skip to content

Sociology Research

 

Dr Jess Miller leads the 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 Fellow at the University of Cambridge (working with Dr Brendan Burchell and Dr Magdalena Soffia) and is Director of Research at Police Care UK. Her work includes designing trauma processing and resilience interventions and running the 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 in 2019 in January and in May by the BBC. Jess also works directly with new recruits training in trauma processing and in high-risk areas such as armed response, Counter Terrorism, Child Sexual Exploitation and Call Handling. She currently runs projects with GMP, The Met, Devon & Cornwall, Dorset and the NCA. New publications are in press with the Policing Journal, with more to come in clinical psychology and sociology throughout 2019.

 

Research Interests

Dr Jess Miller specialises in police-related trauma and working conditions. She applies concepts from the neuropsychology of trauma processing 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.

Funded by the charity Police Care UK and supporting several forces and policing networks across the UK, Jess works alongside Dr Brendan Burchell and Dr Magdalena Soffia to deliver results of the first known UK wide trauma and working conditions assessment in policing and to trial trauma processing and resilience techniques to address the issues the survey reveals.
Jess is also interested in risk-assessing roles which involve atypical psychological hazards such as 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- along with over 300 officers and staff across the country sharing their experiences, time and resolve to help meet the challenges of contemporary policing. Jess also feeds into two Westminster working groups on police wellbeing and on mindfulness 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

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

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

Bournemouth University Vice Chancellor’s Fee Waiver (2012)

Santander Travel Grants (2012- 2014) £5000

Army of Angels research grant for PTSD, DNA & Spatial Processing (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.

 

Job Title:
Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Contact Information: