Marilena Kyriakidou

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Dr Marilena Kyriakidou

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology,


My research interests cover a number of areas surrounding investigative interviews of children with a particular aim to help front line investigators in their roles.


I am interested in how do research-based recommendations can form policies, how these recommendations are implemented by the police and importantly how we, as researchers can help practitioners in their roles. I have been fortunate to collaborate and provide consultancy to different police forces from different countries (e.g. Cyprus, Netherlands) as well as non-governmental organisations. During these times I have acted and contributed as a police trainer and intelligence analyst. In 2013 I have been honoured by the Chief of the Police in Cyprus regarding my contribution as a forensic analyst in the area of investigative interviews with vulnerable witnesses and/or victims. In September 2020 we had the privilege to present our research to the Westminster Legal Policy Forum. Our presentation discussed how police interviews with children can be improved through situational factors. My research interests beyond investigative interviews include: Performance crimes (which are crimes conducted with the intention to be disseminated in the media), human-robot interactions in forensic settings, violent video games, domestic violence and involuntary manslaughter due to pilot error. My research interests lately have been directed in looking at the quality of interpretation within forensic settings as well as how board games can help children prepare for their forensic interviews. All of which constitute an effort to support the justice system during the covid19 pandemic.


Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

College of Social Sciences and Arts

I hold the module leadership of the Psyschology Research Project and Personal Tuition (BSc) which is one of the biggest modules in our BSc Psychology course supporting students for their final year dissertation project. I am also the module leader of the Learning in the Workplace (BSc) in which we provide a period of work placement to our students in the Business and Management with Psychology course. I am responsible for the Forensic Psychology: The Dark Side (MSc) offered to our postgraduate students from the MSc Psychology and MSc Developmental Psychology courses. 


I am a member of the Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology in the Department of Psychology, Sociology & Politics.

-- ‘Looking Down’ Interpreters mimicking children’s body language in police interviews -- 
This work was funded by the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG). We have developed an educational video to support interviewers and interpreters in the various difficulties they encounter. Police forces and forensic interpreters’ services from three countries (Cyprus, England, Netherlands) have contributed in developing the video. You can watch our educational video on YouTube.

We are currently collecting research-based evidence on whether interpreters should mimic or not children’s body language during police interviews or children’s testimonies in court. Our efforts move towards in turning this into practitioners-based participatory research where police interviewers and interpreters’ needs can be adapted to align with the recommendations we are about to be publishing. As such, we will be accommodating five Online Interactive Workshops in January 2022. If you are an active interviewer and/or interpreter in this area, please considering joining us. For further details please see our Google Slides.

This ongoing work is conducted by our Forensic Interpreters Research Team comprised by Dr Marilena Kyriakidou, Emma Cokayne (BSc) and Izzy Ashmore (BSc).

-- Preparing children for court through playing! -- 

Our funded work from SHU CK and REFFund noted that the support we offer to children in Cyprus and UK prior their testimonies in court could be more consistent and research-based. Our partners, the Children’s House, Crown Prosecution Service, Intermediaries for Justice and Victim Support, raised the need for a professional tool but at the same time a child friendly approach to support children for their testimonies in court. So here we are! Developing the Kids in Court Game (KiCGame) with these partners.

We are currently testing the prototype of the KiCGame in a longitudinal field study with the Children’s House in Cyprus. At the same time, we are inviting practitioners’ feedback on how to improve this playful intervention. If you are an active practitioner supporting children for their testimonies in court, please consider joining us in four Online Interactive Workshops in January 2021. For further details please see our Google Slides.

