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Dr Pete Lawrence wins BPS 2021 Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research

02 May 2022

Dr Pete Lawrence’s work examining anxiety disorders and their prevention in children who are at risk of developing them has won the BPS Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research Contributions to Psychology.

His work as a PhD student at the University of Reading, supervised by Profs Cathy Creswell and Lynne Murray, was judged to have made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of children’s anxiety.

In particular, Dr Lawrence was nominated for two PhD papers, published in top child psychiatry journals, that have fed directly into two current research trials to prevent anxiety disorders in children at risk (‘MY-CATS’ and ‘Parenting with Anxiety’), on which Dr Lawrence is a funded co-investigator. 

In 2020, Dr Lawrence was awarded first prize in the Springer Nature/Association of British Turkish Academics National Doctoral Research Awards (Social Sciences), and the Dean’s prize for outstanding early career research in the Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Southampton.

Prof Matthew Garner from the University of Southampton, who nominated Dr Lawrence for the award, said:

“Pete’s PhD research was outstanding and is already having an impact. He has an extremely bright future in clinical psychology research and stands to make a real difference to the lives of children and families – he is a deserved recipient of this prestigious award.”

Dr Lawrence said:

"I have had the great good fortune to work with excellent supervisors, mentors, collaborators and students. I am honoured that the work I have done with them has been recognised with this award. It feels unreal to join the list of previous winners of this award, such as Professors Roz Sharon and Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and, more recently, Drs Praveetha Patalay and Amy Orben, whose work I admire greatly. 

"While I already had ample implicit motivation to conduct excellent research on understanding how we can support children psychologically when they face developmental adversity, being in these luminaries' company brings explicit motivation not to let the side down!"


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