FCRG members win at the CoSS Showcase Awards!

We are happy to share the excellent news that 2 members of the FCRG won at this year’s College of Social Science (CoSS) Showcase Award.


Dr Hannah Merdian¬†won¬†‘Most significant local and/or national impact’¬†for her work on¬†Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSEM), including their beliefs, sexual interests, and pathways to offending.¬†

Dr Lauren Smith 
won the¬†ECR Award, and was also part of the winning¬†Prison Governors Wellbeing Project¬†who won¬†‘Most novel public engagement or dissemination’

Congratulations to both!!

Hannah’s work gains real-world impact!


The British Board of Film Classification has published their work on non-photographic images of child sexual abuse, which includes a commissioned report by FCRG member Dr Hannah Merdian and the onlinePROTECT team.

The work has been endorsed by the Internet Watch Foundation, Barnardo’s, Childnet, and NSPCC. 

You can read about the details of report here

Ross joins Montreal researchers on funded sexual fantasy project

In March, Ross Bartels was invited to collaborate on a funded project entitled “Can you tell me more?¬†The development of a Virtual Conversational Agent (VCA) for assessing and monitoring sexual interests and fantasies of sex offenders‘).

Ross joins PI (Prof Jean-Pierre Guay) from the University of Montreal (and others) on the project, which received funding ($249,488) from the Government of Canada (under the ‘New Frontiers in Research Fund’).

Amanda Roberts awarded the Psyche Award!


In Feb 2022, Amanda Roberts (and colleagues) were awarded the Psyche Award for Most Valuable Paper on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy.

They will receive a shiny certificate and feature in the spring edition of the journal.

The winning paper was:

Roberts, A., Rogers, J., Mason, R., Siriwardena, A.N., Hogue, T., Whitely, G., & Law, G. (2021). Alcohol and other substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 229 (Part A). p. 109150. ISSN 0376-8716.

Amanda nominated as Co-Chair at the GREO

Amanda has also been nominated as Co-Chair at the GREO (Gambling Research Exchange Ontario) Academic Forum for the Study of Gambling (AFSG) alongside Jim Rogers in the School of Health and Social Care.

The forum provides a coordinated voice of independent researchers in the UK to advance the research needed to effectively prevent, reduce, and address gambling harm.

Hannah Merdian submits recommendations for European Council

The European Council of Ministers have passed recommendations brought to the European Council regarding the assessment, management and reintegration of persons accused or convicted of a sexual offence; see here. 

The submission was coordinated by Prof Kieran McCartan (UWE) with a consortium of international stakeholders.

Hannah Merdian led the submission on behalf of the ‚ÄúInternational Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders‚ÄĚ (IATSO).