Staff profile

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor


Office of the Vice-Chancellor




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I joined the University as Vice-Chancellor on 1 September 2015. My academic background is in Psychology and I continue to play an active role in research.

Before I came to Derby, I was Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of West London. I had special responsibility for academic provision and quality. I was previously Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic and Student Support Services and Dean of Students.

I was a Wellcome Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, for over seven years and have studied at the Universities of York and London. I have worked at the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Institute in New York and the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel.

The University of Derby has over 25,000 students and operates across the county of Derbyshire. We have principal sites in Derby, Buxton and Chesterfield and Leek in Staffordshire.

With a turnover reaching £180m and 3,000 employees, the University is both a major institution of higher education and one of the region’s largest employers. We work with a wide range of local and global businesses. Over the last three years, we have seen growth in our student numbers. We have seen an increase in international students studying with us in Derby or with partners in China and Africa among others.

Professional interests

I am a Chartered Psychologist. I continue to play an active role in research, supervising and directing a range of research programmes. Engagement with my discipline is vital as it keeps me abreast of current research. It also allows me to work with a variety of colleagues from across the University and with external partners at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

Research interests

My research approach has changed over my years in Higher Education. I engaged in research in the fields of Neurobiology and Behavioural Psychology in my formative years. My current research is much more integrated into the field of Health Psychology.

All my research addresses chronic disorder. The early research addressed changes in behaviour within transplantation models following modification of cell lines or implantation of neurotransmitter releasing cells.

My current research addresses how patients and clinical staff accept advances in medical treatments, including technologies, within clinical and non-clinical settings.

Membership of professional bodies


Additional interests and activities

Recent publications

Lafarge, C. Mitchell, K. & Fox, P. (2016) “Posttraumatic growth following pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality: the predictive role of coping strategies and perinatal grief” Anxiety, Stress, & Coping ID GASC-2016-0057.R2

Usher, L., Fox, P. & Mitchell, K. (2014) Factors Associated with Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Literature Review" Psychology, Community & Health March 2014

Lafarge, C. Mitchell, K. & Fox, P. (2014). Perinatal grief following a termination of pregnancy for fetal abnormality: the impact of coping strategies’. Prenatal Diagnosis (accepted)

Lafarge, C. Mitchell, K. & Fox, P. (2013). Women's coping with pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality : An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of women's experiences. Qualitative Health Research, April 4, 2013. doi 1049732313484198

Ohl, M., Fox, P., & Mitchell, K. (2013). Longer-term outcomes from the Pyramid project: Strengthening socio-emotional competencies.  British Journal of Educational Psychology

Griffin, A., Fox, P. & Mitchell. K.  (2012).  Student support and peer mentoring: Steps towards employability for volunteers.  University of West London Teaching and Learning Conference 2012. June 2012

Usher, L., Fox, P. & Mitchell, K. (2012).  Applying the common-sense model to Irritable Bowel Syndrome: the role of illness and treatment representations. Presentation accepted at the 26th Conference of the European Health Psychology Society.  Prague. August 2012

Ohl, M., Fox, P., & Mitchell, K. (2012). Strengthening socio-emotional competencies in a school setting: Data from the Pyramid project. British Journal of Educational Psychology. DOI:10.1111/j.2004-8279.2012.02074.x

Chatsworth House against a backdrop of rolling, wooded hills

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, explains why the region is a great place to live, visit, work and study, and how universities have a part to play in strengthening the Midlands' reputation across the globe.