Browse/search for people

Dr Olivia Maynard

Dr Olivia Maynard

Dr Olivia Maynard
BSc, PhD

Lecturer in Experimental Psychology

Office 5D4
The Priory Road Complex,
Priory Road, Clifton BS8 1TU
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 9943


My interests are in healthy behaviour change with a focus on tobacco and alcohol use. I use a wide range of experimental techniques including eye-tracking, electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and naturalistic field studies. The work conducted during my PhD (completed in 2014) was some of the first to use cognitive neuroscience techniques to examine the effectiveness of plain packaging for tobacco products. I have recently been awarded a New Investigator Award from ESRC to develop this experimental work and examine how positive (efficacy) messages can optimise tobacco health warnings among daily cigarette smokers. 

Public and policy engagement is an important aspect of my work. My research on plain packaging contributed to UK and worldwide policy debates on this issue and I was awarded an ESRC Outstanding Engagement Award for this work. In addition to running public engagement events at festivals and other public events, I regularly blog about research for the Mental Elf site and have also blogged for the Guardian. I am currently working with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) as an Academic Fellow to write a POST-note on the impact of industry on public health policy. 

I can supervise students interested in healthy behaviour change. Primarily, my work focuses on tobacco and alcohol use, but I'm also interested in research on illicit drug use and on strategies to promote physical activity. Here's a list of some current projects I'm working on with students: 

  • Alcohol
  • Examining the effects of choice architecture interventions on drinking behaviour;
  • The effects of alcohol labelling (units, calories and health warnings) on drinking behaviour;
  • The impact of alcohol-free beer on drinking behaviour; 
  • Nicotine and tobacco
  • The role of efficacy messaging for increasing adaptive responses to tobacco health warnings among adolescents and adults;
  • Misinformation surrounding e-cigarettes and other tobacco harm reduction products;
  • Illicit drugs
  • Harm reduction approaches for illicit drug use among students; 
  • The cognitive effects of 'party drugs' among students. 


  • Lecturer, University of Bristol (2018-current)
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Tasmania (2017-2018)
  • ESRC Fellow, University of Bristol (2017-2018)
  • Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol (2014-2017)
  • PhD Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol (2010-2014)

Selected awards and prizes

  • The Academy of Medical Sciences Clinical Research Oral Presentation Prize (2016)
  • University of Bristol PhD Outstanding Thesis Commendation (2015)
  • British Association of Psychopharmacology President's Poster Prize (2015)
  • ESRC Outstanding Early Career Impact Prize (2014)
  • University of Bristol 2014 Engagement Award (2014)
  • The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research Poster Prize (2014)
  • ESRC Research Fellowship Placement Scheme Award (2013)
  • The Troscianko Prize for Outstanding Excellence in Presenting Research (2013)

Current research grants 

  • Maynard, O.M. Smoking kills, but you can quit: Threat and efficacy messaging to prevent tobacco smoking among adults and adolescents. ESRC New Investigators Award (2017-2019).
  • Maynard, O.M. Eye-tracking to evaluate the impact of Colombian tobacco control policies. University of Bristol GCRF Pump Priming Call (fEC). (2018-2019) 
  • Maynard, O.M. Wake up! and Talk it Out: Developing the potential of a small businesses’ mental health and wellbeing Programmes. University of Bristol ESRC IAA – EC Secondments to Industry (2018-2019). 
  • Maynard, O.M. Developing effective tobacco control measures in Colombia. University of Bristol Global Challenges ad hoc support (2017-2019).
  • Moodie, C., Maynard, O.M. Adult smokers’ perceptions of pack inserts with positive messaging about cessation: A naturalistic study. Cancer Research UK Tobacco Advisory Group Project Award (2017-2018). 

Board memberships

  • Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) - Policy Network Co-Chair (2017-present)
  • Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Europe (SRNT-E) - Communications Officer (2014-2017)
  • Federation of European Neuroscience Society Board Member - SRNT-E representative (2014-2017)





I am Unit Director for the following courses: 

  • Drug Use and Addiction, Undergraduate, University of Bristol (2018-2020)
  • Drug Use and Addiction, Postgraduate, University of Bristol (2018-2020)

I have contributed to the following courses: 

  • Big Ideas in Science, Undergraduate, University of Bristol (2014-2017)
  • Psychopharmacology, Postgraduate, University of Bristol (2016-2017)
  • Addictions, Postgraduate, Saymyook University, Seoul, South Korea (2016)
  • Tobacco Control, Postgraduate, UK Centre for Tobacco Control (2013-2015)
  • Neuropsychology, Undergraduate, University of Bristol (2012-2014)
  • Individual Differences, Undergraduate, University of Bristol (2014)


  • Primary PhD supervisor - Vicky Carlisle (2017-present)
  • PhD co-supervisor - Carlos Sillero (2016-present)
  • Third year placement co-supervisor (2012-2017)
  • Third year dissertation co-supervisior (2012-2017)
  • Masters dissertation co-supervisor (2014-2015)

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr Maynard currently teaches 2 courses:

Edit this profile If you are Dr Olivia Maynard, you can edit this page. Login required.

PDF versionDownload PDF