Dr Julie Smith

Deputy Head of Institute for Education, Community & Society (IECS) / Lecturer Developmental Psychology


My undergraduate degree in Psychology was completed at Edinburgh Napier University and was as a result of a career change.  My PhD, completed at the University of Glasgow, focussed on children’s verbal interactions during collaborative problem solving in mathematics.  In particular metacognitive talk.  Having held a number of teaching posts at different universities, I completed an MSc in Applied Psychology (CYP) at the University of Edinburgh, qualifying as a Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology.  I have worked in the area of mental health with children and young people as well as with university students.    I am a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


BA (Hons) Psychology

MSc Applied Psychology for Children & Young People

PhD Psychology of Learning


Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

  • Metacognition and Mathematics Learning
  • Pedagogical approaches to support learning in STEM subjects
  • The  relationship between pedagogical approaches and mental health and wellbeing (particularly in Higher Education)
  • Mental health intervention evaluation in child and adolescent mental health services

Current project grants

Critical Thinking Retreat: Using situated simulations to develop researcher positioning in master’s students, Principal's Teaching Award (£8822)
Dissertation Buddies: Development, implementation and evaluation of a peer support programme for PGT students during the dissertation phase, Student Experience Grant (£2245)

Past project grants

Problem Solving Partnerships in Mathematics Education. Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM, 2019-2020 Education Scotland (£15748)

View all 5 publications on Research Explorer

Sowa, S., Smith, J. & Manches, A. Primary and secondary school students’ career aspirations and job automation-related risks. Int J Educ Vocat Guidance (2022). http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10775-022-09573-9 


McDonald, P., & Smith, J. (2019). Improving mathematical learning in Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence through problem posing: An integrative review. Curriculum Journal. https://doi.org/10.1002/curj.15


Griffiths, H., Duffy, F., Duffy, L., Brown, S., Hockaday, H., Graham, J.Eliasson, E., Smith, J. Thomson, A., Schwannauer, M. (2019). Efficacy of Mentalization-based group therapy for adolescents: the results of a pilot randomised controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-019-2158-8


Smith, J., & Mancy, R. (2018). Exploring the relationship between metacognitive and collaborative talk during group mathematical problem solving - what do we mean by collaborative metacognition? Research in Mathematics Education, 20(1), 14-36. https://doi.org/10.1080/14794802.2017.1410215