Virginia Lam

Virginia Lam

Dr, Can accept PhD students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Virginia joined Roehampton in 2021. Her specialisms lie in social developmental psychology. Before joining Roehampton, she launched Growing up bilingual, an ESRC-funded longitudinal project (2018-22). The team collaborated with the Newham Partnership for Complementary Education/NPCE and the NRCSE, which oversaw heritage language school provisions. The project tracked social, cognitive and educational outcomes with language proficiency of bilingual children who had complementary language schooling and those who did not.

The Growing Up Bilingual (GUB) research led to the GUB: Researcher-Practitioner Synergies series, which she gained BPS funding to operate (2021-22) after Virginia joined Roehampton. It was a 3-part seminar series that engaged academics and practitioners across sectors who are invested in language development or its support. The series aided Virginia to gain Research England funding (Roehampton's Seed Fund; Enhancing Research Culture path) for a further research project (Becoming Bilingual: Funds of Knowledge from Learners, Educators and Providers across Sectors) in 2023. The project involves language learners and teachers engaging in peer observations and innovative networking for co-creation of funds of knowledge exchanged for enhanced language practices.

Another offshoot from the GUB and BB projects is the current 'Intergen' project, funded by the Southlands Methodist Trust. It explores between-generation changes in language practice, identity and community needs in heritage language school communities, from the perspectives of past and current students and long-serving teachers and leaders.

Before the realms in bilingual development, Virginia's research focused on social identities (ethnic, gender, national and religious groups), intergroup processes, and their impact on psychological outcomes. She has supervised projects on other diversity issues, such as cross-cultural variations in social cognition, mixed/dual-heritage people's identity and adjustment (BPS-funded), children's sport participation during the London Olympics (UEL funded), and virtual gamers' wellbeing.

After joining Roehampton, Virginia also collaborated with colleagues from the School of Education (Wolfgang Mann; now U Cologne) and School of Arts (Eva Eppler) for the Climate Change Challenge project on children's conceptions of climate change (funded by the Staff Development Fund and RKE Fund). With their external partner, the 100-Word Challenge, they launched a 10-week 'challenge' for pupils to write 100-word pieces on a climate topic each week. This collated a large database, which the team will present to inform schools for climate and sustainability education.

Virginia became the co-convenor for the recently BPS-accredited MSc Psychology in September 2021. She teaches across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (previously supervising MA Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy for Children, Adolescents & Families; and, currently the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology). She co-authored the textbook Developmental Psychology, with two editions and an Italian edition, published by Pearson.

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Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, BA (Hons), Cardiff University

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education PGCert, University of East London

Psychological Research Methods, MSc, University of Exeter

Developmental Psychology, PhD, Developing ethnic identities in middle childhood, University of London (Goldsmiths)

External positions

Consultancy/education materials, Essex Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Fire and Rescue Authority

Masterclass contributor, REC Parenting Ltd

External Examiner, University of Greenwich

External Examiner, University of Liverpool

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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