This ongoing work is conducted by our KiCGame Team led by Dr Marilena Kyriakidou and (in alphabetic order): 
Alex Crombie, Dr Aminorroaya Yamini, Sima, Dr Coleman Charlotte, Dr Claire Craig, Emily Ellison, Lewis Smith, Lydia Powers, Matthews Sands, Dr Megan Kenny, Niamh Sinclair, Dr Nicola Lonsdale, Zeshan Rashid. And external partners which were Antros Tsaeras, Kalia Loizidou, Louis Syrimis. As well as Design Futures from SHU and the Children’s House (Ms Ioanna Drousiotou, Children’s House, Cyprus, and Ms Rafaella Georgiou, Hope for Children, CRC Policy Center, Cyprus).



Journal articles

Kyriakidou, M., Blades, M., Cherryman, J., Christophorou, S., & Kamperis, A. (2020). The impact of interviewer working hours on police interviews with children. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.

Kyriakidou, M., Blades, M., Cherryman, J., Christophorou, S., & Kamberis, A. (2020). The impact of investing in the good interviewers policy of practice (IGIpop) on police interviews with children. Police Practice and Research: an international journal.

Kyriakidou, M., Dekens, K., Coleman, C., Drabble, J., Adlard, J., & Ramdehal, A. (2019). Initial report: Forensic interviewers' and interpreters' attitudes regarding their collaboration during investigative interviews of children. Report Sheffield Hallam University.

Kyriakidou, M., Zalaf, A., Christophorou, S., Ruiz-Garcia, A., & Valanides, C. (2019). Longitudinal fluctuations of national help-seeking reports for domestic violence before, during, and after the financial crisis in Cyprus. Journal of interpersonal violence.

Kyriakidou, M., Blades, M., & Carroll, D. (2014). Inconsistent findings for the eyes closed effect in children: the implications for interviewing child witnesses. Frontiers in Psychology, 5 (448).

Conference papers

Kyriakidou, M., Dekens, K., Coleman, C., Drabble, J., Ramdehal, J., & Tsaeras, A. (2019). Misinterpreted testimonies: An educational video for interviewers’ and interpreters’ collaboration when interviewing children. (abstract only). In International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, Norwegian Police University, 26 June 2019 - 28 June 2019.

Other publications

Kyriakidou, M., Ashmore, I., Cokayne, E., & Gray, K. (2022). ‘Hands on knees’ interpreters’ mimicking children’s body language in police interviews. Sheffield Hallam University

Kyriakidou, M., Ellison, E., Powers, L., Sinclair, N., & Gray, K. (2022). Preparing children for court through playing! Sheffield Hallam University

Other activities

  • Responding to COVID-19 emerging needs for children’s sexual abuse testimonies in court: Developing the KiCGame (Kids’ Court Game) prototype 2021. Source: REFund, PSP, Holder: Dr Nicola Lonsdale, Dr Marilena Kyriakidou
  • A Thousand and more definitions of communication exchanged in forensic interviews: A Systematic Review and Meta-Synthesis 2021: Source: REFund, PSP. Holders: Dr Marilena Kyriakidou, Prof. Gavin Oxburgh.
  • The Forgotten Sexually Abuse Children during Covid-19: The distracted pathway to justice and the need to support their forensic testimonies September 2020 . Source: Research Institute Fund (SHU). Holders: Dr. Marilena Kyriakidou, Alex Crombie (Department of Engineering and Maths) and Matthews Sand (Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice)
  • Interpreters in forensic interviews of children 09.11.2018. Source: International investigative Research Group Holders: Dr. Marilena Kyriakidou and Drs. Karina Dekens from the Netherlands Police Academy
  • Crossing the Boundaries: Domestic Violence in Norway and Cyprus 10.02.2014. Source: Norway grants Holder(s): Dr. Marilena Kyriakidou and the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family in Cyprus.
  • Developing Robot Crime Interviewers for Children 28.02.2013. Source: University Research Fund, Divisional Directors code 311364 Digital World Funds Award: uBase cost centre Holder(s): Prof. Tony Prescott and Dr. Marilena Kyriakidou
  • Awards: Honoured by the Chief of the Police in Cyprus 2013 For the research consultation offered on police interviews with children

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