Ms Harriet Smailes BSc

Harriet Smailes

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Associate

Contact details

Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Harriet Smailes is a Research Associate on the NIHR-funded PROSPER study – the first national study to focus on the role and funding of specialist voluntary sector sexual violence services. After having joined the team in December 2021, Harriet supports the data collection and analysis for this mixed-methods research. This includes interviews with practitioners, commissioners and victim/survivors across four case study sites in England, as well as a documentary analysis from specialist providers in these sites. 

After obtaining a degree in Applied Psychology, Harriet’s research, academic, and practice experience have all been in the area of trauma, and more specifically sexual violence – working at operational and strategic levels.

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0430-7053


BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology (2016)


Prior to joining the PROSPER study, Harriet worked (and still works part-time) as a Training Manager at a leading sexual violence and safeguarding training and consultancy organisation. In this role, Harriet is part of a team providing training for front-line professionals across various sectors, to improve their competence and confidence in working with victim/survivors of sexual violence. Harriet’s specific area of expertise in this work involves supporting universities and higher education institutions to implement an organisation-wide approach to prevention and response. Harriet has also supported the training of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs), and researchers whose academic work involves working with victim/survivors.

Previously, Harriet has developed and delivered a sexual violence prevention and response initiative within a UK university. In this role, Harriet was a trained Sexual Violence Liaison Officer and held a case-load of students with whom she supported to provide ongoing practical and emotional guidance.

In addition, Harriet works (paid and voluntarily) for a Rape Crisis Centre, providing emotional support to clients, and conducting initial and risk assessments.

Within the field of sexual violence, Harriet’s specific expertise relates to service delivery, university strategy and response, and supporting sex worker victim/survivors.


Impact and Engagement:

“Standing Together at the University of Leicester”: a university-wide initiative to tackle unacceptable behaviours and support students affected by them. This initiative, developed by Harriet Smailes and colleagues, included one-to-one practical and emotional support provision by trained Case Workers, training development and delivery to staff and students, campaigns and initiatives (e.g. see below), and 

policy development. Policies included under this initiative involved the university’s Dignity & Respect, and Supporting Student Sex Workers policies (the latter being the first from a UK university at the time).

“Let’s Talk About Sexual Violence”: Office for Students and university-funded sexual violence educational intervention (4th-10th February 2019, and 3rd-7th February 2020) at the University of Leicester, with Dr Carline (University of Liverpool) and Dr Clare Gunby (University of Birmingham). My role in this initiative involved developing the concepts, and supporting the implementation, of six sites based across the university (2019), and the collation of key material for a week-long exhibition at the Attenborough Arts Centre (2020). The aim of the project was to educate university-based and external attendees on the realities of sexual violence. The project had academic, artistic, and specialist support provision influences and engagement throughout.


Jores, T., Colloff, M., Kloft, L., Smailes, H., & Flowe, H. (2019). A meta-analysis of the effects of acute alcohol intoxication on witness recall. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 33, 324-343, doi: 10.1002/acp.3533.

Smailes, H., Humphries, J., Ryder, H., Klatt, T., Maltby, J., Pearmain, A. M., & Flowe, H. D. (2018). Age-related differences in spontaneous trait judgments from facial appearance. Psychology, Psychiatry, and Law.

Klatt, T., Maltby, J., Humphries, J.E., Smailes, H.L., Ryder, H., Phelps, M., & Flowe, H. D. (2016). Looking bad: Inferring criminality after 100 milliseconds. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 12, 114-125.

View all publications in research portal