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Dr Gill Waters

Associate Professor

Faculty/Dept/School School of Social Sciences
(Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences)
Telephone +441274 233508


Research profile:

I am a Chartered Psychologist and my main area of research is young children’s metacognition (how they think about what they know). I am also interested how young children develop an understanding of the emotional and social world around them; children and adolescent's mental imagery and how it impacts on their education and mental health; adolescent's emotional development; adoption and post-adoption support; parenting.

I am always keen to expand my areas of expertise via collaboration with other disciplines and with industry. I always welcome applications from prospective PhD students in the field of developmental psychology, adoption, or parenting.


I worked in a variety of jobs before I began my BSc in Psychology as a part-time mature student with The Open University in 1999. I then became a full time doctoral student at the University of Birmingham in 2005. I worked as a lecturer at the University of Leeds and then joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Bradford in 2009.


I am a member of the Experimental Psychology Society, the British Psychological Society, and the Centre for Applied Educational Research (CAER) at the Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research. 

Teaching and Administration:

I am currently the PG Director of Studies for the School of Social Sciences. Previously, I have led the MSc Psychology programme and have been the Admissions tutor for Psychology. I have also led a variety of modules including research methods, cognitive psychology, child development, and education. I currently run the master's dissertation modules. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

External Organisations:

I am keen to work with external parties who are interested in the areas of child development or adoption or parenting. I am also available for consultancy work in areas of my expertise. Please contact me to discuss.


I am broadly interested in young children's understamnding of the world; sentimental feelings; adoption; and parenting. In particular, I am fascinated by how young children understand why others’ thoughts and beliefs differ from their own (Theory of Mind), and how this affects the way they interpret situations. I am also interested in why some people are sentimentally attachments to objects, and others are not; some of my research is investigating when these sentimental feelings develop in childhood and whether it is linked to any aspect of parenting. Finally, I am very passionate about adoption, and specifically how we can acknowledge and address the difficulties that adoptive parents can experience.

I am keen to supervise PhD students in any of the above research areas, and will also consider supervising doctoral research in related topics. Please contact me for an informal discussion in the first instance. 


Teaching interests

My teaching expertise is in the field of developmental psychology. I also specialise in teaching quantitative research methods.