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Hayley Gains

Graduate Research Assistant




I am a Research Assistant in the Graduate School of Education. I completed my Bachelor's in Psychology at Durham University in 2017 and have since worked on a variety of research projects focusing on the social and cognitive development of young children.

I currently work on two projects. The first is an implementation science project funded by the Education Endowement Foundation (EEF). The project explores how new approaches, interventions, resources and strategies can be selected by school leaders and put in place to best maximise chances of pupil success. The protocol for this review of evidence can be found here.

The second project is to support Devon and Cornwall Police in their planning of Youth Intervention Clinics, designed to reduce entry into the Criminal Justice System. This research is funded by Devon and Cornwall Police Serious Violence Prevention Programme and the University of Exeter Open Innovation fund.


  • MSc Psychological Research Methods, University of Exeter, 2021
  • BSc Psychology, Durham University, 2017

Research group links


Research interests

  • Psychometrics
  • Mental health
  • Intervention evaluation

I am interested in applied research and interventions to promote healthy psychological development and wellbeing. At masters level, I studied research methods in psychology with a focus on clinical psychology and quantitative methods. 

Research projects


  • Remote Worker Connectedness Scale: Development and validation
  • Stand Together: Randomised control trial of KiVa antibullying programme
  • Student Teacher Relationship Scale: UK adaptation
  • Attend: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for young people in CAMHS at risk of depressive relapse
  • Comparing measurement approaches to executive function 
  • Autonomy and love of learning: A teacher development programme 
  • Leuven involvement: Children's engagement in play based learning
  • The effect of children's play with dolls on body preferences and ideals 
  • Proactive and reactive aggression: a study of primary school children
  • Mental health stigma and infrared eye-tracking as an implicit indicator of attitudes (BSc)

Research networks

In January 2020 I joined the Children and Young People's Mental Health Research Collaboration (ChYMe) to work with schools across Devon on a randomized control trial to assess the effectiveness of KiVa, a Finnish anti-bullying intervention. Prior to moving to Exeter, I worked as Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Cambridge Centre for Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL). Two of my blogs about this work can be found in the PEDAL resource library (games in the classroom and creativity).

External Engagement and Impact


  • Dean's Commendation for Exceptional Performance, University of Exeter, 2021
  • Voices in Psychology, British Psychological Society, 2019

Media Coverage



  • BSc Neuroscience Research Project - supervisor

  • BMBS Making Sense of Evidence - seminar facilitator

  • MSc Psychology (Conversion) - guest speaker re KiVa antibullying research

Supervision / Group

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