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

Dr Kelly Dickson is an associate professor in Evidence-Based Mental Health and an Integrative Psychotherapist in clinical practice. She has worked at the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordination Centre (EPPI-Centre), Social Research Institute, UCL since 2004. She leads systematic reviews in Global Mental Health, using qualitative, quantitative and participatory research methodologies. 

She is 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. She works with stakeholders, in transdisciplinary research teams, to produce contextually relevant knowledge. Her methodological research focuses on institutional mechanisms and methods to support evidence-informed policy and practice decision making, collaborating closely with UK and international partners. 

Dr Dickson is a Lecturer in Systematic Review Methods, Post-Graduate Degrees Tutor, and IoE Wellbeing Champion, at the Social Research Institute UCL. She is Co-Founder and Director of the Integrative Counselling and  Psychotherapy Network, UK, and a member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy, among other affiliations. 

Research Summary

Dr Dickson's recent research focuses on policy-relevant evidence synthesis to inform the design and delivery of complex intervention in mental health and substance misuse.

Recent research projects include:
  • Young People and Online Eating Disorder Content: A Systematic Review, (2021), Department of Health and Social Care: PI 
  • Interdisciplinary research network to address the mental health impact of COVID-19 in vulnerable and at-risk groups in South Asia, (2021) UCL Global Health Funds, Co-PI 
  • Understanding the impact of displacement on mental health: a cross sector cross country initiative, (2020-2021), UCL Global Health Grand ChallengesCo-Pi
  • Evidence-based Mental Health Care Practices For Young People in the Middle East, building research and knowledge exchange partnerships in Jordan, 2021, IoE International Fund:PI 
  • Digital Interventions in drug and alcohol prevention treatment and recovery: a systematic review of research and map of service provision. (2019-2020); Department of Health and Social CareCo-I
  • Screen-based activities and children and young people’s mental health and psychosocial wellbeing: a systematic map of reviews (2018-2019); Department of Health and Social Care: PI
  • Co-producing evidence in migration, public health and human rights in Thailand, (2018); UCL Global Engagement fund: Co-PI
  • Knowledge translation of a trial for policy and practice audiences: The FUSAM project, (2018); Action Against Hunger: PI
  • Humanitarian evidence synthesis to support mental health and well-being: disseminating the findings and methodological lessons learned, (2017); UCL Impact Seed Funding: PI 
  • Systematic review of mental health and psychosocial support interventions (MHPSS) in humanitarian settings. (2015-2016); Oxfam/DFID UK, Co-PI
  • The effects of Positive Youth Development interventions on substance use, violence and inequalities: systematic review of theories of change, processes and outcomes  (2014-2015), National Institute for Health Research: Co-I

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. 

Dr Dickson also deliver 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.

She would be interested in supervising students who wish to conduct qualitative or quantitative evidence synthesis on topics including but not limited to: 

  • Mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in humanitarian settings  
  • Inequalities and mental health including taking a reflexive and intersectional lens 
  • Community-based mental health services in low-and middle-income countries
  • Mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of minority groups, including LGBTQI+
  • The impact of social media on young people’s mental health 
  • Innovative systematic and/or participatory approaches to producing evidence synthesis 

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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