Dr Alexander I. Griffiths

Higher Education Specialist & Psychological Scientist

Bio & CV

Bio

Alexander currently works within the Office of the Proctor and Senior Vice-Principal at the University of St Andrews where he holds the post of Academic Policy Officer (Taught Degrees). His focus is on supporting the development of the educational and regulatory framework for undergraduate and taught postgraduate studies at the University. 


Educated at the Universities of St Andrews (MA, PhD) and Cambridge (MPhil), Alexander originally developed a research career within Psychological Science focusing on the field of Social and Developmental Cognition. His early academic work focused on resilience across the life span, later moving on to the development, maintenance, and function of identity (both personal and social) across the life span. 


Following the completion of his doctorate, Alexander subsequently progressed to a career where he is involved in the development and provision of academic and pastoral services for staff and students engaged in Higher Education, as well as developing applied research to further develop the sector and its approaches. His specific focus is on supporting learning and teaching in higher education and university environments by developing strategic responses to educational policy both domestically and internationally. He is also a University Warden where he leads a residential support team that assists students in negotiating their pastoral needs and adjustment to broader University life beyond the classroom, and his research work also aims to further develop and support HE pastoral approaches.


Curriculum Vitae

Education


University of St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom


MA (Hons) Psychology & Theology (2005-2009)
Faculties of Arts & Divinity

PhD Experimental Psychology (2010 - 2014)
Faculty of Science

University of Cambridge (Darwin College), England, United Kingdom


MPhil Social & Developmental Psychology (2009 - 2010)

Faculty of Social & Political Sciences



Professional Experience


Academic Policy Officer (Taught Degrees), Office of the Principal, University of St Andrews

May 2017 - Present 


Working within the Office of the Principal for the Senior Vice-Principal (Proctor), I support and develop the University's academic regulatory and policy framework, with relation to learning and teaching, quality, and postgraduate provision.


Warden, Student Services, University of St Andrews

November 2016 - Present


Lead a residential team of Assistant Wardens within Albany Park, one of the University's residences, where we are responsible for the pastoral care, discipline and community as part of the Student Services portfolio of student wellbeing provision at St Andrews.


Registry Officer (Research Student Support), Academic Registry, University of St Andrews

January 2015 - May 2017


Responsible for advising on and supporting postgraduate research students (MPhil/PhD) through changes of circumstance that affect their mode of study. Involved in the development and implementation of policy connected to the academic progression of Research Postgraduates at the University. Focused on examining ways in which we can boost and support student resilience as they pass through transitions in the academic cycle.


Deputy Warden, Student Services, University of St Andrews

August 2013 - October 2016


Co-lead a residential team of 11 Assistant Wardens in the University's largest hall of residence. Responsible for pastoral welfare, discipline, and community building. 


Academic Tutor and Undergraduate Research Supervisor, School of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of St Andrews

September 2010 - December 2014


Academic Tutor and Research Supervisor in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience, as well as teaching broader interdisciplinary subjects in both the Faculties of Science and Medicine.


Doctoral Research Fellow, The MacLeodLab, University of St Andrews

September 2010 - September 2014


Member of The MacLeodLab at the University of St Andrews where I received a full four year grant to research within the area of identity and memory, with a distinct focus on the architecture of memory and retrieval processing for self and group-based identity.


Assistant Warden, Student Services, University of St Andrews

September 2012 - August 2013


The role of Assistant Warden is a residential post with duties involving taking a pastoral, disciplinary, and community-building role for incoming first years and returning students housed within the University residential system at Agnes Blackadder Hall which currently houses roughly 400 undergraduate students.


Graduate Research Associate, Psychology & Religion Research Group, University of Cambridge

October 2009 - July 2010


Research Associate member of the Psychology and Religion Research Group where I conducted research in the field of the Psychology of Religion and was a member of the Behavioural Research Division of the group.


Undergraduate Research Assistant, The Memory Control Lab, University of St Andrews

September 2008 - June 2009


Research Assistant to Professor Mike Anderson supporting experimental work on the modelling of memory, understanding the role of memory inhibition in our everyday lives, and the role of forgetting in processes of remembrance. 


Undergraduate Research Assistant, The Clinical Cognition Lab, University of St Andrews

January 2008 - June 2009


Research Assistant to Dr Elke Geraerts supporting experimental work on false and recovered memories, clinical applications of cognition, and exploring psychopathology and its effects on memory.



Representation Roles


Postgraduate Representative, Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group, British Psychological Society

January 2011 - January 2013


Postgraduate Representative, School of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of St Andrews

May 2011 - January 2012



Theses


Griffiths, A. I. (2015). Retrieval Processes in Social Identification. PhD thesis, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK.


Griffiths, A. I. (2010). "God the Father": Religious coping to compensate for primary attachment figures during childhood crises. MPhil thesis, University of Cambridge, England, UK.



Keynote, Conference, and Seminar Presentations


Griffiths, A. I. (May 2014). Averting one's gaze beyond the looking glass: Retrieval Processes in Social Identification. Keynote Speech, VSPA International Conference on Identity, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Griffiths, A. I. (October 2013). A social memory approach to the formation and maintenance of the religious identity. Invited Seminar Presentation. Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Griffiths, A. I. & MacLeod, M. D. (April 2013). Understanding the role of identity within processes of remembrance using experimental approaches in social and cognitive psychology. Conference Presentation. Euroacademia International Conference on Identities and Identifications: Politicised Uses of Collective Identities, Zagreb, Croatia.


Griffiths, A. I. & Kadioglu, P. (April 2013). Collective memory, identity, and inter-group conflict. Conference Presentation. Euroacademia International Conference on Identities and Identifications: Politicised Uses of Collective Identities, Zagreb, Croatia.


Griffiths, A. I. & MacLeod, M. D. (August 2012). The moderating impact of gender identification on retrieval-induced forgetting. Conference Presentation. Social Psychology Conference 2012, British Psychological Society, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK.


Griffiths, A. I. & MacLeod, M. D. (August 2011). Identity as a moderator of retrieval-induced forgetting. 5th International Conference on Memory, University of York, UK.


Griffiths, A. I. & MacLeod, M. D. (June 2011). Identity and self-relevance as moderators of retrieval-induced forgetting. Conference Presentation. The 12th European Congress of Psychology, Istanbul, Turkey.



Scholarships and Awards


2010 - 2014 - University of St Andrews Doctoral Scholarship. Full competitive scholarship of fees and maintenance for the duration of doctoral studies.


2011 - The Grindley Grant, Experimental Psychology Society, UK. Sponsored attendance and presentation of work at 12th European Congress of Psychology.


2011 - Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. For dedication to supporting student learning, teaching, and assessment in Higher Education.


2005 - Dangoor Scholarship, 1994 Group & University of St Andrews. Financial Scholarship for entering University with an outstanding record of prior academic excellence.