Blerina Kellezi | Nottingham Trent University
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Blerina Kellezi

Blerina Kellezi

Associate Professor

Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Blerina is an Associate Professor in Social and Trauma Psychology and Lead of the Trauma, Social Isolation and Mental Health research group.

Blerina teaches in a range of modules: Psychological Wellbeing, Trauma, Theory and Applications, Social Psychology and supervises undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD and Forensic Doctorate students.

Career overview

Blerina has a PhD in Psychology from the University of St Andrews and a LLM in Human Rights Law from University of Nottingham. After her PhD, she held postdoctoral positions at Freedom from Torture, the University of Oxford and the University of Nottingham. She has also previously held Lectureships at the University of Nottingham, University of Tirana and Staffordshire University. Blerina joined the Department of Psychology at NTU in September 2015.

Research areas

Blerina's research investigates how people collectively deal with and are affected by extreme life events. Blerina takes a Social Identity Approach to examine collective appraisal and coping with war, dictatorship, transitional justice, immigration detention, social prescribing, and vocational rehabilitation.

Present research

In collaboration with the East Midlands Council, Blerina is investigating the needs and outcomes of Unaccompanied Refugee Children in care, and their foster carers.

Blerina is leading a multi-disciplinary and multi-national research project exploring the role of transitional justice processes (like documenting trauma, reconciliation, recognition, redress, forgiveness and peace building) on mental health and the risk of further intergroup conflict.

Blerina is also leading research investigating the quality of life in Immigration Removal Centres in the UK, focusing on identity, coping, support, relationships, and mental health. She is exploring barriers to mental health access among undocumented migrants in detention and community.

In collaboration with colleagues at Nottingham University, Blerina is working on a NIHR programme grant developing an intervention supporting trauma patients to return to work.

Blerina is part of Social Identity and Health research team at Nottingham Trent University and collaborates in a number of projects within the group.

PhD Students

Ardiana Shala, 2023 (Director of studies)

Kay Bridger, 2024 (Director of studies)

Ernest Acha, 2023

Peter Macaulay, 2020

James Mcintosh, 2023

Daniel Griffiths, 2024

Helen Hart, 2024


Georgina McLaughlin (Director of studies)

Lauren Jones (Director of studies)

Sara Bdir (Co-Director of studies)

Ioanna  Xenophontos (Co-Director of studies)

Yasmin Sidall (Director of studies)

Parmida Pakshir

External activity

  • Associate Senior Research Fellow (School of Medicine, Division of Primary Care, Nottingham University)
  • Graduate member of the British Psychological Society (Social, Health and Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Sections)
  • Associate member of Border Criminologies (Oxford University)
  • Associate member of the Injuries Prevention Group (Nottingham University)
  • Associate member of the International Centre for Health and Human Rights

Blerina acts as a peer reviewer for a number of journals, publishers, and grant agencies within the fields of trauma, transitional justice and social psychology.

Sponsors and collaborators


  • East Midlands Councils
  • British Academy
  • NIHR
  • AHRC
  • British Psychological Society
  • Nottingham University Hospitals
  • Open Society Foundation
  • Nottingham County Council


  • Nottingham Trent University: Dr Juliet Wakefield, Dr  Kay Bridger, Dr Iram Shah
  • Dr Mhairi Bowe: Heriot-Watt University
  • University of Nottingham: Professor Denise Kendrick, Dr Kate Radford, Dr Jain Holmes
  • University of Oxford: Professor Mary Bosworth
  • International Centre for Health and Human Rights (ICHHR): Professor Nimisha Patel, Professor Amanda Williams


Mid  Career  Award. BPS Social Psychology Section, 2023

Outstanding Achievement: Scandinavian Film Festival for documentary titled 'Blood in the Blackbird Field. A story of war, justice and resilience.  2023

Excellence in Research. NTU Vice Chancellor Award, 2022

Press expertise

  • Trauma
  • Groups and wellbeing (especially Social Curse)
  • Gender-based violence
  • Transitional Justice
  • Psychological, social and economic impact of traumatic injuries
  • Social Prescribing
  • Health service/intervention evaluation