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Dr Kelly Dickson
10 Woburn Square.
UCL Institute of Education.
Tel: 02076126127
Fax: 2076126127
  • Research Officer
  • IOE - Social Research Institute
  • UCL Institute of Education

I am an associate professor in evidence-based mental health and an integrative psychotherapist in clinical practice. I have worked at the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordination Centre (EPPI-Centre), Social Research Institute since 2004 conducting systematic reviews for Governments, Charities and NGOs. Most recently my research has focused on policy-relevant evidence synthesis to inform the design and delivery of complex intervention in mental health and substance misuseI completed my MA in integrative psychotherapy in 2015 and I was awarded my PhD in 2018 for my thesis ‘Systematic Reviews to Inform Policy: Institutional Mechanisms and Social Interactions to Support their Production’. I have recently taken on the role of Degrees tutor in the department and am a UCL well-being champion; as I am passionate about reducing stigma and supporting the mental health and well-being of students and staff alike.

Research Summary

I am interested in the biopsychosocial factors shaping and influencing people’s lived experience of mental health and the implications this has for the design and delivery of complex social interventions. I work closely with stakeholders, in transdisciplinary research teams, to produce contextually relevant knowledge that can better inform policy and practice decision-making. My methodological research has also focused on collaborating with UK and international partners to develop methods on the facilitation of greater evidence-use and knowledge exchange between researchers and the wider community, in addition to developing capacity for producing policy relevant systematic reviews, particularly qualitative and mixed-methods synthesis for local and global audiences. 

Recent research projects include:
  • UCL Global Health Grand Challenges: Understanding the impact of displacement on mental health: a cross sector cross country initiative, 2019-2020, Co-Pi
  • IoE International Fund: Evidence-based Mental Health Care Practices For Young People in the Middle East, building research and knowledge exchange partnerships in Jordan, 2020, PI 
  • Department of Health and Social Care: Digital Interventions in drug and alcohol prevention treatment and recovery: a systematic review of research and map of service provision. (2019-2020); Co-Investigator
  • Department of Health and Social Care: Screen-based activities and children and young people’s mental health and psychosocial wellbeing: a systematic map of reviews (2018-2019); Principal Investigator
  • UCL Global Engagement fund: Co-producing evidence in migration, public health and human rights in Thailand, (2017-2018); Co-Principal Investigator
  • Action Against Hunger: Knowledge translation of a trial for policy and practice audiences: The FUSAM project, (2018); Principal Investigator
  • UCL Impact Seed Funding: Humanitarian evidence synthesis to support mental health and well-being: disseminating the findings and methodological lessons learned, (2017); Principal Investigator
  • Oxfam GB: Systematic review of mental health and psychosocial support interventions (MHPSS) in humanitarian settings. (2015-2016); Co-Principal Investigator
  • National Institute for Health Research: The effects of Positive Youth Development interventions on substance use, violence and inequalities: systematic review of theories of change, processes and outcomes  (2014-2015) Co-Investigator 

Teaching Summary

Module Leader: Systematic Review Design and Planning; a core module on  the MSc in Social Policy and Social Research (with Systematic Reviews) and the Social Research Methods MSc. The module is also optional for students on MSc Social Policy and Social Research; and can be undertaken by PhD students conducting systematic reviews as part of their thesis. 

I also conduct short courses on methodological approaches to conducting systematic reviews, and provide support to research terms conducting systematic reviews in health and social care, international development and education topic.

I am interested in supervising MSc and PhD students who are passionate and enthusiastic about conducting evidence synthesis in topics related to Mental Health, relevant to the UK or global settings, and particularly when they are interested in taking a reflexive (psychobiography) mixed methods and/or interdisciplinary approach. 

Academic Background
2018   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
2015   Master of Arts (Hons) Middlesex University
2003   Master of Science University of Surrey
1999   Bachelor of Science University of Surrey
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