Dr Shirley-Anne Paul

Dr Shirley-Anne Paul


I joined the School of Education as a Research Fellow in 2013. Previously I worked at The University of Edinburgh, one year as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, and one year as Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator in Psychology (2011 - 2013). Prior to this, I studied for my PhD in Psychology, MSc in Psychological Research Methods, and MA (Hons) in Psychology at The University of Dundee (2000 - 2010).



Research interests

My primary research interest is in developing and evaluating psychological and educational methods for supporting children's reading skills. I am particularly interested in evaluating these methods using Randomised Controlled Trials.

I am currently working as Research Fellow on the Narnian Virtues Character Education research project, in collaboration with Professor Mark Pike (Principle Investigator), Professor Thomas Lickona (Co-Investigator), Dr Peter Hart (Research Fellow), Dr Paula Clarke, and Dr Matt Homer. The project is funded by £1.1M from the Sir John Templeton Foundation (2014-2019) and is an intervention aimed at developing the virtues of wisdom, love, justice, integrity, self-control and fortitude in young people aged 11 - 14 as they read and respond to three of the Narnia novels by C.S. Lewis. The project website can be accessed here.

Previously I worked as Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on an AHRC funded project entitled 'Translating Science for Young People', in collaboration with Professor Alice Deignan (Principle Investigator), Professor Elena Semino (Co-Investigator), and Dr Indi Banner (Co-Investigator). The aim of the project was to identify how scientific knowledge relating to the topic of climate change is translated (or mistranslated), across genres, and in texts accessed by young people aged 11-16 in the UK. The project website can be accessed here.

Prior to this I worked as Research Officer on the REAding for CompreHension (REACH) Project in collaboration with Professor Maggie Snowling, Professor Charles Hulme, Dr Paula Clarke, and Glynnis Smith. This was a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) of two evidence based interventions to improve the reading skills of pupils following transition into secondary school. The project was funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. The project was independently evaluated by the IFS, their evaluation report can be accessed here.

My PhD and early Post-Doctoral work was concerned with investigating the visual-cognitive factors which underlie written language processing in typical adult readers.

Professional Research Activities

I am a regular reviewer for the Journal of Research in Reading.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Psychology
  • MSc in Psychological Research Methods (Distinction)
  • MA (Hons) in Psychology (First Class)
  • PRINCE 2 (Practitioner) Project Management

Student education

I contribute to undergraduate teaching in Psychology.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Childhood, Education and Social Justice

Current postgraduate research students

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>