Below are some of the examples of the impact our research has had, and is still having today.



Improving the mental health and challenging behaviour of people with neurodevelopmental disorders and severe intellectual disability

Many people with neurodevelopmental disorders have serious mental health problems which affect the individual and their family/carers. Research from the School has had a significant impact on the treatment of these symptoms through the development of novel clinical assessments (used by 83 NHS Trusts), the identification of risk markers (used in NICE guidelines) and the production of information material used by families and professionals (accessed in over 200 countries). Ultimately this work improves the lives of people with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families

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Influencing UK policy to reduce the harmful impacts of gambling at fixed odds betting machines

Before the regulatory change in 2019 that reduced the maximum stake on fixed odd betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2, over 45% of the UK adult population took part in gambling, with FOBTs playing a major role (in 2016 there were 34,000 FOBTs with £1.82 billion a year spent by people playing on them). Researchers from the School played a major role in the British gambling prevalence surveys which showed how addictive they were and led to the change in regulation. This resulted in a 45% fall in gambling yield from FOBTs and a consequential reduction in gambling-related harm.

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Enhancing the use of police crime linkage procedures for detection and prosecution of sexual offences, internationally, and preventing a major UK miscarriage of justice

Crime linkage is the process of linking crimes together based on the principle that perpetrators’ behaviour will be consistent and distinctive. Researchers from the School conducted the most robust assessment of crime linkage to date, highlighting its ability to accurately identify offenders but also its limitations of use. This proved pivotal in preventing a major miscarriage of justice in Scotland, and informed an important legal precedent on the admissibility of scientific evidence. Researchers from the School have also studied the use of crime linkage in practice in several countries and influenced training, and investment in staff/technology for crime linkage.

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Enhancing the banknote security of five major currencies through the application of perception science in their design

There are over 700 billion banknotes worldwide but how can people know which are genuine and which are fake? Researchers from the school worked with a number of different G10 central banks to develop better testing methods so that anti-counterfeit measures are optimised to assist the public in counterfeit detection. This work has helped innovation in global banknote production, advanced best practice by setting new professional standards and contributed to decisions about the appearance of the new UK banknotes.

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