Research at the Psychology Kindergarten

How our kindergarten helps psychology research

Psychology at the University of Stirling has a long history of forward-thinking excellence in developmental research. Our University researchers conduct innovative and world-leading child development research and teaching.  

At our Kindergarten we help support this research using a variety of approaches with our researchers and children, ranging from observational studies, free-play paradigms and eye-tracking.

Information for parents and guardians

Parents and guardians can be reassured that all research projects are carried out to rigorous health and safety standards and we also follow General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

When you register your child at our kindergarten you can decide whether or not you are happy for your child to participate in our research activities. These activities and exercises are a complimentary part of your child’s experience at the kindergarten and will not disrupt their learning. We create an active, mutual community between staff and parents by feeding back any result of our activities. 

The kindergarten is invaluable for our research and teaching activities at the University of Stirling, which aim to enhance the experience of our students by providing them with a unique ‘real world’ setting for developmental psychology.

Information for staff and students

The Kindergarten has two dedicated research rooms and an observation room available to support staff and student research projects. The number of children (aged 2 years 9 months to 5 years) attending the kindergarten varies widely, but there are maximumly 13 children attending per day. If you would like a tour of the kindergarten research facilities, please contact the kindergarten research chair Dr Line Caes at

As soon as you have an idea for a research project in the Kindergarten, we advise you to contact the Kindergarten Manager (Danielle Ramsay) and the Kindergarten Research Chair (Dr Line Caes) to discuss the suitability of the project. Before you can start your research project you need to apply for ethical approval, a PVG and a research passport. We have a standard procedure to gain consent from parents when they enrol their child with the option to opt out of any study after receiving specific information about the study. The findings of any study are shared with parents via study posters displayed in the hallway, during stay-and-play sessions and a yearly Research Booklet. 

To find out more about the research we are doing in the kindergarten, you can also explore our Lifespan Research Lab website.


Child running on grass by the loch

Illustrating Adventurous Play report

Read the report of an adventurous play project led by Dr Lily Fitzgibbon and funded by Frobel Trust.

Read the report
Two researchers, one with toy parrot, and child with pirate hat run an experiment

Reflections from students

"It's been such a unique experience for my learning." - third-year Psychology undergraduate student

"Students were able to consolidate their knowledge of child development theories and observation methods from previous modules and social work placements.” - final year Social Work undergraduate student

"It was a really interesting and fun experience. I saw how the children react and play with each other, how committed they are into doing stuff. The assistant was brilliant and I really enjoyed my time there." - third-year Psychology undergraduate student

"The opportunity to observe the children in the kindergarten was a once in a lifetime experience” - third-year Psychology undergraduate student