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NTU research into addiction recognised in UK’s Best Breakthroughs List

Pioneering research into behavioural addiction by Distinguished Professor Mark Griffiths at Nottingham Trent University has today been named as one of the UK’s 100 best breakthroughs for its significant impact on people’s everyday lives.

Hands holding a game controller
Research by Dr Mark Griffiths led to WHO recognising 'gaming disorder' as a genuine mental disorder

Dr Mark Griffiths is Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Addiction at NTU and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He has published over 800 research papers, five books, more than 150 book chapters, and in excess of 1500 other articles, mostly in the area of behavioural addictions such as gambling, videogame, internet, exercise and sex addictions.

Mark has won 20 national and international awards for his research and is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Royal Society of Arts, and the Academy of Social Sciences.

He and his team are exploring the underlying factors that contribute to some people – and not others – developing psychological and behavioural dependencies in relation to gaming, gambling, social media and the internet. He has co-developed many psychometric tools to assess problematic and addictive behaviours and designed prevention strategies to minimise risk to vulnerable people specifically.

GAM-GaRD, one of the tools co-developed by Professor Griffiths to reduce the risk of developing gambling problems, is now used by more than 30 major gambling companies worldwide as well as being used by numerous European regulators. His many studies on videogame addiction led to “gaming disorder” being recognised as a genuine mental disorder by the World Health Organisation.

Dr Mark Griffiths on his work and inclusion in the Best Breakthroughs list

The list of breakthroughs demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives, including the creation of the internet, work tackling plastic pollution, ultrasound scans to check the health of unborn babies and the establishment of the Living Wage.

The list also highlights the less celebrated breakthroughs that transform lives, including a specially-designed bra to help women undergoing radiotherapy; a toilet that flushes human waste without the need for water; the development of a new scrum technique to make rugby safer; a sports initiative that aims to use football to resolve conflict in divided communities; - and even work to protect the quality of the chocolate we eat.

The list was compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, as part of the MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.

It follows independent research undertaken by Britain Thinks which found that the public has little understanding of the benefits of universities beyond undergraduate teaching. The findings show that research is one of the key triggers to change opinion about universities but for many people, it is an abstract concept.

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of NTU, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for the university to be featured in the UK’s Best Breakthrough list. We’re extremely proud of the work of our academics and difference they are making to people, lives and communities.

“The MadeAtUni campaign is an incredibly important initiative for Nottingham Trent University as it allows students, alumni, the local community and the wider population to understand the work that we do and the impact it has.”

Professor Mark Griffiths said: “Most of the research that I carry out is very applied and there is nothing better than knowing that your work has made a difference in people’s lives. I’m very pleased that my research at Nottingham Trent University has made it onto the Best Breakthroughs list.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, said: “Universities really do transform lives. The technology we use every day, the medicines that save lives, the teachers who inspire – all come from UK universities and the important work being done by academics.

“The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list is a testament to the difference that universities make to people’s lives and we want everyone to join us in celebrating the work they do.”

You can find out more about the UK’s Best Breakthroughs and the MadeAtUni campaign on the website

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Helen Breese, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8751, or via email.

    About the Britain Thinks research

    Britain Thinks polled 2,063 UK adults online between 30 May and 31 May 2018. Data was weighted to be representative of all UK adults.

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2017 at the Times Higher Education Awards, and Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    NTU has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    NTU is one of the largest UK universities. With 30,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings. 96% of its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    Our student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Satisfaction Survey.
    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of over 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

Published on 5 December 2018
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Social Sciences