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A child taking part in a Developmental Psychology practical.

A round up of news across our department this month.


  • A quick note from the editor to offer a hearty congratulations to one and all for making it through this unique and challenging term. Thank you to all staff and students for your incredible efforts, which have allowed the department to not only survive but to thrive. Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful and relaxing Winter Break!
  • Huge congratulations go out to Alex Easton, Anthony McGregor, and Dan Smith, who have each been promoted to Professor this year! Equally huge congrats to Ben Alderson-Day, Anna Grubert, and Miki Vasiljevic, who have been promoted to Associate Professor!

  • If you are a first year student, please consider applying for a Laidlaw Programme Scholarship! You’ll receive a £6000 stipend and valuable opportunities for skills/leadership development. Deadline to apply: Jan 17, 2021


Photo of the week

The staff had a Christmas Jumper Day on Zoom this week. Thuyvy and Jon’s dogs Steve and George were clearly best dressed!

 Two dogs lying by the fire in their Christmas jumpers


Staff Profile of the Week:
Prof Markus Hausmann

Markus is a Professor, Deputy Head of Department and a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Group. He’s been at Durham since 2007, having worked previously in Germany, New Zealand, and Turkey! His research focuses on a range of topics involving neuro and biological psychology, including spatial cognition, attention, neuroendocrinology, and social cognition. He has published over 100 academic papers.

What is your favourite food?
Green lip mussels with coconut crème and lemongrass curry. Very nice with a big bowl of Belgian fries and tons of mayonnaise.

What’s your favourite restaurant in Durham?Headshot of a professor eating ice cream
My favourite restaurant in Durham is my own kitchen. According to friends, I’m able to produce a decent Spaghetti Carbonara.

What do you like to do for fun?
Traveling, climbing mountains and skiing.

What music are you listening to this month?
This month I was listening to a lot of New Order (old and new stuff).

Have you taken any amazing trips recently?
I was on Aitutaki, Cook Islands. It’s paradise, if you like coconuts, and it’s Corona free!

Who is your hero?
My dad.

What advice would you give a Durham undergraduate?
Make use of the academic exchange programmes our department offers (when travel is possible again). Traveling is a really valuable learning experience.


News and opportunities

  • Very cool to see Dr Lore Thaler and her work on echolocation featured on the BBC 2 programme “Inside the Bat Cave”

  • Congrats to Prof Dan Smith and Dr Soazig Casteau, who have been awarded a £3.5k grant by the Experimental Psychology Society

  • The Office for Students and Research England have launched a new £8 million funding competition to improve access to and participation in postgraduate research for BAME students. Applications due Jan 28th

  • The Institute for Medical Humanities Development has received a grant extension worth more than one million pounds! Congrats to Prof Charles Fernyhough and Dr Ben Alderson-Day

  • Psychology Prof Graham Towl has been appointed as Durham’s new Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience). Congrats, Graham!

  • Congrats to Prof Bob Kentridge, who, along with an international team, has just been awarded a significant grant to conduct psycho-archaeology research in Germany!

  • Amazing news for the Hearing the Voice team, who have won the Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Award for BEST RESEARCH! The Hearing the Voice project originated in the Psychology Department back in 2012!

  • Congrats to Prof Debbie Riby, who has joined the REF sub panel as an output assessor!


Psychology Joke of the Week...

Why wasn’t the Freudian allowed into the bar…?

He didn’t have any Id!


Accomplished something awesome? Want your event included in the next newsletter? Know any great psychology jokes? Email the editor:


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