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Dr Liz Gulliford is Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Northampton.

Liz’s PhD (Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, 2011) established a firm, critical foundation for theoretical and practical work in positive psychology upon which she has progressively built an international reputation.


Since completing her doctorate, she has carried out extensive conceptual and empirical work in positive psychology. She has a long-standing interest in research on character strengths and virtues, including gratitude, forgiveness, compassion and hope, and her conceptual and empirical work has been published in a range of journals in psychology, education and philosophy.


Liz has given numerous invited presentations internationally to both academic and lay audiences. She strives to the highest standards of excellence in her work and is passionate about communicating and applying positive psychological research to help people flourish as individuals and as members of society. To that end, she has recently published four children’s books on forgiveness, gratitude, courage and hope.


Liz is a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Research Interests

  • Positive psychology
  • Positive education
  • Gratitude
  • Forgiveness
  • Hope
  • Optimism
  • Courage
  • Compassion
  • Moral development
  • Human strengths and virtues
  • Psychology of Religion


Liz has been successful in obtaining the following research grants:

  • Co-PI multi-site project ‘Exemplar Interventions to Develop Character’ ($1.38million in total, $206, 147 to UoN) John Templeton Foundation, 1st August 2019 – July 31st, 2022.
  • Oxford Character Project, 'Virtues & Vocations Project' , Psychology Advisor (£22, 848.27 in total), 1st August 2020 – July 31st, 2023)
  • Society for Educational Studies Small Research Grant (£10,000, awarded May 2014).

 Liz has also benefitted from smaller grants to attend and organise conferences in Germany and Australia.


Scott Bradley

Lorna Freestone

Carey Allen

Teaching Interests

Liz was appointed to the position of Senior Lecturer, Positive Psychology at UoN in September 2018. She was awarded the title Associate Professor in 2020. She coordinates two undergraduate modules in the Psychology subject area:

PSY1011 Positive Psychology

PSY3055 Applying Positive Psychology

Since arriving at UoN Liz has also taught across range of undergraduate modules:

PSY1012 (Psychology for Life)

PSY2006 (The Human Animal)

PSY2007 (the Psychology of Wellbeing)

PSY2013 (Developmental Psychology)

PSY2014 (Personality Psychology)

PSY2015 (Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology)

PSY2025 (The Psychology of Learning and Teaching in Educational Settings)

PSY3027 (Psychology of Spirituality, Religion and Wellbeing)

Psychology dissertations at Level 6 and  Level 7 (Masters)

External Roles

  • External examiner Educational Psychology Doctorate Programme, Newcastle University
  • External examiner Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • External examiner Department of Life Sciences and Department of Psychology, University of Roehampton, London.

Editorial roles:  Liz is on the editorial board of

Journal of Moral Education

Journal of Positive Psychology

Peer reviewer

  • Journal of Positive Psychology
  • Human Development
  • Journal of Moral Education
  • Theory and Research in Education
  • Educational Psychology Review
  • Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research
  • The Counseling Psychologist
  • Journal of Public Mental Health
  • Journal of Value Inquiry

Expert Reviewer for John Templeton Foundation. The role involves evaluating proposals submitted to the JTF in terms of personnel, proposed budget and research impact. Over the past eight years, I have been invited to assess proposals focusing on positive psychology, gratitude, wellbeing, happiness, forgiveness, and moral development.

From September 2020 Liz has been Senior Psychology Advisor to the Oxford Character Project’s ‘Virtues and Vocations Project', University of Oxford.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 23 Oct 2011

Bachelor, Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University

Award Date: 26 Jul 2003

MPhil, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 4 Mar 2000

Bachelor, University of Oxford

Award Date: 19 Jul 1998


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