Rachael joined as a Research Fellow based at the University of York in July 2021 and works on research evaluating Language and Communication projects in the Better Start reach area. This includes Born in Bradford’s Better Start cohort with the Better Start Bradford Innovation Hub. Part of this work involves scaling up Talking Together, a home-based language intervention developed by BHT Early Education and Training and funded by Better Start, for a large randomised controlled trial. She also works on the I CAN (early years practitioner training) and BS Imagine (book gifting) projects.

Rachael has a PhD in Psychology (Lancaster University) and was previously a medical doctor working in Psychiatry and in Emergency Medicine. Her PhD research is about cognitive development and language acquisition in typically developing and late talking children, using multi-disciplinary and longitudinal research methods. She has also worked with neuroimaging (resting state functional connectivity; University College London/Yale University). She has a background in medicine alongside medical ethics and law (University of Manchester). She is enthusiastic about anything and everything to do with child development research, and is particularly interested in how we learn language, how we learn to think about and make sense of the world around us, and what happens when these processes interact, are delayed, or are interrupted over development.