Sarah Payne (UK)

My main research interests are in restorative environments. I am interested in psychological restoration both cognitively and emotionally, and determining environments that are supportive for people on all positions of the mental health spectrum (e.g. from everyday fatigue to medicalised illnesses). Originally, I started out examining the ‘usual’ outdoor restorative environments involving nature, before considering the potential of indoor environments as restorative, ranging from cafes to hospital staff-rooms. Lately, I am particularly interested in the need for restorative environments for carers.

My other, complementary, main strand of research is of sensory experiences of environments, particularly how they sound (their soundscape). This was the crux of my PhD research and later supervisory projects. Again, this interest originated in outdoor soundscapes and their relationship with restoration, but now includes indoor environments.

Finally, I am an Environmental Psychologist whom has largely been based within University Engineering departments; therefore I am also involved in sustainable building designs, including aspects around energy use, or issues on transportation (be that active living or electric vehicles). My current position is Assistant Professor of Health in the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University, UK.

I would like to stand for the board as I feel like I am now in a position to contribute back to a society that has played a large role in developing me as an academic researcher. Back in 2008 I attended the Young Researchers Workshop, and it was an invaluable experience. Not only receiving feedback on my work, I met a wonderful group of fellow young researchers, who I am now lucky enough to call my friends as well as great research partners. The icing on the cake from that conference was I also won the Young Researchers Award. I want to help IAPS continue providing such invaluable support, connecting new and experienced researchers.

Currently I co-convene two of the IAPS networks: Restorative Environments Network (since 2012) and the recently created Sensory Environments Network. My involvement in both these networks provides me with a broad understanding of what some IAPS members and interested partners want and appreciate from IAPS. Having IAPS board members strongly connected to the networks indicates the value IAPS places on them. Indeed the networks play a vital role in IAPS members feeling part of a community in-between the bi-annual conferences. I hope to use my experience of helping to create an active restorative environments network to help facilitate other networks, and IAPS itself, in its continued development as a sustainable strong research community.


I am delighted to have the opportunity to nominate Dr Sarah Payne to join the IAPS Board of Trustees. Sarah has been an active contributor to IAPS for a number of years, initially as a Young Researcher and more recently as a paper contributor and symposium organiser at IAPS conferences. In addition to these contributions, Sarah has a lead role in IAPS as a convener of the Restorative Environments network, through this making a significant contribution to its growth into the largest and most consistently active network. Sarah is also co-convener of the new Sensory Environments network and is thus strongly positioned to be able to help develop inter-network collaborations. Serving as a Board member will help to strengthen this potential.

As an environmental psychologist, Sarah has developed a range of research experience within a core area of IAPS’s interests. Beyond this, however, her experience in working on research projects that cross disciplinary boundaries brings the additional advantage of being able to contribute to the inclusivity and diversity of the IAPS research culture.

In conclusion, therefore, the combination of professional research experience in multi-disciplinary environments, coupled with a breadth of experience within IAPS itself makes Sarah an ideally equipped candidate for election to the IAPS Board.


I would like to use this opportunity to nominate Dr Sarah Payne to join the IAPS Board of Trustees. Sarah has been an active IAPS member since she attended the Young Researchers Workshop back in 2008 by contributing excellent research presentations and as a co-convenor of the Restorative Environments Network. Her work has a strong multi-disciplinary character and brings together several disciplines represented within the IAPS research community.

In the last eight years I got to know Sarah as a very positive, inspiring and enthusiastic person. She is very approachable, open to suggestions and has developed a strong network within the IAPS community.

This combination of her background and personality makes her an ideal candidate for election to the IAPS board.