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Dr Olivia Maynard

Dr Olivia Maynard

Dr Olivia Maynard
BSc, PhD

ESRC Fellow

Office 5D4
The Priory Road Complex,
Priory Road, Clifton BS8 1TU
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+44 (0) 117 928 9943


My interests are in healthy behaviour change and choice architecture interventions, 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 choice architecture interventions 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



  • Lecturer, University of Bristol (to start 2018)
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Tasmania (2017-present)
  • ESRC Fellow, University of Bristol (2017-present)
  • 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).
  • 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). 
  • Maynard, O.M., Munafò, M.R. Know Your Limits: Labelling Interventions to Reduce Alcohol Consumption. Alcohol Research UK Small Grant (2016-2017). 
  • Maynard, O.M., Munafò, M.R. Using cognitive neuroscience to improve the effectiveness of tobacco health warnings. Cancer Research UK Tobacco Advisory Group Project Award (2015-2017). 
  • Taylor, A.E., Maynard, O.M., Ware, J.J., Munafo M.R. Patterns and predictors of e-cigarette use amongst young people in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Cancer Research UK Tobacco Advisory Group (2015-2017). 

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 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)



School of Experimental Psychology

Experimental Psychology staff

Research themes

Research groups

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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