Dr Lizann Bonnar

Principal 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 and recognition.  Although my research background is in experimental design and quantitative research methods, I have learned to use qualitative methods with students in a range of projects, in one project to develop an understanding of children's experiences of participating in Parkrun, and another on the psychological impact of food poverty. Current research projects with students are in the area of student mental health and sense of belonging amongst students who are traditionally under-represented in higher education. I am also engaged in collaborative projects with colleagues and students on applying an intersectional approach to equality, diversity and inclusion across the student journey.

In addition to my role in the Department of Psychological Sciences and Health, I am Vice Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (since 2019). In this role, I lead on the enhancement and quality assurance of the Faculty's UG and PGT education portfolio, covering over 100 degree programmes with more than 8000 students across 15 discipline areas that are organised into 7 departments/centres.  I am passionate about transforming teaching, learning and assessment so that students and graduates develop the personal attributes, knowledge, understanding and skills needed to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion across all stages of the student journey underpins this work. I have also led the University's Assessment and Feedback Working Group since 2013, and in this role I have led the development of university policies/procedures and guidance on student assessment and feedback.

Externally, I am a member of the Undergraduate Education Committee (UEC) of the British Psychological Society (since 2015) and have led a working group of this committee on advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in the discipline through a review of the Standards for Accreditation of UG and Conversion level degrees. I have also been a member of the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement Advisory Panel for Psychology.


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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

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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 (now .7FTE), 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 psychology and in other disciplines. 

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Professional Activities

Explorance Impact Tour Shaping the Future of Higher Education: Student Voice and AI. Glasgow, 11 January 2024
Invited Member of Keynote Symposium on ‘Decolonising the Curriculum’, Annual Conference of the Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology (D-ARTP) of the British Psychological Society
Invited speaker
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
Department of Psychology, University of Westminster (External organisation)
Member of Psychology Advisory Panel - QAA Subject Benchmark Statement

More professional activities


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
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

More projects

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Dr Lizann Bonnar
Principal Teaching Fellow

Email: lizann.bonnar@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 2595/8207