Senior Research Associate
Dr Eolene Boyd-MacMillan is Senior Research Associate and Co-Director of IC Research, Cambridge 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 and reduce destructive social polarisation and inequalities.
I use participatory, collaborative and community-based research methods to develop and test contextually informed and culturally sensitive research programmes to promote resilience and wellbeing using the general cognitive processing model of IC or ‘integrative complexity’ (Suedfeld, 2010). IC research focuses on the ‘how’ of thinking and behaviours rather than on the ‘what’ or beliefs. It features investigator and participant self-reflexive and debrief protocols to promote mental wellbeing for all involved in the research process.
IC focuses on the developmental progression of differentiation and integration that underlies all social and emotional competencies. My work focuses on targeting these processes when individuals/ groups engage with social differences and disagreements and testing for increased toleration and cooperation using the cross-culturally validated IC empirical measurement frame with predictive values, along with resilience and other validated measures.
This work has led to founding the IC-ADAPT Consortium together with medical faculty from Sweden (Valerie DeMarinis, Maria Nordendahl), Australia (Derrick Silove), and Malaysia (Alvin Tay). Integrating two evidence-based models (for ADAPT see Silove, 2013), IC-ADAPT bridges individuals/ family groups and structures/ systems through a community focus. IC-ADAPT-SEL is an adaptation designed 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; UNICEF-Cambridge-Microsoft partnership, The Learning Passport, Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment ).
Other projects include:
- PI for Cambridge on the EU Horizon 2020 project DRIVE exploring in four countries the role of social exclusion through spatial formation, identity politics and intergenerational change contributing to reciprocal, destructive social polarisations that can lead to violent extremisms;
- a lead expert on the EU Efus-BRIDGE project seeking to address destructive social polarisation across 13 municipalities in 7 countries, working among migrants and host country populations (extended into 2021 due to the pandemic);
- Supervisor of a new IC intervention for young people and those working with them in Sweden and pilot study team member testing for effects across diverse groups.
Member of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement.
Past work includes directing the IC research programmes, ‘I SEE! Scotland’, funded by the Scottish Government (2012-2017; IC intervention in Scotland) and ‘Conflict Transformation’, funded by Ripon College Cuddesdon, University of Oxford (2012-2018).
Invited speaker and contributor at events includes those organised by the Denmark Learning Festival; EU e-Twinning; EU RAN (Radicalisation Awareness Network); The Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; UK Association of Educational Psychologists; EU-Efus (European Forum for Urban Security); Dfid; The Scottish Government; Amport House, The Defence Academy; CORE Solutions Multi-Party Dialogue on Climate Change; Africa in Motion Film Festival.
My 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 that I co-founded). Listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and awarded a Presidential Commendation for contributions to public-private partnerships, corporate social responsibility, charitable contributions. While beginning my post-doctoral IC research at Cambridge, I 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 I supervised effectiveness research. For the 2019 Cambridge Science Festival, I organised the discussion panel, Thinking the healthy way: Does thinking style relate to mental wellness with Prof Valerie DeMarinis, Prof Siobhan O’Neill, Dr Feriha Peracha and Dr Russell Razzaque, which headlined the University press release.
- 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.