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Louise Aukland

MSc, PGCE


Postdoctoral research assistant

  • Former science teacher (15 years) and coordinator of personal, social and health education.
  • Mindfulness teacher for young people and adults.

Researcher: curriculum development in neuroscience


I am a postdoctoral research assistant working in Alan Stein's child and adolescent psychiatry group. My work aims to develop a research informed curriculum for secondary schools, around the neuroscience of child development. 

Prior to joining Alan's team I was a researcher and public engagement coordinator in Willem Kuyken's MYRIAD project team. 

The MYRIAD team are researching mindfulness versus teaching as usual in secondary schools and my research area was the personal, social and health education of the schools taking part in the trial. My research helped to establish the baseline psychological, social and emotional skills of the young people on the trial and will provide ongoing monitoring and comparative data. 

I was also responsible for coordinating the project's public engagement programme. We delivered "teenage brain" workshops in our trial schools using a giant inflatable brain and computer based cognitive tests for added interactivity. The young people developed their own questionnaire for incorporation into the data collection, around mental health and wellbeing. Both these activities have been translated into resources for schools, young people and families. We also undertook focus group work with young people around their experiences of mindfulness. A digital campaign and information hub for young people will continue to be developed in parallel to the research results. 

My interest in adolescent mental health comes from being a secondary school science teacher for 15 years and a teacher of mindfulness and neuroscience in the school context (such as .b and MindUP). I also work as a consultant trainer in schools, the NHS and other institutions when not working in the Department of Psychiatry.