Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Rachael Davis is a Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education in the Psychology, Sociology and Education Division. 

Rachael Davis is a researcher and lecturer in Psychology and Education. She obtained her degrees from Birkbeck, University of London and UCL. She has previously lectured at Birkbeck, University of London, University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.

Central to all of her research activities is a commitment to involving the communities that she works with in the research process; ensuring that her research has a strong participatory ethos and is of direct and practical relevance. Rachael is a strong advocate of public engagement and community outreach; ensuring that research is accessible to the public, to policy makers and practitioners, and – importantly – to stakeholders.


  • Honorary Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • Member of the Scotland Cross Party Working Group on Autism
  • Committee member for the Scottish government /Inspiring Scotland Different Minds campaign
  • Member of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR).
  • Chartered member of the BPS (Developmental Psychology)

Rachael’s research is grounded in developmental psychology, and she works primarily with the autistic community and children with developmental conditions. Her research has two key strands; the first uses longitudinal methods to understand early cognitive development, and later effects on developmental outcomes. The second focuses on eliciting children’s voices to inform best practice in educational and clinical settings. In both areas she implements novel methodologies to include children who are frequently excluded from research.


 Autism and development

  • Social and communicative development
  • Social and cultural identity and wellbeing
  • Bilingualism
  • School and community inclusion
  • Prematurity and developmental outcomes
  • Cerebral lateralisation


Experimental research

  • Eyetracking
  • EEG
  • Interview -based research (qualitative)
  • Large-scale survey research
  • Longitudinal methods to understand developmental processes

Rachael Davis' Orcid researcher profile

Research Centre/s name: Centre for Applied Social Sciences.

Rachael Davis' research publications and outputs (QMU eResearch profile)

  • Childhood development
  • Inclusive practice/ Inclusive Learning: Difference and Diversity
  • Foundations of Psychology
  • Introduction to Education in the 21st Century

Module coordinator for:

  • X1036 Learning across the Lifespan
  • X4078 Professional enquiry into practice (dissertation module)

2020: Understanding the impact of bilingualism for autistic children, Firah (€49,950). Awarded to Rachael Davis, Sue Fletcher-Watson, Antonella Sorace.

Role: Principal Investigator

2020: Autism and bilingualism, University of Edinburgh Public Engagement Seed (£1500). Awarded to Rachael Davis and Bérengère Digard.

Role: Co-Principal Investigator.

2017: Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories Summer School Award (£2600).

2017: Creating computational models of interventions to understand variability in autism. Birkbeck Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (£15,550). Awarded to Rachael Davis and Michael Thomas.
Role: Principal Investigator.

2017: Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Programme – Won support to run one-day conference “Interdisciplinary approaches to Developmental Disorders” (£1800). Awarded to Rachael Davis and Michael Thomas.