Holly E. A. Sutherland

Holly E. A. Sutherland

Doctoral Candidate

University of Edinburgh


Autistic autism researcher and PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Currently studying social communication from the autistic perspective. I have experience with both quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis techniques in a variety of cognitive science fields.

Download my academic CV.

  • Neurodevelopmental differences
  • Communication & social interaction
  • Neurodiversity framework(s)
  • Mixed methods research
  • Theory development
  • PhD in Clinical Brain Sciences, 2020-24

    University of Edinburgh

  • MPhil in Theoretical & Applied Linguistics, 2017-18

    University of Cambridge

  • BSc Hons in Linguistics, 2014-17

    University College London


Research Design

Interviews | Cognitive Testing | Observational

Quantitative Analysis

Descriptive Stats | Data Vis | Modelling

Qualitative Analysis

Thematic Analysis | Codebooks | Grounded Theory


R Studio | NVivo | Qualtrics

Science Communication

Academic | Public | Training

Open Science

Preregistration | Open Access Data


EDI Intern
Sep 2023 – Aug 2024 Edinburgh
Worked to support the planning and delivery of initiatives to, attract, develop, and retain diverse staff working in the Development & Alumni office.
Administrative Intern
Jan 2023 – Mar 2023 Edinburgh

Assisted with administration and promotion for an international conference of 1000+ attendees, including:

  • Designing abstract books
  • Creating promotional materials (images, videos, text) and website copy
  • Managing social media accounts
  • Interviewing speakers for promotion purposes
  • Liasing with external individuals/companies
Research Intern
Oct 2021 – Dec 2022 Edinburgh

Surveyed/interviewed Medical School staff and student experiences with and opinions on equality, diversity, and inclusion at the university, and analysed the resulting data. Managed a team of 10 undergraduate medical students acting as research assistants. Outputs include:

  • Literature review on medical school EDI
  • Codebook for thematic analysis
  • 22 semi-structured, coded interviews
  • 3 coded focus groups
  • Online survery (responses coded)
  • Conference submissions
Research Assistant
Oct 2019 – Sep 2020 Cambridge

Ran two 1,000+ participant online studies assessing risk matrix designs for improved communication of risk. My improved design was used by the Cabinet Office in the 2020 UK National Risk Register. Other outputs include:

  • Systematic literature review
  • Public engagement activities
  • Peer-reviwed paper
  • Novel risk matrix design
Research Assistant
Sep 2018 – Aug 2019 Brighton

Developed cognitive profiling measures to assess individual differences in diagram comprehension, and deployed them to 100+ participants via online survey. Other outputs include:

  • A novel diagram taxonomy
  • AI system prototype
  • Behavioural coding scheme
  • Multiple conference presentations
  • Multiple peer-reviewed papers