Bérengère Digard (PhD, AFHEA)

Postdoctoral Fellow


I come from Lyon (France), where I got a BSc in Biology, specialised in Physiology and Genetic, a Master 1 in Integrative Biology, Physiology and Neurosciences, and a Master 2 in Research in Neurosciences. During the Master 2, I spent 5 months at the University of Cambridge on a research placement, where I studied the degenerescence patterns of subcortical structures in dementia, with Pr Michael Hornberger. It is after this placement that I decided to give academia a go!

I arrived in Edinburgh in September 2016 to start a PhD at the Patrick Wild Centre, researching how bilingualism changed the life, mind, and brain of autistic and neurotypical people. I completed my PhD during the infamous 2020 first lockdown.

I'm passionate about science communication and public engagement. I co-ordinated the Pint of Science festival in Lyon (2016) and Edinburgh (2017), and I worked as Engagment officer for the Patrick Wild Centre for a year after my PhD. I also take part in other science communication projects across the University.


In 2021 I have been awarded a 1-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship by the ESRC and the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. I started this Fellowship on the 1st October 2021 in the Department of Psychology, where I will be continuing my reseach in autism and bilingualism under the mentorship of Dr Bonnie Auyeung and Prof Francesca Happé (King's College London).

(In a previous life, during my studies in Lyon, I worked in lingerie retail, for Princesse tam.tam. )


Ph.D in Psychiatry (2016-2020), University of Edinburgh

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2019), Higher Education Academy

Master 2 by Research in Neurosciences (2014 - 2015), Université Claude Bernard de Lyon (France)

Master 1 in Integrative Biology, Physiology & Neurosciences (2013 - 2014), Université Claude Bernard de Lyon (France)

BSc in Biology (2010 - 2013), Université Claude Bernard de Lyon (France)

Undergraduate teaching

Tutor for Research & Evidence-Based Medicine (2020-current)

Tutor for Student Selected Component 2 (2019)

Tutor for Psychology 2 (2017-2020)

Tutor for the PPLS Writing Centre (2017-2020)

Tutor for Child Bilingualism: Language & Cognition (2018)

Postgraduate teaching


Ellie Johnson, SSC5a project, MBChB (2021-2022).

Hanlin Wong, SSC5a project, MBChB (2021-2022).

Zsofia Blair, SSC5a project, MBChB (2020-2021).

Li Wang, MSc in Education CAP (2019). Co-supervisor: Gale MacLeod.

Kathryn Nolte, MSc in Developemental Linguistics (2018).

Research summary

My research focuses on the link between bilingualism and a socio-cognitive process called perspective-taking, in neurotypical and autistic adults. During my fellowship I will be continuing this work and setting up new projects.

Fellowship mentors: Dr Bonnie Auyeung and Prof Francesca Happé (King's College London).

Thesis title: Bilingualism in autism: A neurocognitive investigation of the influence of bilingualism on perspective-taking in autistic adults.

PhD Supervisors: Prof Sue Fletcher-Watson, Dr Andrew Stanfield, Prof Antonella Sorace.

You can read more about this here: http://dart.ed.ac.uk/research/berengere/ and https://patrickwildcentre.com/autism-bilingualism-and-cognition-mind/

Project activity

ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship:

During this fellowship I will focus on 

- publishing my PhD research

- communicating and expanding the impact of my PhD research

- acquiring additional skills

- developping new funding proposals

Current project grants

ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship - Scottish Graduate School of Social Science