Dr Jane Blackwell

Dr Jane Blackwell


I am a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds and I currently work for The Child Oriented Mental health Intervention Centre (COMIC) in York (https://www.comic.org.uk/). I coordinate The White Rose Child & Adolescent Sleep Research Network which is a multidisciplinary group of academics (at the University of Leeds, Sheffield and York), clinicians, charities and individuals with lived experience of sleep issues, aiming to explore methods for promoting healthy sleep. I also coordinate an NIHR HTA funded RCT called the Autism Spectrum Social Stories™ In Schools Trial-2.

My doctoral and postdoctoral research at the University of Leeds investigated the relationship between sleep, physical activity, cognition, and well-being in children with narcolepsy. Between January 2018-December 2018, I was funded by a Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) Early Career Researcher Fellowship. During this time I ran a research programme I designed called ‘The Paediatric Narcolepsy Project’. This longitudinal case-control study aimed to investigate the relationship between sleep, physical activity, cognitive function and psychosocial well-being in paediatric narcolepsy.

I gained my first-class honours degree in Psychology at The University of Sheffield in 2013. Throughout my degree, I gained experience in a variety of psychology lead services, working with a wide range of clinical populations, namely; Traumatic Brain Injury, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Personality Disorder, Dementia, Depression and Anxiety. I also gained commercial experience by completing work experience at Cambridge Cognition Ltd., an applied psychology company which provides computerised cognitive tests (CANTAB) for use in diagnosing and monitoring conditions that affect mental health.

I gained my Master of Science Degree in Development, Disorders and Clinical Practice at The University of York in 2014 (Passed with Distinction), before being awarded a University of Leeds 110 Anniversary Scholarship to complete my doctorate in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology at The University of Leeds (2014-2018).

I have received funding to support my research from Child Brain Research, Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder, Ireland, Narcolepsy UK, the Max Hamilton fund at The University of Leeds, The Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG) and The British Psychological Society. I am affiliated with the SleepResearch@Leeds group at the University of Leeds.

To get in touch please contact me via email: Jane.Blackwell2@nhs.net 

Research interests

I am particularly interested in the effects of disturbed sleep on daytime functioning, social relationships and psychological well-being. Ultimately, I am interested in the development and application of interventions to improve quality of life for sufferers of narcolepsy and other sleep disorders.


  • PhD Psychology
  • MSc Development, Disorders and Clinical Practice
  • BSc Psychology

Professional memberships

  • The British Sleep Society
  • The British Paediatric Sleep Association
  • The European Sleep Research Society
  • The International Paediatric Sleep Association
  • The European Society of Sleep Technologists