Dr Lizann Bonnar

Senior Teaching Fellow


Personal statement

I joined Psychology at Strathclyde in September 2004, following a MA (Hons) and PhD in Psychology at the University of Glasgow. My PhD was in cognitive psychology, specifically visual attention.  Although my research background is in quantitative research methods, I have recently enjoyed learning about and using qualitative methods with students, in one project to develop an understanding of children's experiences of doing Parkrun, and another on the psychological impact of food poverty. Current research projects with students are in the area of student mental health.

In addition to my role in the School of Psychological Sciences and Health, I am Vice Dean Academic in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. I am interested in education for sustainable development, social justice and transforming teaching, learning and assessment so that students and graduates develop the personal attributes, knowledge, understanding and skills needed to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.


RePresent Strathclyde : Decolonising the Humanities & Social Science Curriculum
Ali Daniyaal, St George Sara, Govender Navan Nadrajan, Bonnar Lizann
An active play intervention to improve physical activity and fundamental movement skills in children of low socio-economic status : feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial
Johnstone Avril, Hughes Adrienne R, Bonnar Lizann, Booth Josie N, Reilly John J
Pilot and Feasibility Studies Vol 5 (2019)
"I have joined the fight, and it's a fight I hope to help win" : UG psychology work placements enable and galvanise students to 'make a difference'
Bonnar Elizabeth, Mooney Patricia
4th Community Psychology Festival (2018)
The psychological impact of food poverty
Bonnar Elizabeth, Parker Nicola, Kane Hannah, Bowen Claire
British Psychological Society Community Psychology Festival (2018)
The value of 'community' in supporting transitions outside university
Bonnar Elizabeth, Cummings Joanne, Robertson DJ, Kelly Stephen
3rd International Enhancement In Higher Education Conference 3rd International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference (2017)
Understanding the difference in pupil dilation between children with and without ASD during a joint attention memory task
Sheppard E, Lohan K S, Little GE, Bonnar L, Kelly S, Rajendran G
3rd Workshop on Child-Robot Interaction at Human-Robot Interaction 2017, Vienna, Austria 3rd Workshop on Child-Robot Interaction at Human-Robot Interaction 2017 (2017)

More publications


At undergraduate level, I am class leader for the final year C8437 Psychology Work Placement class, and supervise several honours and MSc dissertation projects each year. Prior to taking up the role as Vice Dean Academic (.5), I was class leader for C8321 Research Methods and Data Analysis, and also taught on Introduction to Research Design and Analysis (C8203), and research methods classes on three MSc programmes: MSc in Research Methods in Psychology, MSc Clinical Health Psychology, and the online MSc Psychology with a specialistion in *Business (conversion). 

I recently led on the development of a university-wide module called 'Multi-disciplinary Perspectives of Sustainable Development', and worked with colleagues across the University to deliver this for the first time in January 2020. The module has been developed in line with UNESCO's Education for Sustainable Development Learning Objectives and is delivered (co-led with Professor Debra Willison) by staff from all four faculties and attended by students from different degree levels and disciplines across the University. Predominantly delivered online, the module uses action-oriented and transformative pedagogies to support students to develop the competencies identified by UNESCO as essential for addressing the sustainable development goals. 

I have a passion for enhancing students' understanding of sustainable development and social justice, both within my discipline in psychology and outwith it. 

Professional activities

Student placements: how our committed students can support and develop your organisation
Keeping 1.5 Alive. Mobilising student action through placements in city and region for climate emergency and climate justice
External Panel Member, Validation of UG degree programmes (Event)
QAA Subject Benchmark Statement: Psychology Advisory Panel
External Examiner
Convener of working group on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Undergraduate Education Committee, British Psychological Society (External organisation)

More professional activities


Understanding Student Attainment During the Pandemic
Bonnar, Lizann (Principal Investigator) Jack, Kate (Principal Investigator)
This project seeks to understand student attainment during the pandemic. It will apply an equalities lens to the data, in order to identify any award/attainment gaps.
20-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2023
Understanding Student Retention During the Pandemic
Bonnar, Lizann (Principal Investigator) Jack, Kate (Principal Investigator)
The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our education provision and exacerbated existing inequalities in the student population (e.g., digital divide). However, there are signs of encouragement in analyses of progression, award (Advance HE, 2021) and retention data in parts of the sector. Discussions are focusing on the potential positive impact of mitigations put in place to support students through the pandemic. At Strathclyde, retention has increased by 2.9% in the pandemic years and in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) alone, this has increased to 5%. The aim of this project is to understand the drivers behind this increase. In the first year, the project will seek to identify the factors behind increased retention in HaSS and learning from this pilot, will extend the aim to understanding retention in the other three faculties in Year 2. The project will apply an equalities lens. In developing an enhanced understanding of student retention, the project seeks to advance equality, diversity and inclusion so that all students have the opportunity to flourish through each stage of the student journey.
20-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2023
PhD studentship for Claire Crichton-Allen - Pedagogies and assessment of C21 competencies for sustainable futures
Strachan, Scott (Principal Investigator) Bonnar, Lizann (Principal Investigator)
Secured fully funded PhD from Centre for Sustainable Development– “Pedagogies and assessment of C21 competencies for sustainable futures” - co-produced proposal and co-supervising student with Lizann Bonnar from School of Psychology
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2025
Personal Development Planning (PDP) - Tackling Student Buy-in
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) Bonnar, Lizann (Principal Investigator)
02-Jan-2014 - 05-Jan-2014
Students as Partners in Learning Enhancement
Bonnar, Lizann (Academic) Willison, Debra (Academic) McLaren, Andrew (Academic) Thomson, Avril (Academic) Gould, Helyn (Academic) Thomson, Linda (Academic)
HEA funded workshop (£750) on working in partnership with students on a range of learning enhancement projects.
05-Jan-2014 - 05-Jan-2014
Engaging Students in Delivering High Quality, Consistent, University Wide Student Assessment and Feedback
Thomson, Avril (Principal Investigator) Bonnar, Lizann (Principal Investigator) Gould, Helyn (Principal Investigator) Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator)
Educational Excellence Funding £28,000
30-Jan-2013 - 01-Jan-2013

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