Dr. Romina Vivaldi joins the Department of Psychology on a six-month research visit!

The Department of Psychology is pleased to welcome Dr Romina Vivaldi, an international researcher who has joined the Department’s Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research for a six month visit to work with researchers based in the Centre. Dr Vivaldi introduces herself below:

I am Dr. Romina Vivaldi from the National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET) and I am delighted to be joining the Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University as a visiting academic scholar for six months under the supervision of Dr. Richard Jolley. My research interests lie in children’s symbolic development, especially as it relates to pictures. One particular focus of my research is children’s developing understanding of the artist’s intention behind pictures. I have also conducted research on preschool children’s production and use of drawings. In addition to Dr. Jolley’s extensive experience in representational and expressive drawing development, I look forward to discussing research ideas with Dr. Claire Barlow and Dr. Sarah Rose who also have research interests within this broad area, as well as with other staff members and students.

Dr Romina Vivaldi

I completed my psychology degree at the National University of my hometown: Rosario, Argentina. A fun fact about me is that when I was a 1st year undergraduate I used to say that I was keen on every aspect of the Psychology practice BUT Research and Teaching! Interestingly, when I started to learn more and more about the profession I ended up falling completely in love with the two practice areas I thought I might dislike the most. After that, I have never looked back.

After receiving my degree in 2009, I contacted a former professor of mine who then became both my PhD and Post doc supervisor, Dr. Analía Salsa. Dr Salsa’s research area is children’s symbolic development. When she asked me about my research interests I knew that I wanted to study the mentalistic aspects of children’s drawing development. Since drawings are one of the first symbols children produce, they can work as a window to their feelings and ideas, even for toddlers whose linguistic skills are yet to be developed.

I have also been working in a teaching position at the Educational Psychology School at the Instituto Universitario del Gran Rosario [University Institute of the Great Rosario] since the beginning of my PhD program. Teaching is like breathing to me: I am passionate about helping students to achieve their academic goals and to become more confident with their speaking and writing skills. I am also very enthusiastic about developing new and innovate ways to teach every single piece of knowledge I was lucky enough to gain during my developing  research career.

Everyone has been remarkably kind to me on my first couple of days here and I have been overwhelmed by the research facilities the University has to offer. Therefore, I am looking forward to making a fruitful contribution to this stimulating academic team. I am based in the Brindley building, B160, so please pop in if you are passing, or contact me by email (Romina.Vivaldi@staffs.ac.uk) or telephone (4589).

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It was almost a year ago that I received an email from Romina asking whether she could work with me on an academic research visit to Staffordshire University. I was first struck by her courageousness, particularly as we had never met or even had any previous correspondence!  But after numerous emails sorting out the practicalities, I am very pleased that she arrived on Monday 12th June, and has settled in so quickly into the Department and her work.

Romina has such a positive outlook and drive that I am sure she will flourish during her time here, and provide a very useful addition to the team of staff we have  researching children’s symbolic and creative understanding in the domain of pictures. Furthermore, academic research visitors provide an important contribution to the research culture of the department, particularly international visitors. From October, the Department of Psychology will have another research visitor, Dr. Grégory Dessart from the University of Lausanne, who will be working with me on the expressive aspects of children’s drawings of God.

Dr. Richard Jolley

Senior Lecturer in Psychology


We wish Dr Vivaldi every success in her six month stay with the Department of Psychology and the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research!


The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research is home to research activity in the Psychology Department at Staffordshire Centre. The Centre is home to a number of research-active psychologists who are engaged in research across a wide range of psychological subdisciplines. The Centre has two overarching research streams: Health and Behaviour Change and Applied Perception and Cognition.

The Centre provides training for PhD students, Research Masters degrees, as well as Professional Doctorates in Clinical and Health Psychology (click here for more details). The Centre also provides bespoke training to private and public organisations, as well as expertise for consultancy research opportunities. For more details about the Centre, its research activities, events and consultancy, please visit our website (click here).