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Cambridge Public Health

Senior Research Associate

Dr Eolene Boyd-MacMillan, PhD, is a social psychologist working within the framework of public mental health promotion to develop and test community-based interventions that increase self-regulation, resilience and social cohesion and reduce destructive social polarisation and inequalities. She is Senior Research Associate and Co-Director of IC Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge. A member of Cambridge Public Health, her research includes populations living with legacies associated with historic migration events alongside opportunities and challenges linked to current migration and displacement due to political, economic and environmental crises.

Eolene uses participatory, collaborative and community-based research methods to develop and test contextually informed and culturally sensitive research programmes to promote wellbeing and multi-levelled resilience using the general cognitive processing model of IC or ‘integrative complexity’ (Suedfeld, 2010). IC research explores the interplay of how people think, feel, and interact with other people (individuals, groups, communities) by focusing on the 'how' of thinking, rather than on the ‘what’ of thinking or beliefs.

The two IC variables of differentiation and integration represent the developmental progression of self-regulation that underlies all social and emotional skills and competencies. Her IC research targets these processes when individuals/ groups engage with social differences and disagreements and tests for increased toleration and collaborative capacities using the cross-culturally validated IC empirical measurement frame with predictive values, along with resilience and other empirical measures. Investigator and participant self-reflexive and debrief protocols to safeguard and promote mental wellbeing among all involved in the research process are an important part of her research.

Eolene’s IC work led to co-founding the IC-ADAPT Consortium together with medical faculty from Sweden (Prof Valerie DeMarinis, Dr Maria Nordendahl), Australia (Prof Derrick Silove, Cambridge Senior Visiting Scholar), and Malaysia/New York (Dr Alvin Tay). Integrating two interdisciplinary, evidence-based models, the ecosocial IC-ADAPT model is applicable across the lifecycle and has validity across cultures and contexts. IC-ADAPT bridges individuals/ family groups and structures/ systems through a community focus.

IC-ADAPT-SEL is an adaptation of IC-ADAPT designed to provide social and emotional learning (SEL) programmatic support within a MHPSS framework in educational settings for refugees, migrants, displaced and other vulnerable learners in challenging contexts for the UNICEF-Cambridge-Microsoft Partnership (Boyd-MacMillan and DeMarinis, 2020; Cambridge University Press & Cambridge Assessment (2020), section four authored by Boyd-MacMillan and DeMarinis; The Learning Passport, Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment).

Current research includes the EU Horizon 2020 DRIVE project exploring in four countries the role of social exclusion and public mental health factors (e.g., wellbeing and resilience) as contributors to reciprocal, destructive social polarisation, including identity formation and belonging in hybrid online-offline spaces; the development and supervision of a new experiential and participatory IC intervention for young people and those working with them in Sweden, including contributing to the feasibility testing in three contexts (16-19 year olds in schools; 18-25 year olds community centres; and NGO staff 25 years + working with young people) in a pilot study led by Umeå University, Sweden; and the development of inter-disciplinary collaborations focusing on community and policy responses to climate change, mental health in Myanmar, public mental health promotion focused interventions to reduce digital harm, and expressions of resilience and resistance among frontline healthcare workers in Australia, US, and UK during the COVID-19 and variant pandemic.

Past work includes university lead on the social and emotional learning (SEL) component of the Learning Passport for the UNICEF-Cambridge-Microsoft partnership (2019-2020); lead expert on the EC-funded Efus BRIDGE (Building resilience to reduce polarization and growing extremism) project seeking to address destructive social polarisation across thirteen municipalities in seven countries, which included an on-line survey exploring the relationships among zero-sum mindset, social networks, and COVID-related experiences in a northern European city (2018-2020); directing the IC research programmes, ‘I SEE! Scotland’, funded by the Scottish Government (2012-2017) IC intervention in Scotland; ‘Conflict Transformation’, an annually oversubscribed elective for community leaders, funded by Ripon College Cuddesdon, University of Oxford (2012-2018); and designing and delivering an invited interdisciplinary course focusing on personal change and meaning-making offered university-wide while based in the School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh (2007-2011).

Publications from Elements

Journal articles


  • Robins, D., Saddington, L., Boyd-Macmillan, E., Stojanovic, T., Hudson, B. and Lafortune, L., 2024. Staying put in an era of climate change: The geographies, legalities, and public health implications of immobility Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, v. 15
    Doi: 10.1002/wcc.879
  • 2023 (Accepted for publication)

  • Mughal, R., DeMarinis, V., Nordendahl, M., Lone, H., Phillips, V. and Boyd-MacMillan, E., 2023 (Accepted for publication). Public Mental Health Approaches to Online Radicalisation: An Empty Systematic Review International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, v. 20
  • 2016

  • Boyd-MacMillan, EM., Campbell, C. and Furey, A., 2016. An IC intervention for post-conflict northern ireland secondary schools Journal of Strategic Security, v. 9
  • Boyd-MacMillan, EM., Fearon, PA., Ptolomey, AM. and Mathieson, LJ., 2016. I See! Scotland: Tackling sectarianism and promoting community psychosocial health Journal of Strategic Security, v. 9
  • Fearon, PA. and Boyd-MacMillan, EM., 2016. Complexity under stress: Integrative approaches to overdetermined vulnerabilities Journal of Strategic Security, v. 9
  • Boyd-MacMillan, EM., 2016. Increasing cognitive complexity and collaboration across communities: Being muslim being scottish Journal of Strategic Security, v. 9
  • 2010

  • Boyd-Macmillan, EM., 2010. Vision in the eye of the beholder: Translation or transformation Presenting the Past, v. 2
  • 2008

  • Hampson, PJ. and Boyd-MacMillan, EM., 2008. Turning the telescope round: Reciprocity in psychology-theology dialogue Archive for the Psychology of Religion, v. 30
  • 2006

  • Boyd-MacMillan, E., 2006. Transformation
    Doi: 10.3726/978-3-0353-0254-7
  • Reports


  • Boyd-McMillan, E. and DeMarinis, V., 2020. Learning Passport: Curriculum Framework (IC-ADAPT SEL high level programme design)
  • Other publications


  • Boyd-McMillan, E. and DeMarinis, V., 2020. ‘Section Four, Mental health, psychosocial support and social and emotional learning’ in The Learning Passport: Research and Recommendations Report. (Section Four authored by Boyd-MacMillan, E. and DeMarinis, V.)
  • Internet publications


  • DeMarinis, V. and Boyd-McMillan, E., 2019. A mental health approach to understanding violent extremism
  • Book chapters

    2016 (No publication date)

  • 2016 (No publication date). Chapter Six Conclusions 273
    Doi: 10.3726/978-3-0353-0254-7/10
  • 2016 (No publication date). Chapter One Ego-Relativization in the TransformationTheory of James Loder 31
    Doi: 10.3726/978-3-0353-0254-7/5
  • 2016 (No publication date). Chapter Two Four Contemporary Authors on ChristianMystical Spirituality 81
    Doi: 10.3726/978-3-0353-0254-7/6
  • 2016 (No publication date). Chapter Three Loder and Christian Mystical Spirituality 139
    Doi: 10.3726/978-3-0353-0254-7/7
  • 2016 (No publication date). Chapter Four The Ego-Relativization Theory of James Hillman 175
    Doi: 10.3726/978-3-0353-0254-7/8
  • 2016 (No publication date). Chapter Five Loder and Hillman 219
    Doi: 10.3726/978-3-0353-0254-7/9
  • Contact Details