New Head of School of Psychology

New Head of School of Psychology

Update on the new head of the School of Psychology

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that following a recruitment process Dr Doug Martin has been appointed as Head of School of Psychology. Doug will take up his post on 1 August.

Doug has a long-standing connection with psychology at the University of Aberdeen. Originally from the Kingdom of Fife, Doug is proud to have made Aberdeen his adopted home. Doug came to the University as an undergraduate in 1996 and, save for one year away (in 2008-9), has been here ever since.

Doug is an experimental social psychologist whose research examines social cognition – the way the brain processes information about people. He has received three ESRC funding awards to develop interdisciplinary theories and methods to investigate the nature and influence of stereotypes. Doug has been a champion of equality, diversity and inclusion in the School of Psychology and in the wider University; this includes leading Psychology to two Athena SWAN awards, including the University’s first Silver award in 2020. Doug recently received the 'Most Inspiring' award at the AUSA Excellence Awards.

Welcoming his appointment, Doug said: “It is a great privilege and honour to be given the opportunity to serve as Head of the School of Psychology. Our School is fortunate to have excellent colleagues across all academic, administrative and technical roles, as well as being a friendly and collegiate place to work. We are also fortunate that our outgoing Head of School, Professor Arash Sahraie, leaves a legacy of teaching and research excellence on which we will continue to build.

"I am looking forward to further developing a supportive and inclusive culture to allow our staff and students to thrive in a rapidly changing Higher Education environment. Like all Schools, we face ongoing challenges adjusting to the post-covid and post-Brexit world. We also face emerging challenges from rapid advances in Generative Artificial Intelligence, which have the potential to profoundly influence our education, our research, and the skills our students will need in the future. I am confident our School has the strength and depth of talent to allow us to turn these challenges into opportunities.

"I am keen that all our students develop the academic and non-academic skills that will allow them to thrive during and after their studies. When they graduate, our students should leave us not only feeling better educated, but also feeling more independent, resilient, and engaged – they should leave as empowered active citizens who are driven to make a difference in society.

"I would like to see our School become an interdisciplinary hub of research and education. By reaching out to work collaboratively with colleagues from across the University and beyond, we will ensure that we are able to contribute to addressing the major societal challenges of the day.”

I know you will join me in congratulating Doug on his appointment and I look forward to working closely with him. 

I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding contribution that Arash has made to the School and University as Head of the School of Psychology over the last eight years. I know you will also want to join me in thanking Arash for his exceptional service.

Best wishes


Karl Leydecker

Senior Vice-Principal

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