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Our Team

The Centre, housed at Senate House, Bloomsbury, London will officially open in September 2021. Between now and then, we will be recruiting the first generation of early career scientists and scholars.

The Centre will house a core research team of early career researchers who will be incentivised to cross disciplinary boundaries, grow in independence, and attract additional funding. At the same time, the Centre will host visiting internationally-leading scientists and scholars to complement our existing projects or bring new ones. The Centre’s Steering Committee will have a marked intellectual presence that will facilitate its disciplinary expansion and international visibility.


Over the next few months we will recruit between 3 and 5 post-doctoral research fellows who will form the first generation of scientists and scholars for the Centre. This team will be assisted by a Lab Manager. An Advisory Board of world-leading scientists and scholars will be actively engaged with the development of the Centre's vision.

The Centre will be directed by Manos Tsakiris.


Over the next few weeks we will be posting details here about the recruitment process and selection criteria for the first generation of fellows who will join us.

The Team

The Centre will be directed by Manos Tsakiris and over the next few months we will recruit between 3 and 5 post-doctoral research fellows who will form the first generation of scientists and scholars for the Centre. This team will be assisted by a Lab Manager. An advisory board of world-leading scientists and scholars will be actively engaged with the development of the Centre's vision 

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Manos Tsakiris


Manos Tsakiris is Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London where he leads the Lab of Action & Body and the INtheSELF ERC-funded project. He also led the BIAS (Body & Image in Arts & Science, 20216-2021) project, funded by the NOMIS Foundation, at the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London. His research is highly interdisciplinary and focuses on how bodily and feeling states influence our self-awareness and socio-political behaviour.


Katerina Michalakis

Lab Manager & Research Assistant

Katerina completed her M.Sc. in Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics at the University of Birmingham and an undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Crete. Her thesis presented a computational framework that delineated the impact of emotional valence and intensity to selective attention modalities and inhibitory responses to task – irrelevant information. Katerina is interested in the affective and physiological processes that underpin intergroup relations and political behaviour.

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Katharina Lawall

Fellow in Political Science

Katharina is a quantitative social scientist who works on political behaviour, campaigns and gender. She is currently completing her PhD in Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In an era of polarization, voters often strongly dislike one or more political parties. Katharina studies the consequences of these strong feelings of dislike, or negative partisanship, in multi-party systems. What does really disliking a party do to voters? How do parties try to get rid of their “toxic” reputations – and does it work ?

To answer these questions, Katharina uses survey experiments, field experiments and causal inference methods. Katharina has conducted research in the UK, Canada, Germany and Norway, and has experience working with civil society organisations, political parties and campaigns. Her research has been funded by the Berlin Social Science Center, the Canadian Consortium for Electoral Democracy, the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics at Iowa State University and the LSE US Centre. Previously, Katharina has completed a Master’s degree in European Politics and Society at the University of Oxford (2018, with distinction) and an undergraduate degree at University College London (2016, with distinction).

Key expertise/research interests: Political Behaviour, Political Psychology, Experiments


Mariana von Mohr

Postdoctoral Fellow in Social Neuroscience

Mariana is an experimental psychologist and affective neuroscientist. Her research focuses on how visceral feelings and emotions shape social cognition, including first impressions, self-other distinction, social influence and decision-making in social settings. To investigate this, she employs behavioral, physiological and neuroimaging techniques. She holds an MSc in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology from University College London (UCL) and Yale University, and a PhD in Social Cognitive Neuroscience from University College London (UCL) – funded by CONACyT. At the Centre, Mariana’s research will focus on how emotions and their underlying neurophysiological mechanisms shape political behaviour.

You can visit Mariana’s website here


Catherine Moez

Fellow in Political Science

Catherine Moez works primarily with quantitative analysis of unstructured data: text, audio, and image. She is currently finishing a PhD in political science at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation tests a number of longstanding claims made about 'fringe' politicians versus the more conventional centre-left or centre-right, using text from parliamentary speeches and audio signal from campaign debates. She is interested in the quantitative study of emotions and stylistic or rhetorical elements in speech, and looks forward to complementing these findings on how politicians speak with causal experimentation regarding how the public receives different emotional appeals, styles, or messages.


Interests: Political disaffection; Quantitative text analysis; Populism in the Anglosphere and France

You can get in touch with Catherine here


Andrea Vik

Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science

Andrea’s research lies at the intersection of political psychology, political communication, and political representation. She is currently completing her PhD in political science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), having previously earned her MSc in Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam.


Her doctoral work explores the phenomenon of unelected representation, investigating how political activists without electoral legitimacy claim to represent self-articulated constituencies. Grounded in constructivist theories in representation and psychology, Andrea employs primarily quantitative and experimental research methods to unravel the psychological processes underlying unelected representation. Her innovative approach introduces a new theory on affective political representation, emphasizing the significance of "feeling represented" in shaping citizen relationships with unelected representatives.


At the center, Andrea will use her expertise to uncover more about how we embody political feelings and experiences. We often talk about how we feel or do not feel represented by our politicians and governments and how we feel marginalized in different political arenas. What do we really mean when we talk of these political feelings? How are such feelings constructed? Do we feel such feelings within our bodies? Such inquiries drive her research, utilizing cutting-edge methodological advancements from psychology. By shedding light on these aspects, Andrea contributes to the ongoing discourse on the affective dimensions of political representation and lays the foundation for a broader research agenda focused on the intersection of emotions and politics.

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Ben Tappin

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow 

Ben received his PhD from the Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London for a thesis that investigated the social and political psychology of belief formation, primarily using experiments both online and in the lab. Following his PhD, he joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral researcher in the Human Cooperation Lab. There he developed lines of research on politically motivated reasoning and the influence of political communication on public opinion, using large-scale experiments, multilevel regression, and meta-analysis.

At the Centre and over the next three years, Ben will develop his Leverhulme-funded project “Understanding the Power of Political Microtargeting”.

You can visit Ben's website here

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Could it be you ?

Post-doc Fellows in Political Science/Political Neuroscience/ Computational Social Sciences/Digital Humanities 

We are looking for someone with a PhD in an area relevant to Humanities or Social Sciences. The Fellow will have the opportunity to develop their own research project as long as it relates to the main research questions of the Centre.

For more details email Manos

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