Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applicants interested in exploring one or more of the following topics: intergroup conflicts and collective trauma; political resistance in non-democratic contexts; justice processes in post-conflict societies.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research lies at the intersection of social, political, and peace psychology. It broadly focuses on the psychological processes of intergroup conflicts and their resolution, group-based violence, national and ethnic identity, transitional justice, as well as civil resistance and social change.

In collaboration with colleagues from different parts of the world, I am currently investigating the long-term impact of historical collective trauma on contemporary conflicts from both victim and perpetrator perspectives. In another cross-national project, I am conducting qualitative and quantitative studies to understand political resistance in repressive contexts.

I have a particular interest in contextualizing psychological research and extending it to underrepresented regions and marginalized groups. My research draws on theories from various disciplines, such as political science, international relations, and health psychology. It utilizes multiple methods, including surveys, experiments, field experiments, archival analyses, and interviews.


Prior to joining Queen’s in July 2022, I was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn, Germany. I obtained my PhD in 2017 from the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a joint BA degree in Psychology and Human Rights in 2012 from Bard College.

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 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where Mengyao Li 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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