Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am particularly interested in supervising PhD projects that use core principles of developmental and cognitive psychology to understand classroom learning and equip practitioners with research-based insights. Research areas include but are not limited to: the nature of mind wandering in children and adolescents, following instructions in applied settings, children's understanding of attentional states, and episodic future thinking.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I graduated from the University of York in 2011 with a degree in Psychology before earning my PhD from the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, the University of Cambridge, in 2016. Between 2016 and 2018 I was a post-doctoral research fellow at Queen's University Belfast and the University of Edinburgh. I was appointed as a Lecturer in Applied Developmental Psychology in 2019.

I have previously published under the name Agnieszka Jaroslawska.

Research Interests

I am interested in how executive functions develop, how they underpin school readiness, and how their development can be best supported. My research has a strong translational perspective that uses core principles of developmental and cognitive psychology to understand classroom learning and equip practitioners with research-based insights. The thread tying together my previous and ongoing programmes of work is a clear focus on cognitive skills which have immense practical relevance for education. As an advocate for open science practices and reproducibility initiatives, I work to improve the transparency of research to inform decision-making within and beyond academia.

I am currently working on a programme of research exploring mind wandering in children, examining its nature, and considering the costs and benefits that mind wandering can bring in the context of educational attainment. This line of enquiry feeds into my interests in new and original approaches to tackling educational underachievement that lead to lasting improvements in children’s lives. I am also interested in how children and adults process information and speculate about events in the past and future. I have studied the impact of temporal information and emotional influences on decision-making, including whether the extent to which individuals focus on the future, or their skills in thinking about the future, affect the quality of their decisions. I am also involved in a project which seeks to explain how children and adults think about counterfactual alternatives to reality, and how consideration of those alternatives is related to their experience of relief.


  • I teach cognitive developmental psychology and supervise final-year projects and MSc dissertations in this area.
  • I am also the module convenor of PSY7107 'Atypical Development in an Educational Context' on the Applied Developmental Psychology (MSc) Course.
  • In my role as an advisor to students working towards a Doctorate in Educational, Child, and Adolescent Psychology (DECAP), I foster the development of strong research skills in the next generation of educational psychologists. 


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
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


  • BF Psychology
  • cognitive development
  • mind wandering
  • delay of gratification
  • future thinking
  • working memory
  • learning


Dive into the research topics where Agnieszka Graham is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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