Sarah Duffy


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Sarah welcomes applications from students interested in researching the following areas: metaphor; embodied cognition; language and thought; cognitive linguistics in education; cognitive linguistics in society.

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Personal profile

Research interests

Using a range of experimental approaches, Sarah's main strand of research explores the ways in which people use metaphors to understand and reason about abstract concepts. Her work features in journals such as Cognitive Linguistics, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, and Metaphor and Symbol, and she has recently written a monograph with Michele Feist for Cambridge University Press, entitled Time, Metaphor, and Language: A Cognitive Science Perspective (2023). Sarah is also involved in a number of projects exploring real-world applications of metaphor and embodied cognition in education, society, design, and crime.


Dr Sarah Duffy is Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics in the Department of Humanities at Northumbria, where she has been based since 2016. Prior to this, she held a lectureship in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham.

In 2019, Sarah launched the Cambridge University Press Elements Series in Cognitive Linguistics with Co-Editor, Nick Riches, and between 2016 to 2023, she served as Review Editor of the journal Language and Cognition. She currently sits on the Editorial Board of the journals Cognitive Linguistics and Cognitive Linguistic Studies.

In 2019, Sarah was elected as Vice President for the UK Cognitive Linguistics Association. She is also Visiting Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China.

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 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Linguistics, PhD, PhD, Cognitive Linguistics, Northumbria University, 2014 (funded by the Department of Humanities, Northumbria University)

… → 16 Sept 2014

Award Date: 16 Sept 2014

English Language, BA (Hons)

… → 27 Jun 2008

Award Date: 27 Jun 2008


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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