Dr Caroline E Brett (DPsych)
Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
Old Medical School
- Post code
- EH8 9AG
I am a chartered psychologist and full member of the British Psychological Society's Division of Health Psychology, as well as a Registered Health Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (PYL33089), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I joined University of Edinburgh as a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology in February 2023. Previously I spent 7 years as a senior lecturer in health psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, with whom I retain an honorary research fellow position. Prior to this I worked for many years on longitudinal cohort studies of health and wellbeing in older adults as part of Professor Ian Deary’s team in the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology.
I have recently been appointed as the Director of Students for the School of Health in Social Science, a role that ties in with my research interests in wellbeing of students and staff at universities, and student support. I am also the Communications Lead for the BPS Division of Health Psychology committee.
2015: DPsych (Health), City University, London
2011: MSc Health Psychology, University of Stirling
2000: MSc Cognitive Neuropsychology, University of Essex
1999: MA(Hons) Psychology, University of Edinburgh
Responsibilities & affiliations
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Chartered Psychologist, BPS
HCPC-registered Health Psychologist (PYL33089)
Member of the Register for Applied Psychology Practitioner Supervisors (RAPPS)
Research supervisor for trainees on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Course organiser and lecturer for the Health, Beliefs, and Behaviour course on the DClin.
Supervisor for MSc Psychology of Mental Health Conversion course.
Open to PhD supervision enquiries?
Areas of interest for supervision
I am particularly keen to hear from potential PhD students interested in research into the wellbeing of students and staff at universities, or university students' use of support, and/or those who already hold a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology and are interested in conducting a PhD in any area of health psychology alongside the BPS stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology.
Current PhD students supervised
Samridha Sjb Rana: Exploring the Impact of the Climate and Ecological Crises on the Mental Health of Young Adults in Nepal, India and UK (co-supervisor, with Paul Morris)
Kathryn Higdon: A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study Evaluating the Effectiveness of a School Counseling Intervention for Young Carers (co-supervisor, with Ingrid Obsuth)
LJMU PhD students:
Developing an outcomes framework to evaluate the impact of social prescribing on health, wellbeing, and health inequalities in the Liverpool City Region - Fatimah Wobi (co-supervisor, with Hannah Timpson)
The Impact of Transpersonal Psychology Practices on Goal Setting and Goal Exploration - Olga Ferreras (co-supervisor, with Alef Trust).
Developing an evidence-based intervention to improve resilience in young people - Michelle Mathieson (lead supervisor).
Past PhD students supervised
Matt Hibbert (second supervisor, with Viv Hope and Lorna Porcellato, Sept 2017-July 2020): Sexualised drug and alcohol use among LGBT people and the impact on physical and mental health, and psychological wellbeing.
My main research interest is on the lifecourse determinants of subjective wellbeing (including quality of life) in older and younger adults, particularly the role of personality, mood, and psychological resources such as resilience, optimism, and sense of coherence. In recent years, I have shifted the focus of my research onto the design and evaluation of interventions or activities to enhance wellbeing, particularly asset-based community development / social prescribing and nature-based interventions. I am also interested in factors influencing motivation to engage with interventions or activities, including social prescribing, wellbeing activities, physical activity, and rehabilitation, and in the wellbeing of students and staff within university communities, including students' use of support.
I am currently engaged in a number of funded and unfunded projects in collaboration with colleagues at LJMU. These include developing outcomes frameworks / theories of change for social prescribing schemes with Alder Hey (for children and young people), and Citizens Advice Wirral. I am also collaborating with colleagues at LJMU and Sheffield Hallam University on a project funded by the Camping and Caravanning Club to look at associations between camping and outdoor activities and measures of nature connectedness and eudaimonic, subjective, and psychological wellbeing. Building on research findings from the Phoenix project, a mixed methods study of the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions on individuals across the north west of England, I am co-investigator on a project focussing on the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on LGBTQ+ people in Merseyside.
Current project grants
* Lead researcher (now co-investigator) on a commissioned project by Citizens Advice Wirral and funded by the Ministry of Justice to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of a new social prescribing hub set up in a health justice partnership. £30,000, Sept 2022-Aug 2025.
* Co-investigator on a grant from The Pandemic Institute, “Understanding the impact of COVID-19 response on the health and well-being of LGBT+ people in Merseyside: A rapid assessment to inform support needs, strengthening of resilience, and inclusive responses in future pandemics”, Dec 2022-Dec 2023, £33640, Co-I (PI = Prof Viv Hope).
Past project grants
All at LJMU:
• Recipient of LJMU/Research England QR Policy Support Fund, “Enhancing capacity in participatory action research”, £9500.00, Nov 2022-July 2023.
• Recipient (as co-supervisor) of LJMU Faculty of Health PhD studentship, “Developing an outcomes framework to evaluate the impact of social prescribing on health, wellbeing, and health inequalities in the Liverpool City Region”, June 2021+
• Lead researcher on a knowledge transfer contract with Homeshare UK, to develop a national outcomes framework for robust evaluation of Homeshare programmes, £10,000, April-Nov 2021, PI.
• Awarded LJMU Curriculum Enhancement internship, “Developing and embedding a range of outdoor interventions with under-represented groups (including BAME, LGBTQ+, APP) to enhance wellbeing and engagement with the natural environment”, April 2021, Co-I (PI = Dr Avril Rowley)
• Awarded LJMU Coronavirus / COVID-19 Pandemic: Rapid Response Grant, “The PHOENIX Project: A survey of People and Households’ Ongoing Efforts in Response to the National COVID-19 Guidance and its Impacts Across the North West”, £10641, May 2020, Co-I (PI = Prof Vivian Hope),
• AURORA, Advance HE Feb-Nov 2020. LJMU 2020 cohort. Birmingham 1.
• Awarded UKRI MARCH Network Sandpit Grant, “Engagement and evaluation in social prescribing”, £2400, Oct 2019-Feb 2020, PI
• Awarded LJMU Curriculum Enhancement internship, “Developing a programme of Open Forest School interventions to work with local schools and LJMU students to enhance wellbeing and engagement with the natural environment”, January 2019, Co-I (PI = Dr Avril Rowley)
• Recipient of LJMU’s Early Career Researcher PhD scholarship award, August 2018
• Awarded funds for a Curriculum Enhancement Project “Developing and embedding interventions to enhance student wellbeing” LJMU Teaching and Learning Academy, £6900, Nov 2017-July 2018, PI