Astrid Bowen

PhD Student





Professor Michael Thomas (Birkbeck, University of London)

Professor Andrew Tolmie (UCL Institute of Education)


Research Interests

My research focus is primarily on the promotion of well-being in schools, but I’m also interested in the promotion of learning in general, and specifically how to promote skill transfer and generalisation in children, both in the general population and also with special educational needs.  My past research projects include a discursive analysis of cultural messages concerning mental health and well-being, and an examination of the relationships between self-reported perceptions of school climate, subjective well-being and engagement at school in secondary school students.

My PhD project is co-funded by the ESRC and Evolve, a social impact company.  I am conducting a mixed-methods evaluation of the effects of Evolve’s Project HE:RO, a health mentoring intervention, on well-being, academic achievement, behavioural and cognitive outcomes in children in Key Stage 2.  As part of this project, I am also exploring the interfacing of academic research and commercial education intervention provision, and how commercial intervention companies engage with and use research evidence as part of their development and evaluation processes.



PhD Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London, 2021-Present

MSc Developmental Disorders (Distinction), University of Nottingham, 2020-2021

BSc (Hons) Psychology with Counselling (First Class), The Open University, 2015-2020



Bowen, A. E. J., Thomas, M.S. C., & Tolmie, A. (in preparation). Integrating research and educational practice: Perspectives from directors of educational intervention companies.

Bowen, A. E. J., Thomas, M. S. C., Tolmie, A., Borst, G., & Van Herwegen, J. (in preparation). Integrating research evidence into the classroom: International perspectives on current gaps and ways to meet them.

Thomas, M. S. C., Howard-Jones, P., Dudman-Jones, J., Palmer, L. R. J., Bowen, A. E. J., & Perry, R. C. (under review). Evidence, policy, education and neuroscience – The state of play in the U.K. Mind, Brain and Education.

Bowen, A. E. J., Palmer, L. R. J., Perry, R. C., Thomas, M. S. C., Tolmie, A., Borst, G., & Van Herwegen, J. (under review). Evaluating what works in the classroom: Best practice and future opportunities. Mind, Brain and Education.

Bowen, A. E. J., Palmer, L. R. J., Perry, R. C., & Thomas, M. S. C. (in press). Overview and synthesis of the science of learning landscape: Bridging interdisciplinary divides. In Hung Wei Loong, D., Jamaludin, A., & Huang Junsong, D. (Eds.), Scaling System-Wide Change in Learning: Convergence of Learning Sciences, Science of Learning, and Science of Systems. Springer.


Selected Public Speaking Engagements

Bowen, A. E. J. What does it mean to 'be well'?.  Presented for the Developmental Neurocognition Lab research group, July 2023.

Bowen, A. E. J. Impact and Evaluation.  Presented for the Evolve Annual Conference, August 2022, 2023.

Bowen, A. E. J. Educational interventions: Trials, evidence, and the case of school-based mentoring.  Presented for the Centre for Educational Neuroscience seminar series, June 2022. Recording

Bowen, A. E. J. Health mentoring: A way forward for wellbeing?  Presented for the Leeds University Health and Social Psychology research group, April 2022.


Awards and Funding

2021-2024 – UBEL DTP Co-funded +3 PhD studentship, ESRC and Evolve.

2023 – Graduate Award for Public Communication of Science.  The Centre for Educational Neuroscience.

2020 – British Psychological Society Prize for Highest Achievement in Final Year Undergraduate Dissertation.  The Open University in Wales.