project
Davin has always had a strong interest in supporting young people. After working clinically and in research in German refugee camps and in London with human trafficking victims, he completed his MSc in Clinical Psychology. His dissertation explored the parents perspectives of their child receiving trauma therapy as part of the DECRYPT trial. This led to a deeper interest in the research field and to him joining the ADaPT team. His hope is that this work will truly have a helpful impact on the system intended to support young people in the UK with care experience.

Maryam Javed, research assistant in the ReThink project
Maryam Javed, Research Assistant on the ReThink project
Maryam joined University College London and Anna Freud Centre in 2022 as a Research Assistant for the ReThink Programme. Her research interests are focused around global mental health and intervention effectiveness, particularly among marginalised communities such as refugees, ethnic minorities, and migrants. Maryam’s research interests have been shaped by her childhood experiences in the Middle East, moving to England in 2019, and working in various clinical settings including Lewisham CAMHS NHS. Maryam was awarded the Vice-Chancellors Scholarship during her Masters of Clinical Psychology from Newcastle University. In the future, Maryam hopes to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. 


Alice Phillips, PhD candidate in the ReThink project
Alice Phillips, PhD Candidate
Alice is a PhD researcher investigating the provision of mental health support for care-experienced people, with research interests around complex trauma and social support. Alice’s PhD research is supported by a small team of people who have had experiences of growing up in the care system in the UK. Alice is supervised by Dr Rachel Hiller (University College London), Prof Sarah Halligan (University of Bath), Dr Iris Lavi (University of Bath), Prof. John Macleod (University of Bristol) and Dr David Wilkins (University of Cardiff).   


Past Members

  • Becky Davis, post-doctoral researcher on the ReLATE project
  • Paula Olivera, senior reseacher

Affiliated Members

Dr. Emma Geijer-Simpson, Newcastle University
Research Associate on the ADaPT trial, supervised by Dr Ruth McGovern 
Dr. Katie Wood, University of Exeter
Postdoctoral Research Associate on the ADaPT trial, supervised by Dr Gretchen Bjornstad
Joe Coombes, University of Exeter
Research Assistant on the ADaPT trial, supervised by Dr Gretchen Bjornstad
Robyn Bosworth, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Assistant Psychologist, and Research Assistant on the ADaPT trial, supervised by Dr Tim Clarke

Dr Bethan Carter, Cardiff University
Research Fellow, and post-doctoral researcher on ReThink Programme, supervised by Professor Katherine Shelton.

Dr Charlotte Robinson, Cardiff University 
Research assistant on the ReThink Programme, supervised by Professor Katherine Shelton.