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Our Research

The Centre for Decision Research has developed a strong research profile, with publications in a broad range of international journals. Its research strategy reflects the strengths of group members, contemporary developments in the decision research agenda and relevant policy needs.

The Centre is able to work with organisations on many aspects of decision making and related topics. If you would like further information or would like to discuss working with us, please contact Professor Barbara Summers.

Here we report some of our research grants and projects from a variety of domains. The methods and theoretical approaches employed range from decision analytic techniques, preference elicitation techniques, and stakeholder meetings, to experimental psychology and judgment analysis.

Recent/ Ongoing Grants:

Dr Richard Hodgett, Dr Nabi Omidvar, Dr Xingjie Wei and Aritiad Choicharoon - KTP To develop, deploy and embed a bespoke business dashboard driven by complex Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms to enable tailored and customer-centric financial service provisions to the legal sector.

Dr Andrea Taylor (PI), Dr Sarah Jenkins, Professor Barbara Summers, Dr Yim Ling Siu (Earth & Environment) and Professor Suraje Dessai (Earth & Environment) - Lloyd's Register Foundation. An integrative approach to the World Risk Poll: Analysing risk perception and preparedness to develop effective disaster risk communication strategies. (2023-2026)

Dr Gulbanu Kaptan – Research England Policy Support Funding (Co-I) in collaboration with Dr Alessandro Biraglia (PI) and Dr Luca Sabini (Co-I) for a project “Reuse to reduce food waste: understand policy barriers to prevent upcycling” (2022-2023).

Dr Gulbanu Kaptan –UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund on Healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people, Co-I on WP6 (2023-2026).

Dr Richard Hodgett – workpackage lead EPSRC funded grant Flexichem working with colleagues in Chemical Engineering at Leeds, University of Bristol, and industry partners (Britest and Syngenta) (2022-2024)

Dr Richard Hodgett – Co-I, Interact, Open Funding Call.

Dr Andrea Taylor – Co-I on Future Leaders Project at University of Bristol

Dr Andrea Taylor – CO-I, Climateurope2 (EU Horizon)

Dr Andrea Taylor – CO-I, ASPECT: Adaptation-oriented Seamless Predictions of European ClimaTe (EU Horizon underwritten by UKRI)

Dr Andrea Taylor – CO-I, Climate Adaptation Dialogue, (UK government administered by Ipsos MORI)

Dr Xingjie Wei and Dr Andrea Taylor - LINK: cLimate change, social Inequality & psychosocial wellbeiNg with emerging digital data - a multidisciplinary networK between UK and South Korea

Prof Barbara Summers and Dr Andrea Taylor - Agreement for Collaborative Research in Social Science with the UK Met Office. (2022-2024).

Dr Sarah JenkinsSecondment with OPSS

Dr Gulbanu Kaptan and Dr Josh Weller (University Consultancy), Food Standards Agency Kitchen Life 2 (2021-2023)

Prof Peter Ayton, The Social and Psychological Underpinnings of Commercial Arbitration in Europe (2018-2023)


Business Analytics

Flexible Digital Chemical Manufacturing Through Structure/Reactivity Relationships

Richard Hodgett will lead a work package on an EPSRC-funded research project investigating ‘Flexible Digital Chemical Manufacturing Through Structure/Reactivity Relationships’. Richard (Co-I) will be working with Richard Bourne (PI) in Chemical Engineering / Chemistry (Leeds) and Natalie Fey (Co-I) in Chemistry (Bristol). The team will be working closely with a leading global provider of agricultural science and technology and a UK SME who consult on whole process understanding. The project value is £1.48million with the EPSRC contributing £1.18million. The LUBS element of the award will fund a portion of Richard’s time, a full time post-doc in LUBS for 3 years and money to travel to various UK and international project meetings.

Using Predictive Analytics to Improve the Efficiency of Returns Processing in E-commerce Fashion

Richard Hodgett, Sajid Siraj and Barbara Summers are involved in a new Knowledge Transfer Parternship led by Chee Wong, Director of the Centre for Operations & Supply Chain Research. They are joined by Nitin Jain, a graduate of our MSc Business Analytics and Decision Sciences, as KTP Associate. The team are working with Clipper Logistics plc, and the project will develop and deploy models, incorporating predictive analytics techniques, that will significantly improve the processing efficiency and reduce the costs involved in handling product returns arising from fast fashion e-commerce transactions.

Improving the Impact of Projects on Enhancing Sustainability in the Process Industries

Funding source: EU Horizon2020 SPIRE

Summary: Dr Richard Hodgett and Professor Alan Pearman, in collaboration with a number of industrial partners including Britest Ltd, INEOS, A.Spire, Iris and CRIT-Research, have been awarded with funding for a 2-year project that will increase the industrial uptake of project findings in Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) EU projects.

Predicting the Success of New Musical Talent

Funding source: Innovate UK (67%) & ESRC (33%)

Summary: Dr Richard Hodgett, Professor Barbara Summers and Dr Sajid Siraj have secured funding for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership in collaboration with a very successful international music label. The aim of the project is to develop a system utilising machine learning, artificial intelligence and decision science methodologies to support and enhance the identification of new musical talent and maximise the profitability of the talent identification process. The project will support a KTP associate to work on the project for 27months supervised by the academic team and the CTO of the music label.

Consumer Data Research Support Service

Funding source: ESRC
Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin

Research on Decision Making and Its Potential for Application in a Particular Industry Context

Research for a commercial client. Professor John Maule, Dr Barbara Summers and Dr Constantinos Hadjichristidis (Centre for Decision Research).

Integration of Social and Natural Sciences to Develop Improved Tools for Assessing and Managing Food Chain Risks Affecting the Rural Economy

Research Council, UK: Rural Economy and Land Use Programme, jointly funded by ESRC, BBSRC and NERC. Professor John Maule (Centre for Decision Research) with Professor R Shepherd (University of Surrey), Professor S. French (Manchester Business School), Dr G. Barker (Institute for Food Research, Norwich) and Dr A. Hart (Central Science Laboratories, York)


Developing More Effective Financial Support Service Provision in the UK

Funding source: Leverhulme Trust

Summary: Dr Simon McNair, in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureau in Leeds and Bradford, is leading a three-year project to develop, implement, and evaluate an auxiliary psychological advice tool to be deployed alongside current Bureau financial advice. This tool aims to teach people simple, and effective psychological coping skills in areas such as stress management, self-efficacy, and emotional control in an attempt to mitigate the kinds of psychological barriers that may otherwise undermine the effectiveness of other, practical financial guidance people receive from Bureau advisors. The project findings will contribute directly and authoritatively to recent and ongoing shifts in national policy recommendations made by policy organisations in the UK (Money Advice Service) and the US (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) concerning developing more effective financial support services. Visit the webpage for further information.

Measuring Consumers’ Inflation Expectations

Funded by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), this project aims to understand how consumers form their inflation expectations, and how to better elicit these inflation expectations on national consumer surveys.  Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin, with Professor Julie Downs and Baruch Fisschhoff (Carnegie Mellon University, USA), as well as with Dr. Olivier Armantier, Dr. Giorgio Topa, Dr. Wilbert van der Klaauw, Dr. Simon Pottor, and Dr. Basit Zafar (FRBNY)

Engaging Pension Plan Participants: How Emotions, Peer Effects, and Life Events Influence the Effectiveness of Pension Communication

Funding source: Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging, and Retirement (NETSPAR) / University of Tilburg

Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin

Literature in the Areas of Behavioural Economics and Psychology Relevant to the Understanding of an Individual’s Propensity to Engage with Their Creditors

Research for the Department of Constitutional Affairs. Dr Barbara Summers (Centre for Decision Research) with Professor Daniel Read (University of Durham) and Fiona Fylan (Brainbox Research).

Work in Support of the Department of Work and Pensions Autoenrolment Project

Dr Barbara Summers, Dr Darren Duxbury, Professor John Maule and Professor Alan Pearman.

To Develop and Implement Customer Lifetime Value Measures to Support The Decision Making Processes Around Customer Product Offerings And The Service Proposition

KTP award working with Yorkshire Bank. Professor Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé (Accounting & Finance Division) with Dr Barbara Summers (Centre for Decision Research).

Insights from Decision Research Literature into Understanding Decision Making in the Shopping Occasion

Dr Barbara Summers, Professor Alan Pearman, Dr Darren Duxbury, Professor John Maule and Dr Nicola Bown.

Communicating Investment

CDR is providing input to research into communication about pensions being run by TNS-BMRB and NEST (Dr Barbara Summers with support from Dr Darren Duxbury, Professor John Maule and Professor Alan Pearman).


UKRI/FSA Joint Grant, Using citizen science to explore plant breeding and investigate food-chain transparency

In partnership with DEFRA and the British Plant Breeding Society, PI Gulbanu Kaptan and CoIs Edgar Meyer and Joshua Weller (Leeds University Business School), and Huw Jones (Aberystwyth University) will be working with citizens to improve the public’s knowledge on plant breeding and novel breeding methods, and understand the needs regarding a transparent food system that involves the implementation of novel technologies. The outcomes of the project will inform policies that ensure successful integration of novel plant breeding methods to the UK food system.


Food safety & hygiene behaviours in domestic and commercial kitchens

Gulbanu Kaptan and Joshua Weller successfully tendered for a Basis Social research project with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to conduct an extensive behavioural assessment of food safety & hygiene behaviours in domestic and commercial kitchens (project dates: 3 March 2021- August 2022).  Projects focus on gaps between recommendations and actual food hygiene/safety behaviours. The outputs will inform Food Standards Agency’s risk assessment, management and communication, as well as broader policy.

Improving Web-based Communications about Cervical Cancer Screening Using Graphs: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Funding sources: Cancer Research UK Population Research Fellowship

Summary: UK and EU health policy aim to promote understanding of health risks, so as to empower people to make better health choices, including through web-based communications. Websites about cancer are widespread and provide information concerning cancer risk factors, prevention strategies, and screening programmes. Effective communications about cervical cancer screening are particularly needed, as most cervical cancer cases could be prevented through screening. However, cancer risk communications are often too difficult to interpret, even for educated audiences. The proposed work will test a low-cost strategy for improving web-based communications about cervical cancer: Adding evidence-based graphs that are easy to understand. Visit the webpage for further information.

Seminar Series on Food Options, Opinions and Decisions (FOOD): Integrating perspectives on consumer perceptions of food safety, nutrition and waste

Funding sources: ESRC

Summary: Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Dr Gulbanu Kaptan and Dr Nicky Bown received a grant to run a seminar series with Co-Is from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), and Newcastle University. The seminar series aims to understand and improve UK consumers’ decisions about nutrition, food safety, and domestic food waste. The goals align with DEFRA, the Food and Agricultural Organisation and others who use the modern view of ‘food security’ for developed countries, by defining it as access to food that is nutritious, affordable, safe, and sustainable, while producing minimum domestic waste. Better food safety and reduced food waste are high priority for the EU. Visit the webpage for further information

Why People eat in a Traditional or Modern Way

Funding source: German Research Foundation

Summary: Dr Gulbanu Kaptan received a grant from the German Research Foundation as a collaborator, with PI and Co-I’s from the Universities of Pennsylvania (USA) and Konstanz (Germany), and collaborators from the Universities in Brazil, Ghana India, Japan, France, and Mexico to work on a cross-cultural project on Why People eat in a Traditional or Modern Way (€286,180).

Developing a Reference Protocol for Expert Elicitation in Health Care Decision Making

Funding source: Medical Research Council

Summary: Dr Andrea Taylor is co-investigator on a successful bid for funding from the Medical Research Council. The project, which brings together researchers from York, Leeds, Strathclyde and Cambridge, will focus on developing a reference protocol for expert elicitation in health care decision making.

Understanding Stakeholder Concerns and Their Reactions to Communications in Relation to Food Safety

MAFF/ Food Standards Agency. Professor John Maule (Centre for Decision Research) with Professor S. French, (Manchester Business School).

A Systematic Review of Quantitative and Qualitative Research on the Role and Effectiveness of Written Information Available to Patients about Individual Medicines

NHS Health Technology Assessment Programme. Professor John Maule (Centre for Decision Research) with Professor T. Raynor, Dr P. Knapp, Dr S. Gilbody, P. Spoor (University of Leeds), A. Blenkinsopp & K. Pollock (University of Keele).

Identifying Components of Decision Aid Interventions that Enable Informed Decision Making About Dialysis Modality

Hilary Bekker (CDR/ Leeds Institute of Health Sciences), Anne Stiggelbout (Professor in Medical Decision Making, University of Leiden), Barbara Summers (CDR/ LUBS), Anna Winterbottom (Senior Research Fellow, Bradford Royal Infirmary), Andrew Mooney (Consultant Nephrologist, St James’s University Hospital), Gary Latchford (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, St James’s University Hospital), and Martin Wilkie (Consultant Nephrologist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).

