Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

If you would like to discuss potential PhD opportunities, please contact Gavin via email, however, he is primarily interested in any aspect of military veterans' research, policing, interviewing and interrogation (use of empathy and rapport), crimes against humanity and war crimes investigations, and false and recovered memories.

Willing to speak to media

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Personal profile


Professor Gavin Oxburgh is a Professor of Police Science and an Assitant Director of The Northern Hub for Veteran and Military Familes Research (with a focus on the Criminal Justice research agenda). Gavin is a 22 year veteran of His Majesty's Royal Air Force Police where he was a senior detective specialising in child protection and sexual offences. He is an HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist, a Chartered Psychologist and Scientist, and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS). He is also a registered Expert Witness with the BPS providing advice in legal cases in the UK and overseas. 

Gavin works in close collaboration with many police forces and law enforcement agencies around the world, providing consultancy and training on a wide variety of topics relating to legal psychology and human rights. He has previoulsy worked in close collaboration with the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, and provided specialist advice and training to their Investigations Division. He is active in International Human Rights and sits on a UN-led International Steering Committee co-ordinated by the Association on the Prevention of Torture (APT) that developed The Mendez Principles on Effective Interviewing.

Research interests

Gavin's research draws upon, and contributes to, the broad area of military veterans' research, together with legal and criminological psychology including: International human rights, the prevention of torture, ethical and non-coercive interviewing; false and recovered memories, and; (cyber) crime in the cloud. He has attracted over £4.2m in research grants to date from the ESRC, EPSRC, The British Academy, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Fund, The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, The Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST), the UK College of Policing, and the N8 Policing Research Partnership. 

Gavin has published widely in the area of legal and forensic psychology, policing, and communication. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, and an Editorial Advisory Board member of the Torture Journal. In 2017, he was awarded Associate Investigator status of the Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) which is EPSRC and GCHQ managed.

Further Information

International Collaboration and Consultancy

In 2021, Gavin co-founded ETICA (Global), a not-for-profit organisation established to deliver capacity-building through training, professional advisory services, knowledge exchange, and innovation for ethical investigative practice across the globe. In 2007, he co-founded the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG) an organisation he Chaired until Jul 19.

He has trained investigators from many international organisations including the International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Investigation Services, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the the Finnish and Swedish Competition Authorities in specialist interview techniques. He has previously provided specialist training to members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and South African Prosecution Services on non-coercive interviewing in cases of child sexual abuse and on-line child exploitation. He was a specialist advisor to the Credibility Assessment Research Summit (CARS), Washington DC, on Educing Information from suspects, a US Government research group sponsored by the Defence Academy for Credibility Assessment (DACA).

He has previoulsy worked closely with the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) on: (i) organising an international conference entitled Physical and psychological torture: Multi-disciplinary approaches to a global problem, in London (Jun 19); (ii) delivering training to investigators and prosecutors from Ukraine, and; (iii) co-hosting a roundtable discussion at the UK's House of Lords on the draft universal protocol on non-coercive interviewing (together with legal and procedural safeguards). He has been an invited expert to the Great Britain-China Centre (London) and the Supreme People’s Court of China assisting on the process of conducting effective non-coercive interviewing.  

Membership of Professional Bodies

Gavin is a member of the following professional bodies:

  • The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP);
  • The UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC);
  • The British Psychological Society (BPS);
  • The American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS); 
  • The European Association of Psychology & Law (EAPL); 
  • The UK Higher Education Academy (HEA);
  • The UK Science Council (UKSC). 


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, PhD, Developing a more effective framework for the investigative interviewing of suspected sex offenders, University of Portsmouth

1 Oct 20041 Dec 2011

Award Date: 1 Dec 2011

Teacher Training (University), PGCLTHE, Teesside University

1 Jan 20071 May 2008

Award Date: 1 Jul 2008

Psychology, MSc, Police officers' use of emotional language during child sexual abuse investigations., University of Portsmouth

1 Oct 20021 Oct 2004

Award Date: 1 Oct 2004

Psychology, BSc (Hons), Open University Milton Keynes

1 Feb 19961 Oct 2002

Award Date: 1 Oct 2002

External positions

Professor, International Association of Chiefs of Police, IMPACT Section

1 Apr 2021 → …

Professor, King's College London

1 Sept 2014 → …

Professor, Norwegian Police University College

1 Sept 2009 → …


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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