School of Psychology

Image of Emma Nielsen

Emma Nielsen

Research Fellow, Faculty of Science



Emma is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on a project exploring whether Safety Planning Intervention can be adapted with and for autistic adults to reduce repeated self-harm, suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour in this at-risk population. Prior to starting this work, Emma completed her PhD within the School of Psychology's Self-Harm Research Group (SHRG). Emma's doctoral research focused on understanding the 'whens' of self-harm thoughts and behaviours and psychological dynamics underpinning change. Emma also spent time as a Research Assistant. In this role she developed a range of knowledge exchange and public engagement resources, enhanced the dissemination of SHRG research to a wide range of audiences, assessed the impact of SHRG research and assisted in the development of the Card Sort Task for Self-Harm (CaTS) for clinician training. Emma's research interests include: the 'lived experience' of psychosocial interventions, understanding temporal dynamics in self-harm and suicidal thoughts and behaviours (with the view to identifying key pathways, transition points and proximal risk factors), exploring thinking but not acting on self-harmful thoughts (and how people might resist acting on upon urges), public involvement, public engagement and co-production, and exploring conceptualisations of 'recovery'.

Emma has been the recipient of multiple awards for her work. In 2016, Emma was awarded an ESRC OIV grant; she was a visiting research fellow at Nock Lab at Harvard (Harvard University, USA). The following year, Emma was awarded The Dean Moore Scholarship at the University of Nottingham's Tri Campus Postgraduate Awards. The scholarship acknowledges research excellence and accomplishments in publications, conferences, and contribution to the Postgraduate Community. Emma's award recognised both significant academic achievements and contributions to public engagement and knowledge exchange activities. Emma has twice been awarded the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) Publication Prize for best research flowing from work during doctoral studies or as part of a doctoral dissertation (2016, 2019) and has been twice nominated for a University Staff Oscar for her teaching and research supervision (2016, 2017). Emma was recognised under the Nottingham Reward Scheme for her valuable contribution to research in 2020-2021.

Emma co-founded netECR, an independent, international network of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) working in suicide and self-harm prevention. netECR facilitates collaboration, networking, horizontal mentorship and support for ECRs through online content, resource development and sharing, a journal club, a reflective practice group and the creation of a 'virtual lab'. netECR is the first network of its kind in the field of suicide and self-harm research and has established a model of working which others have replicated in their respective fields. netECR currently has over 100 members across five continents.

Expertise Summary

self-harm; suicide; mental health; psychology.

School of Psychology

University Park
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

For all enquires please visit: