Rosa Ritunnano


Rosa is a joint funded Priestley Birmingham - Melbourne PhD researcher at the Institute for Mental Health and Orygen. Her research applies phenomenological approaches to the investigation of self-disturbance in early psychosis, to improve early identification and prediction models.  


'Personhood, Epistemic Injustice and the Clinical Encounter in Early Psychosis'

This cross-disciplinary thesis combines psychopathology, as the foundational science of psychiatry, and philosophical phenomenology, as the conceptual and methodological framework for the investigation of basic structures and modes of human existence. 

Rosa investigates the role of subjectivity and intersubjectivity – as phenomenologically construed – in the development of psychosis symptoms, including delusions, and in the transition to a clinical need-for-care status. The initial and central claim is indeed that a rigorous and comprehensive investigation of the phenomenology of self and world experience can provide a richer understanding of the interaction between person and symptoms during the initial onset of illness. This will allow for a renewed evaluation and inclusion of “meaning” as a key dimension to illuminate the evolution of psychotic disorders and their significance in the patient’s life. Rosa will undertake empirical research, using in-depth phenomenologically informed interviews and qualitative methodologies, to explore abnormalities of self and world experience in early psychosis. Concurrently, she will explore the different ways in which individuals try to make sense of these changes through the construction of personal narratives. New methods will be proposed for integrating the study of subjectivity and meaning-making processes into dynamic prediction models of psychosis. 


Professor Matthew Broome

Professor Lisa Bortolotti

Professor Barnaby Nelson


Rosa is a Consultant Psychiatrist in a specialist Early Intervention in Psychosis Service in the West Midlands and a Principal Investigator, involved in ongoing multicentre clinical trials across the UK. Before joining the University of Birmingham, Rosa completed her speciality training in General Adult Psychiatry and obtained her specialist diploma in Psychiatry with academic distinction (Diploma di Specialista in Psychiatria summa cum laude) at the University of Verona. Prior to this, Rosa received her MBChB with distinction (Laurea summa cum laude in Medicina e Chirurgia) at the University of Padua. She trained in Phenomenological Psychopathology at the Scuola di Psicoterapia Fenomenologico-Dinamica in Florence. 

Research interests

Psychosis and youth mental health

Phenomenological Psychopathology

Philosophical issues in Psychiatry

Delusion and Meaning