Dr Simon Payne BA(Hons.) Sports Studies (2004), MSc Sport & Exercise Psychology (2005), PhD Sport Psychology (2011), British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Psychologist (2014-)

Lecturer in Psychology

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Department of Psychology

Phone: 01970 628629


Simon is a performance psychologist (British Psychological Society Chartered) working as a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Aberystwyth University. He is passionate about intervention-based research that helps people lead healthy and productive lives. In his early career he has received funding from the local health board (Hywel Dda), Tenovus Cancer Care, UKRI’s ‘Global Challenges Research Fund,’ Economic and Social Research Council, and more. In October 2020 a consortium he is part of will kick-off a four-year €7million Horizon2020 project ("Multi-actor and transdisciplinary development of efficient and resilient MIXED farming and agroforestry systems"); Simon is jointly responsible for the project methodology – its participatory knowledge co-creation and dissemination work package - which will be underpinned by psychological insight (cf. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2019.00062/full).

Simon is in the management group/committee of the funded Aberystwyth Behavioural Insights (ABi) research centre and the UKRI-funded (GCRF) Centre for International Development Research at Aberystwyth. These centres champion applied research, which fits Simon's agenda for evidence-based interventions that seek impact. Indeed, he contributes to the CPD of technical farm officers and farming consultants through local organisations such as Menter a Busnes and Farming Connect, helping them to influence the behaviour of their clients with proven behaviour change techniques. Simon has supervised two MPhil and two PhD students to completion, and currently supervises four postgraduate researchers. These students have explored diverse areas of health promotion and behaviour change, for example, physical activity interventions for pre-diabetic patients, stress and coping of college students in Nigeria, communication training for exercise leaders, communication styles and self-confidence of cancer nurses, and mental health of NHS Wales staff.

Simon previously played university basketball, and currently is a keen off-road mountain cyclist and competes in the national Celtic longboat sea rowing league. He is mentor to the University's Sport Scholars. Simon has worked for large health organisations including the NHS; he has volunteered for, amongst others, Disability Sport Wales and MENCAP; and he gained immense satisfaction supporting people with diverse learning difficulties, mental illnesses, and physical disabilities. Simon teaches university students but he is a STEM Ambassador who has engaged primary, secondary and college students too. Follow him @YEU_Aber.

Come study with us @AberUni (www.aber.ac.uk/en/psychology).


Simon coordinates PS31520 Psychology Critical ReviewBR37020 Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology, and co-cordinates PS20620 Psychology in Practice with Dr Heather Norris.

As an educator, Simon will help you develop a sound understanding of various psychological concepts. However, in your degree and career-planning you: "must meet certain performance standards…there are consequences to poor performance, [and] good coping skills are intrinsic to excellent performance" (Hays & Brown, 2004, p. 19; Hays, 2006). Hence, as a performance psychologist, Simon's aim is to help you develop coping skills and focus so that you can perform excellently in these areas!

Research interests

If you have mutual interest in the areas and applications mentioned above, you are encouraged to contact Simon.