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B.A. (Hons) M.A., First Class, University of Cambridge, 2017
MPhil, Distinction, University of Cambridge, 2018
MicroMaster, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2023
PhD, LEGO Cambridge Trust, University of Cambridge, 2023
Hello! I am Vicky or you can call me Yīrán (it means happiness at peace in Chinese). I am an applied scientist specialised in developmental psychology, big data in education and international development. I have extensive research, teaching and industry experiences working for the University of Cambridge, New York University, RTI International, and world-leading digital simulation platforms for educational training purposes.

I primarily use quantitative research methods, including both econometrics and psychometrics analyses, and conduct longitudinal research over the span of early childhood to early adolescence. My research has been funded by prestigious organisations such as the Lego Foundation and Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust. I have published in top-leading journals like Child Development, and attracted media coverage from 196 global media outlets, including the Guardian and the US News and World Report. My study on peer play and mental health has reached 1501 in Altmetrics, remaining in the 99th percentile (ranked 300th) of the 448,369 tracked articles of a similar age in all journals.

I welcome any inquiries for research consultancy and statistical analyses. Please explore my finished/existing research projects here, and find out more about my experiences with teaching statistics here. 

Research contexts

I have diverse international research experiences, from vocational educational inequalities in England to improving children's social emotional learning in Jordan . Please check research page for more details. You can also click on the pin to check out my projects.

Selected media coverage of my research

News from Cam

Pre-school play with friends lowers risk of mental health problems later

Improved mental health for children who play well with peers by age three

News from the Guardian
News from the Telegraph

Young children may be at greater risk of mental health problems after pandemic isolation

Play aids mental health

News from the Times
News from the Independent

Young children who play with others their age ‘have better mental health’

Why Getting Along in Preschool Is So Important

News from US News
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