• Mary Burton Building

    EH14 4AS Edinburgh

    United Kingdom

  • EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am seeking PhD students interested in the following topics:
- Volunteering, identity, and wellbeing
- Community Identity and health
- Social Prescribing
- Stigma and marginalisation
- Loneliness and mental health
- The social impact of poverty and food insecurity; cost of living crisis
- Identity transitions
- Place and Identity Continuity

Contact M.Bowe@hw.ac.uk to discuss

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Profile Summary

Mhairi Bowe is a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an award winning teacher of Psychology, and an active researcher in the field of Social Psychology, Mental Health and Well-being. 

Mhairi is the Past Chair of the British Psychological Society Social Psychology Section 


Research Group Contact Details

Mhairi is Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Behavioural Sciences (CABS) and a member of the newly formed Cultural and Social Interaction Research Group

Mhairi is also an Associate Member of the NTU Social Identity Research Group

Mhairi can be contacted on M.Bowe@hw.ac.uk

Press Profile

Mhairi can be consulted on topics relating to community and social groups, collective phenomena, society and health and well-being; social prescribing; nature and ecotherapy, place-related identity; transitions to parenthood and its impact on mental health; lived experiences of financial insecurity and food poverty; and the relationships between time, history, and national identity

Research interests

Mhairi's research is primarily located within social psychology and mental health, where she employs both quantitative and qualitative approaches to explore identity processes in relation to collective, personal, and place-related identities and how they interact with mental health and well-being outcomes. 

Specific areas of study and research impact include: social prescribing, loneliness reduction, community volunteering, experiences of poverty, financial and food insecurity, marginalisation and stigma, identity transitions, temporal aspects of national, community, and collective identity, mental health and well-being, group processes; social issues and health. 


Mhairi achieved a first class honours degree in psychology at the University of Dundee in 2004. After a working as a research assistant for Prof Fabio Sani on an ESRC funded project exploring perceived collective continuity between 2004 and 2006/7, Mhairi acquired an MSc in Psychological Research Methods in 2008 before embarking on a PhD. Mhairi's PhD research focused on the role of places in identity processes and specifically assessed the temporal aspects of place identity and their connections with both social identity and mental health.

Mhairi moved to Nottingham Trent University in 2010 to take up the post of Lecturer before being promoted to Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor.  Mhairi gained experience of teaching and research supervision at UG, PG, and PGR levels at NTU where she was also a research group lead, course leader, and programme director between 2010 and 2022.  

Mhairi took up the post of Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology in the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in September 2022 where she teaches courses in research impact and applying psychology on the MSc in Applied Psychology using engagement and involvement principles and community engaged learning and active learning approaches.  Mhairi is the Global Course Coordinator for the Independent Project in Psychology course across all of HWU's MSc Psychology Programmes.

Key Research Words/Phrases

Social Psychology, Social Identity, Health and Wellbeing, Social Prescribing, Collective Experiences, Loneliness and Isolation, Marginalisation and Stigma, Food Poverty and Financial Insecurity, National Identity, Temporal Identity and Collective Continuity

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Birmingham City University

1 Jan 2022 → …

British Psychological Society

1 Sept 2020 → …

Nottingham Trent University

1 Sept 2010 → …


31 Jan 2001 → …


  • BF Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Identity
  • Community
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Loneliness
  • Collective Experience
  • National Identity
  • Identity Continuity
  • Stigma and Marginalisation
  • Poverty and inequality


Dive into the research topics where Mhairi Bowe is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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