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Research groups


Mirela Zaneva


DPhil Candidate

  • Risk & Resilience (Bowes Lab)

DPhil research

My DPhil work investigates the impact of socioeconomic inequalities and material deprivation on health in young people. My focus is on better understanding potential causal mechanisms through which deprivation may impact internalizing symptoms. Ultimately, I hope my research will help inform effective interventions and policies in the context of poverty alleviation and global mental health.

My research includes both theoretical and empirical streams (e.g. issues surrounding the measurement of socioeconomic status, evaluating anti-poverty interventions, assessing macro-level inequality as a risk factor, examining genetic influences on depression in the context of deprivation). I have a keen interest in new quantitative methods and often combine advanced statistical methods from a range of disciplines, such as social epidemiology, behavioral genetics, and economics with diverse cross-sectional and longitudinal datasets.

I am supervised by Professor Lucy Bowes and Professor Aaron Reeves.

Outside my direct area of research, I also engage with policy work, impact evaluation, and intervention analysis (specifically for randomized and pseudorandomized controlled trials). To this end, I have consulted for and worked alongside colleagues from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Case for Her, and the Pleasure Project among others.

Some of my work has received media coverage in BBC, Slate, UN News, CBS News and other outlets.

Teaching & Outreach

I am the Graduate Development Scholar for Psychology at St Anne's College and as such provide tutorials and academic support for undergraduates reading for Experimental Psychology and Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics. In my tutoring and demonstrating, I cover a wide range of undegraduate topics including Neurophysiology, Individual Differences and Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology. I have previously provided tutorials for EP, PPL, and BMS students at Magdalen College and Harris Manchester College. I am currently co-supervising two final year undergraduate projects with Prof Bowes and welcome enquiries for final year projects in the upcoming cycle.

I am further actively involved in outreach activities and have provided lectures, workshops, mentoring to secondary and undergraduate students through UNIQ+, Target Oxbridge, IntoUniversity, St Anne's Access Week, Super-Curricular Club Enrichment Series, Christ Church Horizons, Oxplore. Many of my access materials can be found on OSF. I am always happy to speak with colleagues about contributing to access and outreach activities.

Open science

I am actively involved in meta-research and frequently take part in large open science collaborations such as the Non-Interventional, Reproducible, and Open Evidence Synthesis and the Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training. As a Reproducible Research Oxford Fellow, I co-lead an interdisciplinary reading group focused on the promotion of diversity and equality in computational and quantitative fields.


At the Department of Experimental Psychology, I am vice chair of Graduate Joint Consultative Committee and sit on the People and Culture Committee (Athena SWAN), as well as the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Within the Medical Sciences Division, I am a trained peer supporter and available to talk to colleagues regarding any welfare matters.