Staff profile

Professor Frances Maratos

Professor of Psychology and Affective Science

Academic Frances Maratos, smiling.




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Psychology

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



As an expert in Emotion (Affective) Science, for the past 15+ years, my research has centred on understanding psychological, neurological, cognitive and physiological correlates of emotional wellbeing. In particular, my research has contributed to understanding anxiety and its relationship with eating disorders, understanding processes of pain, threat and self-criticism, and the use of compassion for improved emotion regulation and wellbeing across various populations. I have published circa 60 peer-reviewed papers in these specific areas, as well as several book chapters.

In recent years, I have become a key lead within the compassion in education field - initiating, co-ordinating, progressing and evaluating wellbeing effects of compassionate mind training with educators, pupils and FE/HE students, nationally and internationally. You can read more about my applied research in this area at Compassion in Education

I have further been involved in the successful award of over £1.3 million in grant funding. For example, currently, I am serving as an external expert on a five-year US NIH grant concerned with the ‘Neural Mechanisms Underlying Self-Critical Rumination and Self-Reassurance and Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior in Youth’. Prior to this, I have received funding from several recognised agencies including The Reed Foundation (to investigate Compassion in Schools), Leverhulme Trust (to investigate Compassion to Promote Wellbeing) and INNOVATE UK (to investigate errors in medication). 

Teaching responsibilities


Professional interests

I am a section editor for Cognitive Processing

Previously, I have been an associate editor for Frontiers in Psychology: Consciousness Research

Research interests

I lead on our Compassion in Education Programme of Research. As part of this, my team and I have developed several CPDs and curriculums to improve the wellbeing of both pupils and staff in the education sector. See Compassion in Education and Compassion in Schools

To aid the comprehensive and robust investigation of research in the field of emotion/affective science, more generally, I adopt an integrative approach to research and regularly use a wide variety of experimental methods to pursue research questions and evaluate the efficacy of the interventions and initiatives my team and I develop. These include psychophysiological methods (e.g. eye-tracking), behavioural methods (e.g. questionnaire measures and performance accuracy measures), physiological measures (e.g. stress hormones, blood pressure and heart-rate variability), neuroimaging methods (measures of MEG, EEG and fMRI) and qualitative methods (e.g. thematic analysis). 

Further research interests include visual attention and effects of related psychological phenomena such as cognitive load and expertise; visual attention, emotional processing and relevance; and processes of self-compassion and self-criticism.

I have supervised seven PhD students to successful completion; these include Dr Kirsten McEwan, Dr Lauren Kelly, Dr Kornanong Yuenyongchaiwat, Dr Julia Wahl, Dr Omimah Said, Dr Hajra Ashra and Dr Daniel Gaffiero, whose PhD research has been focused within the fields of Compassion, Anxiety, Self-Criticism, Physiological Health and Pain, in adult and/or child populations. 

My current PhD students include:

I am interested in taking on further students who have an interest in emotion, emotional wellbeing, relevance and compassion. See for instance:'Exploring the impact of compassion-based initiatives in higher education' PhD

Membership of professional bodies


Postgraduate qualifications

Research qualifications

Occupational qualifications

Recent conferences

Recent Invited Talks/Keynotes (limited to the past five years)

Experience in industry

International experience

Currently, I am serving as an external expert collaborator on a five-year $1,000,000 National Institute of Health Grant, with Anastacia Kudinova to understand 'Neural Mechanisms Underlying Self-Critical Rumination and Self-Reassurance and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviour in Youth.'

Dates: 4/1/2020 – 3/31/2025

Find out more about the project

In the media

Focus on COVID-19:

Focus on Compassion in Education:

Focus on compassion to boost well-being:

Focus on general emotion/fear processing:

Picky/Fussy eating in Children:

Painkiller Addiction & Measurement:

Medical Practice: Patient-Doctor Relations/Medication Errors

I am also quite often invited to speak on local radio (e.g. BBC Radio Derby GEM 106, Mansfield FM etc.) or in the national press (e.g. the Guardian) and I have featured on local television (for example East Midlands Today).

Recent publications

For a full list of my circa 60 publications, please visit my Google Scholar profile. Below is a list of my most recent publications since 2020:

* = Corresponding Author

Two people in a meeting viewed through an open doorway

Resilience is increasingly seen as something the education system should foster and employers should encourage and develop. But is resilience just telling people to get good at putting up with a bad situation? On Employee Appreciation Day, Professors Frances Maratos and Tristram Hooley from the University of Derby ask whether we should move away from resilience and towards compassion.

A young man in a hoodie and a face mask standing against a wall with graffiti which reads

Professor Frances Maratos, Associate Professor and Reader in Emotion Science at the University of Derby, explains why she and fellow psychologists are concerned about recent messaging about Covid-19.

A small child looking out of a window

Professor Frances Maratos, Associate Professor of Emotion Science at the University of Derby, offers suggestions on how to help children manage their worries about COVID-19 and self isolation.

A pupil in a classroom environment looking into the foreground

Professor Frances Maratos discusses whether in terms of the health and well-being of our pupils and teachers, the UK education system is arguably nearing breaking point, after recent reports reveal that up to 54% of teachers state their job ‘often’ or ‘always’ impacts negatively on their mental and/or physical health.

A close up of fruit kiwi pineapple berries  apple

Professor Frances Maratos, Reader in Emotion Science, and Jayne Trovati, PhD student, explain give top tips to parents who have children who are picky eaters.

Clown in black and white

Professor Frances Maratos, Reader in Emotion Science at the University of Derby, explains the psychology behind why people are afraid of clowns.