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Sociology Research

 

Dr Jess Miller is Principal Investigator the award-winning Trauma Resilience in UK Policing project, bringing 20 years of research experience, including work in critical incident support and preventing violent extremism. Jess now translates the latest neuropsychology into the reality of operational police trauma resilience training and surveys police wellbeing across the UK.

After a gentle introduction to criminology as an undergraduate, Jess went on to become Director of Studies at the University of Cambridge for the Faculty of Social and Political Science at Lucy Cavendish College in 2003 and tutored undergraduate psychology for a further 3 years. In 2004, she left academia for more ‘hands-on’ work in civil protection, during which time Jess joined the management team of Cambridgeshire Police’s Critical Incident Personal Support Team, training volunteers to support victims and their families through mass and critical incidents.

After a stint working in Preventing Violent Extremism in 2008, Jess relocated her research South and designed a 150-participant strong neuropsychological study to investigate the role of DNA in trauma processing. The research has been published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2014, Police Professional November 2016, the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and the Journal of Clinical Medicine in 2017. Jess is now delighted to be Research Associate and Principle Investigator at the University of Cambridge (working alongside Dr Brendan Burchell) and is Director of Research at Police Care UK. Her work includes producing trauma processing and resilience interventions and leading UK’s largest police wellbeing survey (and the first to quantify prevalence of PTSD and CPTSD in UK Police). The collaborative research was covered exclusively by the BBC in January and May 2019.

Sponsored by Police Care UK, Jess trains operational police across the UK in Trauma Impact Processing Techniques (TIPT), offering bespoke modular courses for high-risk roles such as, Counter Terrorism and atypical digital and auditory trauma exposure (for example Child Sexual Exploitation and Call Handling). Jess also advises nationally on trauma resilience, working with the Mindfulness Initiative (emanating from the Westminster All Party Parliamentary Working Group for Mindfulness in Defence& Policing), the Police Federation of England & Wales (PFEW) and the College of Policing and supports the work of the Royal Foundation on wellbeing in emergency response. The project won the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Impact and Engagement in 2019 and is a REF2021 Case Study.

Research Interests

Dr Jess Miller specialises in police-related trauma and working conditions. She applies concepts from the neuropsychology of trauma processing and self-directed neuroplasticity to the interventions, management and assessment of work-related trauma exposure in operational policing. Jess is interested in how individuals can learn resilience techniques within a work setting, and how the policing culture, stigma and resources in the current political climate may influence trauma management.

Jess works alongside Dr Brendan Burchell to deliver results of the first UK police trauma and working conditions assessment and with Police Care UK to deliver trauma processing and resilience techniques to address the issues the survey reveals.
She also delivers bespoke trauma resilience training in risk-assessing roles which involve atypical psychological hazards such as Counter Terrorism, Child Sexual Exploitation, forensic imaging, call handling and firearms and provides guidance and materials on specific areas of trauma through Police Care UK.

The team is grateful to work in collaboration with Prof Chris Brewin (UCL) and with the guidance and steer of the Police Federation of England and Wales, The College of Policing, the National Police Wellbeing Strategy team and the acting Chief Medical Officer for the UK. Through Police Care UK, the research team have established a network of over 1000 officers and staff in the UK actively engaged in training in trauma resilience, sharing their experiences, time and resolve to help meet the challenges of contemporary policing. Jess also feeds into a Westminster APPG and the research work of The Royal Foundation.

Teaching

Undergraduate Psychology (Faculty of Social and Political Science, 2002-4)
Qualitative methods and thesis supervision (Faculty of Social and Political Science, 2002-4)
Director of Studies for Social and Political Science (Lucy Cavendish College, 2002/3)

 

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Brewin, C.B., Miller, J.K., Soffia, M., Burchell, B. (2020 in press). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in U.K. Police Officers. Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Miller, J. et al. (2017) The Impact of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Gene on Trauma and Spatial Processing. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 6(12), 108. 

Miller et al. (2017). Impairment in active navigation from trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, 140, 114-123.

Miller, J. K., & Wiener, J. M. (2014). PTSD recovery, spatial processing, and the val66met polymorphism. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 100.

Key Publications - Other

Miller, J.K. Navigating Trauma: How PTSD Affects Spatial Processing. (2016). Police Professional. Issue 532.

Miller, Jessica K. (2005). Book Review: Organizational Behaviour and Work: A Critical Introduction, Work Employment Society 19: 195 2nd ed.

Miller, J.K. (2004): Fat Profits, Thin Ideals. Consumer Policy Review (Which)

Miller, J.K. (2003) The Troubled Body: Child Obesity. Memo to Select Committee Westminster Forum on Diet and Obesity. www.westminsterforumprojects.co.uk/dietandhealthforum/publications.aspx

Miller, J.K. (2003). Older Workers and the Pension Crisis. Management Today, Professional Manager (Chartered Management Institute).

Grants and Projects

Miller, J. (PI) Funding for trauma resilience research (2019- 2022). Police Care UK (formerly Police Dependants’ Trust): £397,404.

Miller, J. (PI) Funding for trauma resilience research (2017- 2019), University of Cambridge: £111,225.

Bournemouth University Vice Chancellor’s Fee Waiver (2012)

Santander Travel Grants (2012- 2014) £5000

Miller, J. (PI) Research grant for PTSD, DNA & Spatial Processing. Army of Angels (2012-2013): £14,000

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations

Awards

National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) award of portfolio study status for “PTSD, DNA & Spatial Processing” (2012) attracting £150 000 investment for Dorset HealthCare University Foundation Trust.

Vice Chancellor Early Career Award for Research Impact and Engagement 2019 [link]

REF2021 Case Study

 

Job Title:
Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Contact Information: