Virginia Lam

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Personal profile


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

The Growing Up Bilingual (GUB) research led to the GUB: Researcher-and-Practitioner Synergies knowledge exchange series, which she gained BPS funding to operate (2021-22) after joining Roehampton. It was a three-part seminar series (+follow-on workshop) that engaged academics and non-academic practitioners from schools of different sectors, education specialists and third-sector organisations for language learning support, through presentations, discussion panels and interactive workshops. The core group have continued to meet regularly which aided Virginia gaining the Seed Fund (Enhancing Research Culture) for a further research project (Becoming Bilingual: Funds of Knowledge from Learners, Educators and Providers across Sectors) in 2023. The project involves language pupils/ students and instructors engaging in peer observations, and innovative networks with school leads/service providers, that co-produce funds of knowledge exchanged for best practice towards creative interventions.

Before the projects in the realms of bilingual development, Virginia's research focused on social group identities (e.g., ethnic, gender, national, religious) intergroup processes (stereotyping, attitudes and relations) and their influence on psychological outcomes. She has supervised projects in various areas concerning 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, and virtual gamers' wellbeing.

After joining Roehampton, she has collaborated with colleagues from the School of Education (Wolfgang Mann; now Cologne) and School of Arts (Eva Eppler) for a pilot project Climate Change Challenge, investigating children's conceptions of climate change (aided by Staff Development and Research & Knowledge Exchange funds). With their external partner, the 100-Word Challenge, they launched a 10-week 'challenge' for pupils to write 100-word pieces on a different climate topic each week. The results from the 1000+piece database are shared with the academic community and schools with the aim to inform climate and sustainability education.

Virginia became the co-convenor for the recently BPS-accredited MSc Psychology in September 2021. She convenes its Dissertation (research) module and teaches across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (previously supervising MA in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy for Children, Adolescents & Families; and, currently 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, University of London (Goldsmiths)

External positions

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

External Examiner, University of Greenwich

External Examiner, University of Liverpool


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