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


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 research scientist interested in solving methodological challenges in the collection, analysis and safe-sharing of data to inform adolescent mental health and wellbeing research. Together with Mina Fazel, I work on a School Mental Health project, coordinating the OxWell online school survey. I also work with NIHR Professor Andrea Cipriani, coordinating and supporting projects adopted by the Informatics and Digital Health theme at Oxford Health's NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

The School Mental Health project uses the OxWell survey to gain insight into risk and protective factors underlying mental wellbeing in children and adolescents, with the potential to inform school-based interventions aimed at protecting adolescents' wellbeing. OxWell works closely with schools, local authorities and mental health services to gather responses to the most relevant questions on wellbeing and lifestyle factors, including social and behavioural risk, and makes tailored summaries of results available to participating schools and stakeholders. 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 Digital. I have worked with researchers, stakeholders, a Young Person's Advisory Group, and used the OxWell survey data to investigate the effectiveness of multiple methods to link large-scale administrative datasets relevant to the mental health of the adolescent population, at the same time as preserving the privacy of the individuals who provided the data.

I also work on other research projects adopted by Oxford Health BRC's Informatics and Digital Health theme. For the EMOTIVE project, I have worked with Kate Saunders, Terry Lyons, Catherine Harmer and Chris Hinds to develop the ethical protocol and data management plan for the collection, storage, de-identification and analysis of high-dimensional digital data to measure mood and emotions, 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 and adaptive learning, as well as engagement and motivation aspects. My research methods included electrophysiological data (ERPs and spectral analysis), intelligence testing, cognitive training and non-invasive electrical stimulation (tES).

Key publications

Recent publications

More publications