Staff profile

Professor Frances Maratos

Professor of Psychology and Affective Science

Frances Maratos in the University




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 well-being. 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 emotion regulation across various populations.

I have published circa 50 peer-reviewed papers in these specific areas, as well as several book chapters. In recent years, I have become a key individual within the compassion in schools movement - initiating, co-ordinating, progressing and evaluating well-being effects of compassionate mind training with both educators and their pupils, nationally and internationally.

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 5-year US National Institute of Health research grant concerned with the ‘Neural Mechanisms Underlying Self-Critical Rumination and Self-Reassurance and Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior in Youth’. Additionally, given my work in the education sector, I am also currently serving as a consultant on UK ‘Mindfulness Initiative Education Strategy’ policy.

Teaching responsibilities


Research interests

I lead on our Compassion in Education Programme of Research. As part of this, my team and I have developed four curriculums to improve the wellbeing of both pupils and staff in the education sector, The Compassionate Mind Foundation.

To aid the comprehensive and robust investigation of research in the field of affective science, more generally, I always 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 my team and I develop. These include psychophysiological methods (measures of reaction time and 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; and learning/pedagogy in HE, including the development and assessment of critical thinking and the micro-skills of compassionate communication.

I am currently supervising 7 PhD students, these are:

Find out about the 'Exploring the impact of compassion-based initiatives in higher education' PhD

Membership of professional bodies


Postgraduate qualifications

Research qualifications

Occupational qualifications

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Schooling with Compassion

International experience

Currently, I am serving as an external expert collaborator on a 5-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:

Picky/Fussy eating in Children:

Painkiller Addiction & Measurement:

Patient-Doctor Consultation Length

Angry faces attract our attention when other faces do not:

I am also regularly invited to speak on BBC Radio Derby, as well as GEM 106, Mansfield FM etc. and I have featured on television (for example East Midlands tonight)

Recent publications

The most up to date list of all my publications (and including books/book chapters)

* = Corresponding Author

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.