Rebecca Brunk

Rebecca Brunk


I am a Research Fellow in Architecture and Psychology at the University of Leeds.

I have held academic positions at several international universities in the research fields of neuroscience, organisational behaviour, and the social sciences. I am currently working with Gehan Selim and Pam Birtill to examine Sense of Belonging and Campus Spaces.

Increasingly, the connection between biology, psychology, and socio-environmental factors is being identified as critical to understanding how a range of factors are influenced, from addiction, to workplace behaviour, to student success. Therefore, my main interest is to understand how knowledge of our bodies, biology, and social behaviour can improve the environments in which we live and work.

More specifically, my PhD at the University of Lincoln examined organisational climate toward sexual violence prevention in UK universities. This multi-level research project focused on how institutional practices can exacerbate the post-traumatic stress that victims experience after sexual violence and dissuade bystanders from active intervention. It identified gaps in sexual violence prevention policies and training across 30 UK universities, and made recommendations for how institutions of higher education can properly utilise bystander intervention based on behavioural research. I was awarded a fully funded EPSRC studentship to pursue this project.

Prior to this, I examined organisational climate and inclusive leadership behaviour at the University of Leeds Business School, and received Honours for this dissertation.

During my undergraduate career, I researched the effects of emotional and physical stress on addiction and depression at Michigan State University, and was awarded a National Science Foundation student grant.

Research interests

My research uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine the interdependence between individuals and their environment that draws from her relevant experience in neuroscience, psychology, and the social sciences.

I am a mixed methodologist, and therefore strongly believe in the use of numbers and narrative to conduct research that is both rigorous and impactful. As such, although my research is varied in that it applies both qualitative and quantitative methods, it is always in-depth and focused on making a difference.

My current projects include:

  • Sense of belonging and campus spaces - how can the university environment contribute to sense of belonging for marginalised, mature, and international students?
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion in organisations - how do organisational actors conceptualise inclusion, and does this discourse of inclusion replace or supplement discourses of equality and diversity management, similarly to other management 'fads' in organisational practice?
  • Physiology and organisational behaviour - how does our body's physiology (e.g. heart rate variability) affect how we behave at work?
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Social Sciences, University of Lincoln
  • MA in Organizational Behaviour, University of Leeds
  • BSc in Neuroscience, Michigan State University
  • BSc in Psychology, Michigan State University