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Personal profile


I am an Associate Professor in Research and Joint Head of the Centre for Health Services and Clinical Research. I have expertise in applied research with children and adults with learning disabilities and/or long-term health conditions. My methodological expertise includes clinical trials, process evaluations and mixed-methods research. My recent projects include:

  • WIELD 2 - Self-management and quality of life for people with learning disabilities and epilepsy
  • Making Positive Moves - Sustaining community living for people with learning disabilities
  • READY - Process evaluation of exercise as an intervention for young people with depression
  • Kaspar - The use of robots as interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder
  • Feeding and eating in children with Down syndrome 
  • Health service provision for children with Down syndrome

Prior to joining the University of Hertfordshire, I was a Research Associate at the Open University (2012-14) working on projects with Early Support, which involved producing resources for parents of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and professionals who work with them. We also used qualitative methodologies to evaluate key working services for families.

I completed my BSc(Hons) in Psychology and MSc in Reading, Language and Cognition at the University of York. I also completed my PhD at York, which was titled 'The reciprocal relationship between oral language and reading skills in children with Down syndrome'. This was awarded in 2012 and I then took up a Project Co-ordinator post in the Centre for Reading and Language, where I worked on a number of different projects focusing on reading and language development in typical and atypical populations, including a validation study of the national phonics screening check.


Research interests

My research interests include:

  • Learning disabilities, e.g. Down syndrome
  • Self-management of long-term conditions, including mental and physical health
  • Service provision for people with disabilities and their families 
  • Developmental psychology
  • Process evaluation
  • Clinical trials


I welcome expressions of interest from potential PhD students and my current/recent PhD students are researching: 

  • Feeding and eating in young children with Down syndrome
  • Robot interventions in autism
  • Experience of autism in Cyprus

Teaching specialisms

I teach on psychology programmes on subjects related to my research interests, particularly learning disabilities, developmental psychology, health research and psychological research methods. 

I supervise placement and project students from undergraduate and postgraduate psychology courses in my areas of interest.

Commercial and public engagement

I am committed to public and patient involvement, maximising impact and working with the community. My roles and projects have included:

  • Membership of the Research Committee for Down Syndrome Education International.
  • Membership of the Down Syndrome Clinical Excellence Network hosted by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
  • Producing e-learning for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health e.g. the 'Working Together Matters' session for 'Disability Matters' e-learning
  • Volunteering as a governor at a primary school
  • Member of the editorial board for British Journal of Learning Disabilities


Dive into the research topics where Silvana Mengoni is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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