Dr Darren Van Laar
My undergradute degree was in Psychology and my Masters degree in Human Factors and Computer Science. I studied for my PhD at Imperial College, London University in the areas of user interface design and colour science.
I am a Reader in Applied Psychology and have three strands of research – how to improve the work-related quality of life of employees, PhD student satisfaction and how to use colour to structure information in computer displays. Although these areas might sound unrelated - they are all concerned with applying psychology to the real world.
Since 2011 I have also been seconded for part of my time to be the Director of the University of Portsmouth Graduate School.
My research is situated in the fields of Human Factors and Organisational Satisfaction.
My PhD investigated how colour coding can best be used in control rooms and other complex information displays. This is an aspect of Human Factors, also known as Ergonomics or Human-Computer Interaction.
My current research focuses on the development of the Work-Related Quality of Life (WRQoL) scale which is a psychometric tool to measure Stress and the Quality of Working Life in employees. The scale has been translated in many languages and is used by organisations and researchers around the world (more information). I often work with these researchers and organisations to help them run large-scale WRQoL-based staff surveys and to design and implement other psychometric scales, which recently include those assessing the Wellbeing of Barristers and for National Numeracy.
PhD Research Supervision
I especially welcome enquiries and applications from students wishing to study a PhD with me in the areas of staff employee surveys, the Quality of Working Life and PhD student satisfaction. My research areas are eligible for PhD scholarship funding through the South Coast DTP (applications open December to February each year).