Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Karen Mansfield

Karen Mansfield

Karen Mansfield


Postdoctoral Research Scientist

  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist in School Mental Health
  • Coordinator for Oxford Health NIHR Biomedical Research Centre - Informatics and Digital Health theme.

I am a postdoctoral researcher working in School Mental Health with Mina Fazel, and part of NIHR Professor Andrea Cipriani's Precision Psychiatry research group. I am also research coordinator for the Informatics and Digital Health theme at Oxford Health's NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

The School Mental Health project aims to gain insight into risk and protective factors underlying mental wellbeing in children and adolescents, to inform school-based interventions to protect and improve the mental health of school pupils. We work closely with local schools, the local authority and mental health services to help understand the current needs of young people, and to improve guidance and support for school pupils. As part of this project, we collect data via the OxWell online survey on health and wellbeing from school pupils, and make tailored summaries of results available to participating schools and stakeholders, via brief reports and an online data summary tool developed by our service provider. We have recently adapted the survey to help schools monitor factors associated with COVID-19 and school closures, of which a summary is described in this preprint. We have used analyses of responses collected from pupils during the first UK lockdown to investigate which pupils were most at risk of poor mental health and a deterioration to their wellbeing (Mansfield et al., 2021).

Understanding how to protect mental health can also be informed by analysis of large-scale administrative data, such as the routinely collected data held by the Department for Education and NHS Mental Health Trusts. As part of an MRC Pathfinder project, I have worked with colleagues, stakeholders, a Young Person's Advisory Group, and used our survey data to investigate the most effective ways to link large-scale administrative datasets that are relevant to understanding the mental health of the full adolescent population, whilst preserving the privacy of the individuals.

I am also involved in other research projects that are adopted by Oxford Health BRC's Informatics and Digital Health theme. For example, the EMOTIVE project, led by Kate Saunders and Terry Lyons, involves collection, storage and analysis of high-dimensional digital data that inform mood, using both custom-designed experimental tasks and remote online data collection (digital phenotyping).

Before I joined the Department of Psychiatry, my PhD research (Tilburg University, The Netherlands) and previous postdoctoral research (Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford) focused on the neural mechanisms of cognitive control (as well as engagement and motivation) and the implications for individual differences, learning and human factors. My research methods included electrophysiological data (ERPs and spectral analysis), cognitive training, non-invasive electrical stimulation (tES) and intelligence testing.

If you are based at the University of Oxford or Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and your research ideas fit with the goals of the Informatics and Digital Health theme, I would be happy to hear from you. Information on the work under the theme can be found here

Recent publications

More publications