Environment & Sustainability

The effect of climate change on psychosocial wellbeing inequalities with emerging sources of digital data

Xingjie Wei (PI) and Andrea Taylor (Co-I) will lead an ESRC-funded project with Co-Is Jooyoung Jeon, Hyungjun Kim and Jiho Cha from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in the South Korea. Based on building a network of multidisciplinary researchers between the UK and the South Korea, this project will investigate . Each side will contribute to this network with complementary expertise in climate adaption, risk communication, health inequality, data modelling and machine learning.

Climate change-related inequalities in psychosocial wellbeing, are relatively difficult to analyse directly because they are typically ‘inner’ (e.g., subjective experiences and feelings) at the individual level. Recent developments in social data science and machine learning techniques, mean the disproportionate effect of climate change on different vulnerable groups can be measured and tracked using emerging sources of digital data such as social media data. These new data sources contain patterns of various human behaviours in vulnerable people, which can be utilised to infer individual differences in psychosocial wellbeing. This data makes it feasible to understand how and to what extent climate change exacerbates social inequalities by affecting psychosocial wellbeing, and what protective factors and support requirements are needed. It also provides a new lens to study and address climate change and psychosocial wellbeing inequality within a uniform data environment and technique framework.

See the project webpage here

UKRI Grant – Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, and Healthy People

A team of researchers from five UK Universities, including CDR member Dr Gulbanu Kaptan have been awarded a UK Research and Innovation’s Strategic Priorities Fund for their 5-year project aiming to transform the UK food system ‘from the ground up’ for healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people (H3).  The project team consists of PI and Co-I’s from the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol, Cambridge and City. Gulbanu will be working as Co-I in WP6 on Disrupted food supply chains.

Capitalising on COVID-19 as a Trigger for Positive Change in Food Waste Behaviour

Gulbanu Kaptan has been awarded a UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19 grant for the project on Capitalising on COVID-19 as a Trigger for Positive Change in Food Waste Behaviour. This is an 18-month project with a funding of £328,000, including a grant of £268,000 from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The project team that will be led by Gulbanu consists of two academic Co-I’s from University of Leeds (Prof. Kerrie Unsworth and Dr Sally Russel), one practitioner Co-I from WRAP (Dr Tom Quested)  as well as two leading environmental agencies as partners: WRAP and Zero Waste Scotland.

Visit the project website here

Understanding and Informing Public Perceptions and Preparedness for Climate Change

Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Suraje Dessai, Baruch Fischhoff, Astrid Kause, Andrea Taylor and other members of the Centre for Decision Research have been studying how people form their perceptions of climate change, and make decisions about preparedness for climate change impacts. Our initial funding came from the U.K. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Economic and Social Research Council (see project website). Since then, funding has been obtained from the US National Science Foundation to collaborate on this topic with Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making and from the Swedish Riksbankens Jubilieumsfond to collaborate with the University of Lund.

Improving the Treatment of Uncertainty in Climate Services in China (Climate Science for Services Partnership China)

Funding Source: Newton Fund Weather and Climate Science for Service Partnership Programme, which is delivered by the Met Office for the Newton Fund

Summary: Andrea Taylor and colleagues Yim Ling Siu, Suraje Dessai, and Lindsay Lee at SEE have been awarded a contract to address challenges related to the treatment of uncertainty in climate services in China. Combining expertise in risk communication, environmental risk assessment, climate risk management, and statistical treatments of uncertainty in climate models, the team will work with programme partners in the Met Office and Chinese Meteorological Administration to better understand and address the needs of Chinese climate service users for information about uncertainty in climate predictions, and produce evidence based recommendations for the treatment and communication of uncertainty for climate service providers.

Reducing Consumers’ Electricity Use

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, this project aims to examine consumers’ decisions about their energy use and conservation, and to inform the design of feedback provided to consumers through in-home displays, as well as through different pricing programs. Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin, with Professor Baruch Fischhoff, Professor Jay Apt and others (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)

Incorporation of Risks Deriving from Climate Change into Decision Making about Infrastructure Projects

EPSRC, Dr Laure Cabantous and Professor Alan Pearman, (Centre for Decision Research).

Understanding Public Perceptions of, and Responses to, Heat Waves: A Behavioural Decision Research Approach

Funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (L00805X/1), this project aims to promote public protection against heat waves. Wändi Bruine de Bruin (PI), with Suraje Dessai, Baruch Fischhoff, Sari Kovats, Carmen LeFevre, and Andrea Taylor.

