International Debate

British psychology “unsurpassed” – but limited funding for research threatens position, says international study

June 21, 2011 2677

News release from the Campaign for Social Science

Tuesday 21 June 2011

British psychology “unsurpassed” – but limited funding for research threatens position, says international study

Psychology in the UK is first class and in some areas “unsurpassed anywhere in the world”, according to a new international study of the subject. The Campaign for Social Science welcomes and endorses these glowing findings while noting worrying pressure on costs, restricting postgraduate opportunities and vital research.

The International Benchmarking Review of UK Psychology says the quality of UK research is very high and bettered only by research from the United States. Psychologists have an admirable record in publishing research papers and having them widely cited. The UK is especially strong in work with animals, social psychology, autism, neuroscience and child development. British work on cognitive behavioural therapy has now been used all over the world for the treatment of many form of psychiatric disorder.

But the report says funding for PhD places is very limited, with few studentships being provided by the research councils. Funding for junior postdoctoral researchers is equally scarce.

“It needs to be said time and again just how good UK psychology is and the need to continue to invest in it if excellence is to be maintained,” says Stephen Anderson, Director of the Campaign for Social Science.

ends

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