PhD Students

I supervise several PhD students who are engaged in independent research projects related to my own research interests. Have a look through their profiles, perhaps it will inspire you to develop your own research proposal and come and join us?

Anja Römer

A positive psycho-social approach towards creating readiness for change

University of Waikato, New Zealand

Through my business consulting work I have gained an insight into the topics of organisational development and change management. I am also very interested in positive psychology and how we can use psychological principles to enrich our private and professional lives.

Change in the workplace cannot be avoided and is very often a challenging experience for employees and leadership. I want to analyse how principles of positive leadership and the employees’ level of optimism, hope, resilience, self-efficacy, and mindfulness impact their readiness for change. If positive leaders can help to develop employees with a positive mindset, the challenge of organisational change can be addressed more successfully.

Shyamenda Purslow

The age of authenticity: Investigating the effect of self-awareness on leadership development

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

The purpose of my research is to develop a multilevel understanding of authenticity at work, centring on the choices people make considering the constraints and limitations they may face. I plan to work with practitioners to determine the importance self-awareness and authenticity have for the development of effective leaders and workplaces. Focusing on self-awareness whether gained through an existentialist crises or personal and professional development.


Investigating this area is crucial to the well-being, health and productivity of individuals and workplaces. My research is anticipated to produce a framework to guide practitioners and organisations, allowing for what everyone should feel able to be at work and anywhere else, themselves.

Claudia Nario

Leadership Development through self-awareness training based on the Enneagram model of personality: a longitudinal study

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

I have been a practicing organizational psychologist for more than 25 years, having worked both as a Consultant and an HR Executive, and I have an MSc in Organizational Behaviour.  During my career, I have developed two passions: Leadership Development and the Enneagram, which I have found to be an extremely powerful tool to understand personality and predict behavior.


My interest is to measure the impact of Enneagram-based self-awareness training on the development of Leadership skills on a group of managers.  The 18-month programme will involve coaching and intensive training, and the impact will be measured by a 360 evaluation before and after its implementation, as opposed to that of a control group.

Sarah-Jane Lennie

Emotional labour and inauthenticity: how ‘playing the professional role’ can impact on resilience when dealing with daily traumatic events.

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Completed 2019

For fifteen years I was a police officer serving in various departments, from front line uniform policing, through to child protection and murder investigation. As you can imagine I regularly dealt with complex, challenging, and distressing circumstances, and supported my staff through many difficult times.  


My aim is to understand why it is that so many police officers experience high levels of psychological distress, but suffer in silence until it is too late. From personal experience I understand how police officers create a 'role' for themselves so that they act according to public and organisational demands. I wish to explore how the discrepancy between how we feel and what we display impacts our mental health and wellbeing. My ambition is to positively affect the emotional culture of the police service and to reduce stigma around mental health.

Wim Kuit 

Development and Evaluation of the Coach-Athlete Relationship Enhancement (CARE) Intervention

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

Completed 2018

I am a psychologist and since 2008 I have been applying the Enneagram in my work with individuals, couples and groups. Recently I have become interested in the application of the Enneagram within sport psychology research and practice. Having applied the Enneagram in mental health and addiction treatment, my work is focused on bringing together insights about behaviour change and personal development with an in-depth understanding of personality patterns and their influence on relationships and performance.


My PhD research focused on enhancing the coach-athlete relationship through an integration of the Enneagram typology with sport psychological theories of the coach-athlete relationship. I developed and evaluated a practical intervention for improving the relationship between elite level university coaches and athletes.

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