A behavioural science approach for evaluating communications about climate related risks and uncertainties

A research project investigating the perception of extreme weather projections. A research team led by Wandi Bruine de Bruin received funding for a project entitled “A behavioural science approach for evaluating communications about climate-related risks and uncertainties” from the Models To Decisions Network sponsored by ESRC, EPSRC, NERC, and AHRC (see

For more information, see the project page.

Ageing and Decision Making

Individual Differences in Decision-Making Competence Across the Life Span

Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin and others received funding from the European Union to understand how decisions change with age, and how to help people of all ages to obtain better decision outcomes. For more information, see the project website.

Designing Evidence-Based Communication for Elderly Consumers in Financial Distress

Funded by an EU Marie Curie Fellowship, this project aims to provide improved understanding of effective designs of financial planning communications for European consumers at risk of poverty in older age. Dr Cazilia Loibl (Research Fellow, CDR), Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruine (CDR) and Dr Barbara Summers (CDR). Visit the webpage for further information.

Understanding Consumers’ Expectations for Health and Retirement

Funded by the U.S. National Institute of Aging, this project aims to understand the cognitive processes involved in the formation of people’s perceptions of health risks and expectations for future health and retirement. Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin, with Professor Robert Willis and others (University of Michigan, USA)

Transport and Infrastructure

Understanding and Improving Drivers' Judgments about Speeding Risks

Funding source: EU Horizon2020 Marie Curie Fellowship

Summary: Gabriella Eriksson (Swedish Transport Institute and University of Stockholm) was awarded with a 2-year EU Horizon2020 Marie Curie Fellowship to visit Leeds. She will work with Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin (LUBS and Centre for Decision Research) as well as with Natasha Merat (Institute for Transport Studies) to understand and improve drivers' judgments about speeding risks.

Further information can be found on the project webpage.

DG-TREN TENConnect: Traffic Flow: Scenario, Traffic Forecast and Analysis Of Traffic On The TEN-T, Taking Into Consideration The External Dimension Of The Union

European Commission, Dr Jeremy Shires, Dr Paul Timms and Bryan Matthews (all Transport Studies) and Professor Alan Pearman (Centre for Decision Research).

DG-TREN TRANSvisions: Report on Transport Scenarios with a 20- and 40- Year Horizon

European Commission, Dr Paul Timms (Transport Studies) and Professor Alan Pearman.

Improving speed and survival in emergency evacuations

Funding source: This project is being funded by a two-year EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (ref: 748647)

Summary: The EU urgently seeks to improve emergency evacuation preparedness. EU public spaces are getting more crowded. Fires and terrorist attacks require emergency evacuation. Faster evacuation from public buildings during emergencies saves more lives.

Dr Natalie van der Wal is leading Project Evacuation, with the aim of improving speed and survival in emergency evacuations, through the combined insights from agent-based computer modeling, risk communication/decision research, and an advisory board of emergency responders.

Further information can be found on the Project Evacuation webpage.


Science and Proven Experience

Funding source: Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond / University of Lund
Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin

Bayesian Network Modelling of Pig Disease Symptoms

Funding source: EPSRC

Summary: Professor Alan Pearman is the lead academic on an EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account grant on Bayesian network modelling of pig disease symptoms. Working with colleagues in the School of Biology and with the company Barefoot Lightning, they will jointly develop a decision support system based on Bayesian network modelling to improve diagnosis of pig disease by agricultural support workers in developing countries.

Review of Computerised Tools That Support Group Decision Making

DERA. Professor John Maule, Professor A. D. Pearman, Dr D. Read, & N. J. Bown, (Centre for Decision Research).

Perception and Communication of Terrorist Risk

ESRC New Challenges Programme. Professor John Maule (Centre for Decision Research) with Professor Lynne Cameron (Education), Professor Peter Stratton (Psychology), Dr Zazie Todd (Psychology) and Neil Stanley (Law).

Attitudes to Loss

CDR is providing input to research into attitudes to loss being run by Opinion Leader and PADA (Dr Barbara Summers, Dr Darren Duxbury, Professor John Maule and Professor Alan Pearman)

The Role of Packaging Consumer Decision Making

Funded by Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Coors and Crown Foods. Professor John Maule (Centre for Decision Research) with Dr Jon Reast (University of Hull).

Inequality in Higher Education Outcomes in the UK: Subjective Expectations, Preferences, and Access to Information

Funding source: ESRC / University of Essex
Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin