MP120111AH2_029-1I am Tom Cox: I am an organizational psychologist of some experience broadly specialising in occupational health issues relating to work, health and the sustainability of working life. I was awarded the CBE in 2000 for my contribution to occupational health. This award was largely related to my role in the development of the Management Standards approach to work-related stress and psychosocial risks to employee health.  One of my current concerns is cancer survivorship and work participation.

I hold Chairs at three universities. My primary affiliation is with Birkbeck University of London where I hold the Chair of Occupational Health Psychology & Management and am Director of the Centre for Sustainable Working Life (CSWL) in the School of Business, Economics & Informatics. I am also heavily involved in the METIS Collaboration as its Co Director. METIS is hosted at the University of Aberdeen by the Academic Urology Unit in the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, School of Medicine & Dentistry. I hold an Honorary Chair in Psychosocial Oncology at that University. Last, but not least, I have an Emeritus Chair in Organizational Psychology at the University of Nottingham in the Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology, School of Medicine.

images-2Hopefully, I am a productive researcher. I have had about 10,700 citations of my more substantive publications (so far) with a h-index of 50 and an i10-index of 143 (Google Scholar). Since the beginnings of my partial retirement  in 2010, I have managed an h-index of 36 and an i10-index of 85 (Google Scholar).

This is my personal and work blog. The Blog shares news of my current research, my professional activities, some of my other interests – outside of sport – and my travels. It also copies in my Twitter account which is focused on Occupational & Public Health News and RSS feeds in my areas of interest. The Blog incorporates material from The OHP Review originally published as an online guide to Occupational Health Psychology. You can read my comments on current political events at:

The blog has achieved over 20,800 hits. Recently, the top 10 countries, by hits,have been the UK, USA, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Australia, Ireland, Germany and Sweden. The blog also seems to have some appeal in some smaller countries such as Latvia, the UAE, Cyprus, Iceland, Serbia and Croatia!


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BACK AGAIN ….. Breaking News

BREAKING NEWS: Professional Doctorate in Occupational Health Psychology & Management Launched

As part of the continuing development of the Centre for Sustainable Working Life at Birkbeck University of London, we have launched a new postgraduate programme in occupational health psychology and management.

This programme is open to full and part time students – many will be in employment – and is accepting applicationsfor 2018 2019. It offers training in real world research focussed on developing interventions for substantive challenges in occupational health and in safety management. The programme focuses on the psychological, social and organisational nature of such challenges.

Enquiries to and more information from Professor Tom Cox ( or Dr Laura Thompson ( ———————————————

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Current state and future prospects of research on fear of cancer recurrence — Social Dimensions of Health Institute

Congratulations to Gozde Ozakinci, Associate Director of SDHI and Lecturer in Health Psychology, School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews who along with colleagues Sophie Lebel, Gerald Humphris, Belinda Thewes, Judith Prins, Andreas Dinkel and Phyllis Butow have recently had their paper ‘Current state and future prospects of research on fear of cancer recurrence’ […]

via Current state and future prospects of research on fear of cancer recurrence — Social Dimensions of Health Institute

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Three exciting new opportunities are on offer in the Centre for Sustainable Working Life (the Centre) in the School of Business, Economics & informatics at Birkbeck University of London. Birkbeck is situated in Bloomsbury, a rather pleasant area close to Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross mainline stations and also to several stations on different London Underground lines. It is a leafy area, punctuated by Edwardian squares of some historical interest, and largely populated by the universities, colleges and institutes that together make up the best part of the University of London. It is a good place to work.

The Centre is a School-level research centre that now offers, what is arguably, the UK’s only professional doctorate in occupational health psychology.

CSWL Logo WebsiteThe Centre has a relatively small but productive and developing team. The current research themes that define much of its work are: managing psychosocial risks  to employee health and safety, ensuring safety in high-hazard organisations, managing psychosocial and organizational issues in the provision of health care, and  supporting cancer survivorship in relation to work engagement. There are interesting overlaps among these areas which can inform thinking about the nature and management of sustainable working lives.

Unknown-1The Centre is a member of The METIS Collaboration and works with the Universities of Aberdeen and Newcastle on contemporary issues in psychosocial oncology from a work-related perspective.

Over recent years, the Centre and its core team have been funded by both UK research 8-2754esrc-logobodies, for example the ESRC and the Health & Safety Executive, and European bodies such as the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work as well as by a number of private sector organisations including Associated British Foods, Babcocks and Primark and, currently, Balfour Beatty.

The Centre is led by Professor Tom Cox CBE.

There are three opportunities to consider:

FIRST: A fractional but permanent Lectureship (A/B) in occupational health psychology or health and safety management (0.5 FTE).

The person appointed will work closely with Professor Cox to further develop and deliver the professional doctorate in occupational health psychology. The teaching and research supervision involved are based on small group seminar work.

They will also be expected to develop their own research interests within the framework and defining focus of the Centre. This expectation includes publishing and securing external funding.

Finally, they will also be expected to be a good colleague and help further develop the Centre both within Birkbeck and further afield in its wider environment.

SECOND: A fully funded full time three year postgraduate scholarship in occupational health psychology.

The person appointed will work on a real-world industrial project focused on safety culture, leadership and performance in a high-hazard organisation. This research will provide the platform for them completing the professional doctorate in occupational health psychology.

THIRD: A new Visiting Fellowship programme.

In addition to the two funded positions, the Centre is keen to attract established and early career researchers to its new Visiting Fellow Programme. This programme is designed to encourage publication and later research collaboration but can also offer opportunities for postgraduate teaching.

Further information can be obtained from Professor Tom Cox CBE at either: or More information will appear on this blog. Interested parties might like to send their cvs (resumes) to Professor Cox. The Centre’s website is at:

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Queensland prostate cancer experts to lead world’s first survivorship centre

National health experts have today announced the launch of the world’s first Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship, to be led by Queensland. The nation’s top prostate cancer experts will lead the multi-disciplinary survivorship centre, the first of its kind in the w… Source: Queensland prostate cancer experts to lead world’s first survivorship […]

via Queensland prostate cancer experts to lead world’s first survivorship centre — MEDICININFOS

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Much has happened over the last six or so months that warrants reporting both with regards to the Centre for Sustainable Working Life (the Centre) at Birkbeck and to The METIS Collaboration (METIS). The headline topics are people, seminars and projects and, of course, publications and conference presentations.

8-2754esrc-logoThe ESRC seminar series on Cancer & Employment, which is led by the Centre but involves the other core partners in METIS, is a success and is entering its third and final year. Plans to take this initiative forward, beyond ESRC funding, are being discussed. People have left the Centre; some to further their academic careers and some through retirement. All are missed and most remain part of the overall project. New people are coming in and there is an excitement about how this new team will feel and work as it comes together. We are particularly looking forward to welcoming two Brazilian researchers in occupational health psychology on short sabbaticals, later in 2017, if suitable funding is secured for them. The Professional Doctorate in Occupational Health Psychology (see below) is established and the programme is open to those who wish to study and research in its area. At the same time, the Centre is launching a new project on ensuring safety in large high hazard organisations. It is funded by Balfour Beatty and is a collaborative enterprise involving senior colleagues in the company and in Lancaster and Loughborough universities.

unknown-1METIS continues to thrive and, partly through the ESRC seminar series, is becoming well established in the area of cancer survivorship and work engagement. It offers a unique integration of interests in the psychosocial, organisational and economic aspects of this topic. The core membership of the Collaboration is growing as is the network that it is developing of people involved in this important area. It is planned that this network and METIS itself be supported in 2017 through a new internet-based portal. The development work is well advanced. Several important conference presentations have been made successfully and publications on cancer survivorship and work engagement and other areas of psychosocial oncology are in the pipe-line.

imagesThere will be more information on all of these headline topics soon including details of appointments to be made to the Centre; specifically (1) a full-time fully-funded postgraduate researcher to work on the Balfour Beatty project and complete the Professional Doctorate in occupational health psychology (three years funding available) and (2) a part-time Lecturer (A/B) in occupational health psychology or health and safety management, or a related area, to join the Centre team (permanent contract).

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Over the last 12 months, we have had two new chapters accepted for publication in edited texts in 2017. They are:


Cox, T., Postavaru, G., Munir, F., Hassard, J., & MacLennan, S. (2017) Cancer survivorship, cancer-related ptsd and positive change: a narrative overview. In: C.L. Cooper & J.C. Quick (ends) The Handbook of Stress & Health: A Guide to Research & Practice. Chichester: John Wiley & Son

Cox, T., Marczak, M., Teoh, K., and Hassard, J. (2017) New directions in intervention: Cyber-bullying, schools and teachers. In: T.M. Mcintyre, S.E. McIntyre & D.J.Francis (ends) Stress in Educators: An Occupational Health Perspective. New York: Springer.


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The Centre for Sustainable Working Life (CSWL) is pleased to announce a new postgraduate and post experience programme in occupational health psychology leading to the award of a professional doctorate (if the student is successful).



This new programme  is a school-level initiative in Business, Economics & Informatics at Birkbeck University of London. It will be available, both full-time and part-time, from January 2017 and enquiries should be addressed to Professor Tom Cox CBE at

The new programme offers a structured approach to doctoral level research and qualification. Briefly …..


images-1In the first year (* or part time equivalent), those on the course will be provided with seminar-based opportunities for advanced education in occupational health psychology, the design, analysis and management of real world research, and insight into current ethical and professional issues. In the first year (*), students will design and complete a systematic-style review of their chosen area of research under supervision. The first year (*) will be examined. Students may leave the programme, at this stage, with a MRes (Occupational Health Psychology) if their performance warrants one.

During their second year (*), students will complete their empirical research which will be informed by the results of their systematic-style review, and, in their third year (*), they will conduct a translation study based on the application of their empirical findings. Both of these undertakings will be supervised. The award of the Professional Doctorate will be based on the successful submission of a doctoral level thesis based on the the three research undertakings.

CSWL Logo WebsiteIdeally, students’ research will be framed by the research interests of the CSWL and, also, by that of any employing organisation. This may facilitate early publications for the student.


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New Publications



I have yet to go back over the last year or so and note our various publications not yet announced on my Blog. In the meantime, to help me play catchup, I will draw attention to two recent papers that concern different aspects of work-related stress.


Hassard, J., Teoh, K., & Cox, T. (2016). Organizational uncertainty and stress among teachers in Hong Kong: work characteristics and organizational justice. Health Promotion International

The journal has a current impact factor of 2.046. It is ranked 40th in the list of journals in public, environmental & occupational health (145) and has a 5-year impact factor of 2.464. It is published by Oxford University Press.


Hassard, J., Teoh, K., Visockaite, G., Dewe, P. & Cox, T. (2017) The economic burden of work-related stress to society: a systematic review. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (Accepted for 2017).

The journal advertises a current impact factor of 2.00 and is ranked 24th in the list of applied psychology journals (79). Its 5-year impact factor is 4.010. It is the journal of the US Society for Occupational Health Psychology and is published by the American Psychological Association.

In both cases, we must thank our colleague, Dr Juliet Hassard, for persevering with these publications and crafting them ably through to acceptance by good journals.


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Alive & Kicking: Rumours of My Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated!

It has been a long time since I last posted on this Blog: too long. Fortunately, however, this has not been due to ill-health or loss of interest or complete retirement. 2015 and 2016 have been momentous years in UK and global politics and I have been hugely distracted by events. I have spent time writing a different blog in defence of a more collaborative, tolerant and just societal future. Probably this endeavour has proved more cathartic than influential but there it is. I do not apologise for this but it is time to refocus at least part of my energies.


Much has happened around me in our scientific and professional endeavours and I will soon start to describe the sometimes bumpy road that has been progress. Suffice to say here that I am still ‘alive and kicking’ and so is the Centre for Sustainable Working Life at Birkbeck and its ESRC Seminar Series on Cancer & Employment. The METIS Collaboration also continues and equally successfully. Collectively, we can boast new funding. People have joined us, some have moved and some have left us. There has been a plethora of new papers, chapters and reports, seminars and conference papers that, together, serve to prove my assertion that I am, we are, still ‘alive and kicking’.

Thank you to those who have periodically looked at what has been a never changing Blog in our ever changing world. The Blog crept over 20,000 hits while I have been mentally engaged elsewhere.


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Eulogy to Dr Eusbio (Seb) Rial Gonzalez

I delivered this eulogy to my friend and colleague Seb ~ Dr Eusebio Rial-Gonzalez ~ at the Healthy Workplace Summit 2015 in Bilbao in November.


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