Edinburgh Research Explorer

Vilas Sawrikar

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes


I am a Lecturer of Clinical Psychology in the School of Health and Social Sciences and a registered Clinical Psychologist. I completed my postgraduate studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia, where I completed a combined Masters/Phd in in Clincial Psychology, with specialisation in clinical child psychology. My postgraduate research was interested in optimising outcomes in the treatment of child externalising problems. Clinical psychology is a career change for me. I have also previously worked as a Health Economist implementing components of National Health Reform, including optimisation of hospital funding systems and resource allocation into practice. I aim to combine both professional skills within translational research frameworks focusing on effective intervention of early onset mental health problems and preventing illness progression to lifetime disorders.

Current Research Interests

My area of interest is treatment and prevention research in child and youth mental health informed by clinical research, prevention science, and health service research. The main thrust of the work is translating research into evidence-based interventions and service delivery systems to ensure the primary aims of psychological interventions are achieved, as well as preventing early-onset mental health problems from progressing to lifetime mental disorders. I am particularly interested in these aspects of research in the development and translation of psychotherapy interventions for disruptive mood problems (anger, irritability, aggression, and depression) given their ubiquitous appearance in lifetime trajectories of poor mental health. Notably, I am also interested in research examining service delivery and quality of mental health care given that the effectiveness of any treatment or preventative intervention will only be as good as the service/system that delilvers them. My clinical specialisation is in interventions for externalising/disruptive behaviour problems. 

Key issues addressed within themes include:

Clinical research: The aim is to determine how best to design treatments in ways that are sensitive to, and capitilise on, individual differences in developmental pathways to mental illness and responses to psychological interventions. I explore novel approaches to optimising treatment outcomes through theory-driven developments in precision-based psychotherapy practice and treatment formats; particularly in the treatment of externalising and affective disorders. 

Prevention science: The work focuses on reducing the occurrence of lifetime mental disorders, through addressing wider determinants of mental health (e.g., individual, social and economic, environment). Areas of interest include optimal health service delivery, preventive interventions in mental health care, as well as system-, economic- and individual-level factors associated with inequality in mental health and mental health care for children and young people.

Health service research: With a focus on optimal service delivery, I examine the management of limited public health resources to deliver evidence-based interventions efficiently while being effective and accessible. The work also focuses on service delivery factors associated with inequality in mental health care

Current research projects:

  • Transdiagnostic and dimensional conceptualisation of child and adolescent mental health.
  • Precision behavioural science examining methods of personalising psychological interventions for children and young people.
  • Data driven approaches to health and service innovation.
  • Life course study of longitudinal processes linking early-onset mental health problems to adult mental health

A topic map of current translational research areas can be found on pure research explorer (https://www.pure.ed.ac.uk) under 'projects'.

Collaborative Activity

Data Analytics for the Psychological Sciences Consulting: I am professionally trained in applied statistics (Ms Applied Statistics) and have extensive experience in data management. I would like to expand my work in these areas by colloborating on projects that might require data management and advanced statistical techniques.

Data management resources: data collection, transformation processes, and linking datasets

Statistical analysis: Multivariate statistics, regression, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory facor analysis, structural equation modelling, measurement invariance, mediation and moderation analysis 

Software: SPSS, SAS, Mplus, Access, Excel

contact details: vilas.sawrikar@ed.ac.uk


ID: 115233931