Staff profile

Dr Sigrid Lipka

Associate Professor in Psychology

Sigrid Lipka against a nature background




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Psychology

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre, University Professorial Council




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am an Associate Professor in Psychology. I teach at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, contribute to staff development training sessions, carry out research, encourage and support undergraduate students in developing their research skills via joint staff-student projects and supervise students at all levels, including doctoral students. As a full member of the University Professorial Council (UPC), representing my College (College of Life and Natural Sciences), I am keen to contribute to strategic developments in researcher development designed to enhance sustainable research and innovation at Derby, in particular by acting as a mentor for early career researchers and by peer-reviewing external grant bids. As a UPC member, I am also playing an active role in developing the university’s research ethics processes and guidance. I have been a longstanding member of the Human Sciences Research Ethics Committee.

Teaching responsibilities

I lead and teach on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the areas of cognitive and developmental psychology. From 2014 to 2019, I was the Programme Leader of the MSc Behaviour Change, which promotes the application of psychology to behaviour change interventions in areas such as health and wellbeing, work or the environment. The course is open to part-time mature students who work in industry or charitable sectors. I still very much enjoy teaching and supervising students on this programme. I also coordinate and teach on the Research Supervisor Training programme offered to doctoral supervisors across the university.

Professional interests

I am interested in language and communication in all shapes and forms – how children acquire it, developmental language disorders, bilingualism, the complex processes going on when people read, and how language influences our emotions and behaviour. I am also interested in doctoral pedagogy, as I have led the Doctoral Research Supervisor Training programme at the University of Derby for many years. I believe that supporting supervisors in developing their skills and confidence has a positive impact on the quality of doctoral supervision, both in terms of timely doctoral completion rates as well as improved student and supervisor satisfaction and wellbeing. 

Research interests

My research applies psychological theories to the study of everyday issues including reading strategies used by monolingual and bilingual students, exam anxiety, alcohol-related aggression, malingering in neuropsychological and forensic settings, suggestibility and behaviour change. My research has been published in peer-reviewed high-quality journals including Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, PLoS ONE, Personality and Individual Differences, The Journal of Pain, International Journal of Psychophysiology, Neuroscience Letters, Language and Cognitive Processes. My research has received external funding by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), SERC/Joint Council Initiative in Cognitive Science/HCI, German Research Foundation (DFG), as well as several University of Derby internal grants supporting a research-inspired curriculum. I have been an occasional reviewer for several leading academic journals. As an experienced doctoral supervisor, I have co-supervised successful PhD projects on rehearsal processes in working memory and EEG coherence, processing of compassionate and critical faces, anxiety and visual attention, and online gambling. 



Recent conferences

Experience in industry

In collaboration with colleagues, I am currently setting up consultancy work with a regional train company with the aim to support them in their health & safety trainings.

International experience

I have inside knowledge of the German university system, from both a student and staff perspective. I have a particular interest in supporting international students.

Additional interests and activities

Yoga, dance, gardening and travelling in France - not necessarily in this order!

In the media

I have done interviews with BBC Radio Derby.

Recent publications


Wooden letter blocks forming the words 'new normal'

Dr Sigrid Lipka, Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Derby, discusses the challenges of being a university student during the 'new normal'.