My research interests are in organisational and health psychology, with a focus on how the workplace can be improved in order to help maintain positive mental health, and prevent work-related mental health sickness absence. My work therefore assesses elements of the workplace which may lead to mental health issues in employees, and implementing/evaluating interventions to this end. In the last couple of years therefore I have been funded as PI on two separate research projects: the HOW NHS Project (ESRC, £218,000) and the HOW Social Work Project (Challenge Fund, £235,000).
Dr Elaine Wainwright and I are co-conveners of the Centre for Health and Cognition (CHC), a research centre based in the College of Liberal Arts. I am also the Higher Degrees Tutor for Culture and Environment within the College.
I am module leader of the Level 4 core psychology module Individual Differences, in which we focus primarily on contentious issues in and around the areas of intelligence and personality. Prior to my employment at BSU, at the University of Westminster I also contributed heavily to teaching on the MSc in Business Psychology, and have previously been module lead on Social Psychology and Introductory Psychology modules.
- BSc (Hons).
- Fellow - Higher Education Academy
Other external roles
- Reviewer - Occupational Medicine
- Reviewer - International Journal of Workplace Health Management
- External Examiner - South Devon University Centre (University of Plymouth)
- External Examiner - University Campus Oldham (Sheffield Hallam University).
Areas of expertise
- Work stress
- Psychosocial work conditions
- Stress management in the workplace
- Mental health of employees in the public sector.
I am currently running a number of research projects, and am Principle Investigator on two large, funded grants. Each funded project takes a participatory approach to the design, delivery, and evaluation of organisationally- and individually-focused stress and mental health management interventions.
- The HOW (Healthier Outcomes at Work) NHS project. PI, with Prof Andy McVicar (Anglia Ruskin University). ESRC, £218,000.
- The HOW (Healthier Outcomes at Work) Social Work project. PI, with Dr Elaine Wainwright, Dr Mark Loon, and Dr Nina Smyth (University of Westminster). Health and Work Challenge Fund, £235,000.
In addition, I am working closely with the British Association of Social Work (BASW) and Social Workers Union (SWU) on the ‘Respect4SocialWork’ campaign for improved working conditions in the sector. Each year I therefore conduct a ‘state of the workforce’ survey of social worker working conditions, stress, and mental health (see the BSW website here for more information). Each of these projects (and others, such as that I recently conducted alongside Dr Joe Walsh with teachers and education staff) has led to significant public engagement and impact.
I have given a number of keynote, invited, and other research talks to national and international conferences. An example of which from 2018 alone are below:
- Ravalier, J. (2018). Life beyond the PhD: Preparing for Academia, Anglia Ruskin University Doctoral Conference (Key Note). Chelmsford: Essex
- Ravalier, J. (2018). Stress in UK front line public sector workers, International Congress of Applied Psychology. Montreal: Canada
- Ravalier, J. (2018). Zero-hours and stress in domiciliary care workers, Institute of Work Psychology (Invited paper). University of Sheffield
My work has had – and continues to have – a significant amount of media and public engagement coverage.
Since April 2017, I have given live national and international TV and radio interviews (to Victoria Derbyshire Show and BBC World Service; BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Wiltshire), and news coverage on ITV news, Channel 4 news, and Sky news. There has been coverage in all of the major English (e.g. Guardian, Observer, Daily Mail, Independent) and Scottish (e.g. the Herald, the Scotsman) newspapers, and various online and print trade ‘magazines’ (such as community care, Times Education Supplement, Lalagos, Child and Young People NOW).
My research has had impact at parliamentary, national organisational, small teams and individual employees.
- House of Lords and Commons: my work on social work wellbeing led to a debate in the House of Lords, and numerous questions asked of the Minister in the House of Commons
- Education Institute Scotland: my research was used as the basis for the EIS Scottish teachers’ 2017/18 pay negotiations
- Scottish Parliament: my work was used by the Scottish government to inform the Scottish Education and Skills Committee
- British Association of Social Work: my social work research has led to the ‘Social Work Working Conditions’ campaign (see Ravalier 2018a, 2018b)
- Social Work Wellbeing: my work led directly to a House of Lords debate on the subject
- ESRC and Challenge Fund: my ESRC-funded research has led to the development of an organisational wellbeing toolkit and smartphone app for employees in NHS and social work organisations.
I currently supervise one PhD student (Paulina Wegrzynek), with three others due to start in February and September 2019, each as a first superviser.
I am interested in supervising research students in the area of employee health and wellbeing/mental health.
Research and academic outputs
Ravalier, J.M, Russell, L, Morton, R and Fidalgo, A (2019) 'Zero-hour contracts and stress in UK domiciliary care workers.' Health and Social Care in the Community, 27 (2). pp. 348-355. ISSN 0966-0410
Ravalier, J.M, McVicar, A and Munn-Giddings, C (2018) 'Appreciative Inquiry for stress management.' Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal. ISSN 1746-5648
Ravalier, J.M (2018) 'The influence of work engagement in social workers in England.' Occupational Medicine, 68 (6). pp. 399-404. ISSN 0962-7480
Ravalier, J.M (2018) 'Psychosocial working conditions and stress in UK social workers.' British Journal of Social Work. bcy023. ISSN 0045-3102
Ravalier, J.M and Walsh, J (2018) 'Working conditions and stress in the English education system.' Occupational Medicine, 68 (2). pp. 129-134. ISSN 0962-7480
Ravalier, J.M, Fidalgo, A.R, Morton, R and Russell, L (2017) 'The influence of zero-hours contracts on care worker well-being.' Occupational Medicine, 67 (5). pp. 344-349. ISSN 0962-7480
Ravalier, J.M, Wegrzynek, P and Lawton, S (2016) 'Systematic review: complementary therapies and employee well-being.' Occupational Medicine, 66 (6). pp. 428-436. ISSN 0962-7480
Ravalier, J.M, Dandil, Y and Limehouse, H (2015) 'Employee engagement and management standards: a concurrent evaluation.' Occupational Medicine. ISSN 0962-7480
McVicar, A, Ravalier, J.M and Greenwood, C (2014) 'Biology of stress revisited: intracellular mechanisms and the conceptualization of stress.' Stress and Health, 30 (4). pp. 272-279. ISSN 1532-2998
Ravalier, J.M, McVicar, A and Munn-Giddings, C (2014) 'Public service stress and burnout over 12 months.' Occupational Medicine, 64 (7). pp. 521-523. ISSN 0962-7480
Ravalier, J.M, McVicar, A and Munn-Giddings, C (2013) 'The Management Standards Indicator Tool and evaluation of burnout.' Occupational Medicine, 63 (2). pp. 145-147. ISSN 0962-7480
Ravalier, J.M and Walsh, J (2018) Working conditions & stress in the UK public sector. In: International Congress of Applied Psychology, 26 - 30 June 2018, Montreal, Canada.
Ravalier, J.M (2018) Care work, zero-hours contracts and employee wellbeing. In: Institute of Work Psychology International Conference 2018, 19 - 21 June 2018, University of Sheffield, UK.
Ravalier, J.M (2017) Evidence review - what works at work? In: Mental Health at Work, 17 February, 2017, London, UK.
Ravalier, J.M and Fidalgo, A (2015) Social media & group decision making: an experimental study. In: American Psychological Association Annual Convention, 6-9 August 2015, Toronto, Canada.
Ravalier, J.M (2015) Appreciative inquiry for stress management: positive psychology interventions in the workplace. In: EAWOP 2015: 17th Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology, 20-23 May 2015, Oslo Congress Centre, Oslo, Norway.