Coventry University | Dr. Emma Vardy

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Research Associate

My Research Vision

Broadly my research interests focus on exploring the factors that impact on educational achievement and by doing so devise and robustly evaluate strategies that schools can use. Having always had a love of books, underpins my interest in children’s literacy development. Literacy skills are essential, thus it is important to understand children’s attitudes and motivations towards reading to help unlock their potential. My current research is concerned with devising a measure of children’s reading motivation and evaluating interventions that aim to improve reading for pleasure in both primary and secondary school. I am also interested in innovative evaluation methodologies which includes process evaluation. The aim of my research is to conduct robust evaluations and share evidence-based approaches to schools to improve students’ educational experiences.


Emma Vardy received her BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Sociology from Coventry University in 2008 and her PhD from the University of Worcester in 2014. Emma is also a qualified Prince2 practitioner. She has worked as a Research Assistant and Hourly Paid Lecturer at Coventry University and a Widening Participation Researcher at the University of Hertfordshire before joining the Research Centre in 2013 as a Research Associate. She is a Chartered Psychologist and the Chair of the British Psychological Society West Midlands Branch. Her research interests are in the area of psychology of education with a specific interest in children’s literacy. 

Selected Outputs


  • Evidence-based education workshops. To devise a suite of twilight evidence-informed practice sessions for teachers to attend.
  • Evaluation of Chatterbooks. An evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of Chatterbooks in a primary school setting.
  • Evaluating the Impact of Extra Curricular Reading Group Approaches to Improving Reding for Pleasure in Year 7 pupils. An 18 month project evaluating and extending the Reading Agency's Chatterbooks reading groups as a mechanism for raising reading achievement in underachieving secondary school pupils.
Research breakout image

Research Associate

Building: James Starley
Room: JSG15