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Rongqin Yu


Dr Rongqin Yu has a background in psychopathology and developmental psychology. She works in the Forensic Psychiatry group in the Department of Psychiatry. Her research focuses on mental health and violence, and development and validation of risk assessment tools for violence and suicide. 

Tell us a little about yourself, and what attracted you to studying/working at the University of Oxford? 

After my PhD in the Netherlands, I came to Oxford to work in the Forensic Psychiatry group led by Professor Seena Fazel. Forensic psychiatry combines the two areas that I am most interested in researching: mental health and violence. In addition to the exciting research projects running in the group, Oxford is a great place to be, it offers a very stimulating environment, and it is a very international place, so I have opportunities to work with people from different countries and cultures. It is a small city and full of surprises, and I feel very much at home here.  

What is your vision for the team/project/research you study/work with?

My research focuses on the link between mental illnesses and violence, in particular intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. I also work on a range of risk assessment tools, with a focus on estimating risk of suicide and violence among individuals with severe mental illness. I hope that my work on examining who is at the highest risk of violence can help to reduce stigmatisation of individuals with mental illnesses and assist in identifying perpetrators who are most in need of care, which could ultimately lead to prevention. I hope that it will also assist criminal justice services, such as police, to take appropriate law enforcement responses, including closer liaison with healthcare services and drug treatment providers, and protect public safety. 

What is currently at the top of your To-Do List?

To develop a series of risk assessment tools and bring them into the real world to improve risk-management in the criminal justice system and treatment planning in healthcare services. 

How did you get to where you are today?

I did my MSc in Psychopathology in Maastricht and my PhD in Utrecht where I studied violence in young people. Being here is the result of a combination of passion, persistence, and people. I have worked with some of the best minds in the research fields that I am interested in. I have been fortunate to have Professor Seena Fazel as a mentor here in Oxford, he first inspired me to be a scientist, has helped me in critical steps of my career, and continues to guide my research in the exciting field of forensic psychiatry. 

Who or what inspires you?

I am most inspired by my mum whose positivity and sense of humour have enriched my life tremendously. 

If you were not in your study programme/job currently, what would you like to be doing?

It is hard to think of my life and not be a scientist, but if I wasn’t then I would probably be an architect.