Senior Research Associate
Dr Eolene Boyd-MacMillan is Senior Research Associate and Co-Director of IC Research, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge. She is a social psychologist working within the framework of public mental health promotion to develop and test community-based interventions that increase self-regulation, resilience and social cohesion among young people and adults.
Eolene works at the intersection of theory, research, practice, and policy to promote public mental health through multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral international collaborations. Using participatory, collaborative and community-based research methods, she develops and tests contextually informed and culturally sensitive research programmes designed to increase self-regulation, resilience and social cohesion among young people and adults in applied settings (including schools and community centres).
Eolene’s research operationalises the theory of integrative complexity or ‘IC’ (Suedfeld, 2010). IC refers to a general cognitive processing model that examines how individuals and groups respond to difference and disagreement and features a cross-culturally validated empirical measure with predictive values. IC intervention science investigates whole-person (cognitive, social, emotional, and somatic) processes and group processes within an ecosocial framework, with mandatory investigator and participant self-reflexive and debrief protocols to promote mental health throughout the research process. IC research focuses on how we think and our behaviours and values, rather than on what we think or our beliefs.
Eolene is a founding member of the IC-ADAPT Consortium together with medical faculty from Sweden (Valerie DeMarinis, Maria Nordendahl), Australia (Derrick Silove), and Malaysia (Alvin Tay). An evidence-based model, IC-ADAPT was adapted to provide social and emotional learning (SEL) programmatic support within a MHPSS framework in educational settings for refugees, migrants, displaced and other vulnerable learners in challenging contexts (Boyd-MacMillan and DeMarinis, 2020). Eolene was the lead (with Valerie DeMarinis) on this contribution to the UNICEF-Cambridge-Microsoft partnership, The Learning Passport, led by Cambridge University Press with Cambridge Assessment.
Eolene is the supervisor of the new IC intervention, IC Sverige (Sweden), designed to promote self-regulation and resilience among youth and young adult populations in non-clinical contexts, and a member of the research team on this intervention’s pilot study in Sweden. She is an expert on the EU Efus project BRIDGE to promote social cohesion in 13 municipalities across 7 countries in Europe.
Eolene’s education includes a BA in History and English Literature from UCLA (Chancellor’s Marshall), Psychology PGC with distinction from the University of Hong Kong (class rank 1, bestowing BPS membership), and PhD from the University of Cambridge (awarded CRASSH funding to support an inter-disciplinary group she co-founded). She was listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and awarded a Presidential Commendation for contributions to private sector initiatives (public-private partnerships, corporate responsibility, voluntarism and charitable giving). While beginning her post-doctoral IC research at Cambridge, she taught in the School of Health in Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and ran a children and young people’s counselling service where she supervised effectiveness research. For the 2019 Cambridge Science Festival, she organised the discussion panel, Thinking the healthy way: Does thinking style relate to mental wellness with Professors Valerie DeMarinis, Siobhan O’Neill, and Drs Feriha Peracha and Russell Razzaque, which headlined the University press release.
Eolene is a member of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement.
IC intervention in Scotland
- Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2020). ‘Recognising social and emotional learning in the curriculum’ in W. Millard and J. McIntosh (Eds) Social and emotional learning and the new normal: A summary of the Centre for Education and Youth and STiR Education Roundtable, with accompanying think pieces. London: CFEY and STiR Education, p.17.
- Boyd-MacMillan, E. and DeMarinis, V. (2020). Learning Passport: Curriculum Framework (IC-ADAPT SEL high level programme design). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press & Cambridge Assessment.
- Cambridge University Press & Cambridge Assessment. (2020). ‘Section Four, Mental health, psychosocial support and social and emotional learning’ in The Learning Passport: Research and Recommendations Report. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press & Cambridge Assessment. (Section Four authored by Boyd-MacMillan, E. and DeMarinis, V.)
- Boyd-MacMillan, E., Chapman, T., Jofre Bosch, A., Konradi, M., Nordbruch, G., Pausch, M., Petit, É. (2019). Assessing polarisation at the local level – methodology and toolbox for local polarisation audits working paper, Efus BRIDGE Progject. Efus: Paris, France.
- De Marinis, V. & Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2019). A mental health approach to understanding violent extremism. RAN H&SC ex post paper, 3 June 2019.
- De Marinis, V, Nordendahl, M, Arnetz, B, Arnetz, J, Sandlund, M, Näslund, U, Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2018). Research Plan Report for the Pilot Study on Integrative Complexity (IC) Thinking in Sweden: a health promotion course/intervention for countering extremism for youth and young adults. Umeå University, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Umeå: Regional Ethics Committee 2018-report number 463-31.
- Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2017). The vicious cycle of extremisms and polarisations (keynote). Published proceedings: Local Institutions against violent extremism II (LIASE 2): The rise of polarisation and radicalisation in Europe: Tackling all forms of violent extremism at the local level. European Forum for Urban Security 19th May 2017, Rimini, Italy.
- Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2017). IC Thinkers are prepared for Digital Citizenship. Keynote address delivered March, 2017. Denmark Learning Festival, Copenhagen. Published proceedings.
- Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2016). IC Thinking: Critical thinking and media literacy. Keynote address delivered April, 2016, The Hague. Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, The Netherlands. Published proceedings.
- Boyd-MacMillan, E., Campbell, C., & Furey, A. (2016). An IC intervention for post-conflict Northern Ireland secondary schools. Journal of Strategic Security, 9(4), 111-124.
- Boyd-MacMillan, E., Andrews Fearon, P., Ptolomey, A., & Mathieson, L. (2016). I SEE! Scotland: Tackling sectarianism and promoting community psychosocial health. Journal of Strategic Security, 9(4), 53-78.
- Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2016). Increasing cognitive complexity and collaboration across communities: Being Muslim Being Scottish. Journal of Strategic Security, 9(4), 79 -110.
- Andrews Fearon, P. & Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2016). Complexity under stress: Integrative approaches to overdetermined vulnerabilities. Journal of Strategic Security, 9(4), 11-31.
- Savage, S. & Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2010). Conflict in Relationships: Understand it, Overcome it, London: Lion Hudson, Plc.
- Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2009). ‘Vision in the Eye of the Beholder: Translation or Transformation?’ N. van Deusen (Ed.) Dreams and Visions, The Netherlands: Brill Publications.
- Boyd-MacMillan, E., Savage, S., & Liht, J. (2008). Transforming Conflict: Conflict Transformation Amongst Senior Church Leaders with Different Theological Stances, York: FCL Press.