Alumnae see remarkable success in the psychology field following their book release

Victoria Clarke and Virginia Braun L-R

Dr Victoria Clarke and Professor Virginia Braun L-R

Professor Virginia Braun (Social Sciences PhD, 2001) and Dr Victoria Clarke (Social Sciences PhD, 2002) have been recognised as winners of the 2022 British Psychological Society (BPS) Book Award.

The pair were awarded in the textbook category for Thematic Analysis: A Practical Guide. The textbook provides a definitive guide to the thematic analysis method they have developed, which is one of the most widely used qualitative methods in psychology and the social and health sciences. The book has been praised by readers as accessible, engaging, and even funwith some taking to Twitter to share things that have made them laugh or helped them get a handle on qualitative research. 

The alumnae are both psychology academics, Victoria at the University of West England, and Virginia at the University of Auckland. Prior to the success of their 2022 release, the duo collaborated on various other projects including numerous widely read papers on thematic analysis – including one named as the second most read article published by The American Psychological Association in 2022 

Virginia and Victoria’s success dates to their first collaboration in 2006, with their original paper on thematic analysis reaching over 150,000 citations on Google Scholar - and it was the most cited academic paper that year.  

They credit the training they received as PhD students at Loughborough University as integral to their work on thematic analysis and qualitative methods. In an interview with The Psychologistthey described being literally surrounded by titans of critical psychology who were defining that area. They cared so much about methodology, about the doing of research, and transmitted that passion to all of us.” 

In addition to their collective achievements, both alumnae have been acknowledged individually for their outstanding contributions to science 

Victoria, whose research focuses on gender and sexuality in addition to her work on qualitative methodology, was confirmed as the winner of the 2022 BPS Presidents’ Award. The award, presented by the British Psychological Societyrecognises the achievement of an individual engaged in psychological research of the highest standard.  

Virginia focuses her research on critical, feminist and health psychologies as well as her qualitative methodology scholarship. She was awarded the NZ Association of Scientists Marsden Medal for 2021. The alumna was awarded in recognition of her global impact on the development of qualitative empirical methods and the generosity of spirit she expresses through this work. The Association has commended Virginia’s efforts to present thematic analysis in a rigorous yet clear approach which now characterises the field.  

The alumnae each have over 200,000 academic citations and are most cited at their institutions.