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.  My research interests are in the areas of metacognition and mathematics learning and also early intervention and prevention strategies for mental health support in children and adolescents.  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?


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)

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