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ePortfolio of Farah Elahi

Project title: Using Virtual Reality Tools to Improve Social Cognition Training In First Episode Psychosis

My PhD involves developing virtual reality treatments to improve the social cognition deficits in first episode psychosis, as outlined below:

  1. A systematic review analysing virtual treatments for those with diagnosed with psychosis.
  2. A Quantitative Investigation Into The Feasibility And Acceptability Of The Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT) Delivered Via A Virtual World In Those With First Episode Psychosis – The VEEP Trial
  3. A Qualitative Investigation Into The Feasibility And Acceptability Of The Scit Delivered Via A Virtual World In Those With First Episode Psychosis – The Veep Trial
  4. The Design Of A Virtual Reality 360° Intervention To Improve Social Cognition Deficits In Those With First Episode Psychosis. This will involve developing a trial using the support of significant patient and public involvement (PPI) work.


My PhD is 4 year fully funded Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC) Joint Studentship between University of Warwick and MindTech, University of Nottingham (2016 - 2021). From April 2020, I switched to part time study for the remainder of my PhD.

Research Interests

My research interests include Mental Health, Youth Mental Health, Technological Interventions, Virtual Reality Treatments, Social Cognition, Social Functioning, Psychosis, Mood Disorders, Health Psychology Behaviour Change Interventions and Mixed Methods.

Research Profile

I am currently working full time as a Research Programme Manager at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.

During my PhD, I have worked in the following research positions:

  • UKRI Policy Intern at Public Health England (Jan - Apr 2020). I was successful in obtaining a UKRI policy internship at the Behavioural Insights Team, Public Health England.
  • Research Associate (Freelance) at Cumberland Lodge (2019-2020). I I have been commissioned to support Cumberland Lodge with their 2019 Conference 'Digital Inclusion: Bridging Divides.' This role involves producing a Conference Briefing, Conference Report, Executive Summaries and Blogs. The Final Report will be launched in 2020.
  • Visiting Research Fellow at Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health (Melbourne, Australia) (Oct 2019). As part of my PhD I worked as a Visiting Doctoral Researcher at Orygen.
  • Research Assistant at CEDAR, University of Warwick (Aug 2019). I assisted with Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) evidence review, which is funded by the Education Endowment Federation.
  • Research Associate (Honorary) at Warwick Medical School (Oct 2016-Oct 2018). As part of my PhD, I assisted with the design, implementation and delivery of the VEEP study for those diagnosed with first episode psychosis.
  • Research Assistant at CEDAR, University of Warwick (Apr 2017-Sept 2017). I assisted the ‘Cerebra 1000 Families Study’ research group in collecting outcome measures from parents of those diagnosed with learning disabilities or autism.

Before starting my PhD, I worked in both research and clinical settings:

  • Research Assistant at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (Dec 2015-Sept 2016). I worked on the 'Families and Carers Training and Support Programme,' where I was responsible for recruiting and collecting data from families, using semi structured interviews and surveys/questionnaires.
  • Assistant Psychologist at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust (Sept 2015-Sept 2016). I was primarily responsible for collecting clinical outcomes from the personality disorder services across three sites and producing data return reports for an NHS England research project entitled ‘IAPT for Severe Mental Illness.
  • Research Intern at the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield (Jan-Jun 2015). Here, I worked on a novel project 'Putting the Brain into Health Psychology,' that analysed whether the findings from neuroscience research can assist the formation of more effective behaviour change interventions to improve health.
  • Research and Programme Intern at the Early Years Parenting Unit (EYPU), Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (Jun-Sept 2014). I contributed to the research programme by supporting the senior research assistant in administering evaluation measures and collecting data.


PGCert in Transferable Skills in Science: Pending. University of Warwick (2017-Current)

Postgraduate Award in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Pass. University of Warwick (2018-2019)

PGCert Social Science Research (ESRC accredited): Pass. University of Warwick (2016-2017)

MSc Psychological Research Methods (ESRC accredited): Merit (68.5). University of Sheffield (2014-2015)

BSc Philosophy and Psychology: First Class Honours. Keele University (2008-2012)

Farah Elahi

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