Romola Bucks

Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, MSc Clin Psychol, PhD Cognitive Psychology, Professor

  • The University of Western Australia (M304), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • The University of Western Australia (M460), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • The University of Western Australia (M410), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 7015

Personal profile

Roles and responsibilities

Pro Vice Chancellor Health and Medical Research (1 January, 2022 - )

Director, The Raine Study

Member of Academic Board and of Academic Council (2020-2022)



Born and educated in the UK, Romola obtained her qualification in Clinical Psychology at the University of Birmingham, UK, in 1991, before specializing in Clinical Neuropsychology. In Australia, Romola is a Psychology Board of Australia endorsed Clinical Psychologist. She obtained her PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Bristol and moved to the University of Western Australia in 2007.

Whilst publishing work across the lifespan, she is internationally recognised for her work in the diagnosis of cognitive decline and dementia, and for her expertise in the cognitive and affective consequences of key disorders of ageing, including obstructive sleep apnoea, type-2-diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

In a publicly available database of over 100,000 top scientists, Romola was recently ranked 85,953 in the world. In Neurology & Neurosurgery, she was ranked at 4,416 of 278,898 researchers ( “Expertscape®” algorithm using PubMed places Romola in the top 0.14% of scholars writing on cognition over the past 10 years. In 2018, she was made a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science for her contribution to the field.

Romola is on the Board of Directors of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.

A former Head of the School of Psychological Science and Deputy Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, UWA, Romola is the Director of the Raine Study - and Pro Vice Chancellor (Health and Medical Research), The University of Western Australia.

Funding overview

Grants through UWA listed under Grants tab.

Other grant funding:

  • 2021 (1 year). CIs: Fatima, May, Skinner, Bucks, Jaltrana, & King. Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre 2021 Seed Funding Scheme.  SF0001821: Co-designed Sleep Apnoea awareness and education program for First Nations peoples in remote Queensland. 449,881.
  • 2020-2021 (2 years). CIs: Fatima, Martis, Skinner, Skinner, Bucks, Eastwood, King, Jatrana & Mamun. Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Seed Funding Scheme 2020. Nurse-led and Aboriginal health worker supported model for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea diagnosis and management in remote Queensland.  AU$50,000
  • 2020 (3 years). CIs: Fatima, Mamun, Skinner, Bucks, Blunden, Yiallarou, Smith, McDaid. AIs: Tran, Eastwood, Varela, Solomon, King. Indigenous Health Research Fund: MRFF, APP1201569. Co-designed sleep health program to achieve better sleep and improved mental health symptoms in Indigenous adolescents. AU$586,961
  • 2020 (3 years). CIs: Naismith, Grunstein, Phillips, Hoyos, Yaffe, Martins, Marshall, Lagopoulos, Jackson, & Mowsowski. AIs: Goodenough, Rofail, Barnes, Woodward, Donegan, Osorio, Bucks, Duffy, Erigadoo, Lung. NH&MRC Boosting Dementia Research Grant: GNT1171479. REducing Sleep Apnoea for the PrEvention of Dementia (REShAPED): a multi-site feasibility RCT. AU$1,468,685
  • 2019 (3 years). Rainey-Smith, Martins, Eastwood, Ree, Bucks, Villemagne, Weinborn, Doecke, Brown. Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant Program (US). Improving sleep to promote healthy brain aging: an intervention study. US$149,400
  • 2017 (2 years). McArdle, N, Hillman, D., Bucks, R.S., & Starkstein, S. Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Health Care Group. Characterising patterns of depressive symptoms in obstructive sleep apnoea: a latent class analysis approach. AU$36,159
  • 2016 (1 year). Butun, S., Chen, W., Pestell, C., and Bucks, R.S. Fremantle Hospital Medical Research Foundation. The mediating influence of sleep on cognitive symptoms amongst children with complex ADHD. AU$15250
  • 2015 (4 years). Andrea Loftus, Natalie Gasson, Romola Bucks and Meghan Thomas. Parkinson’s Western Australia: The Zrinski Research Grant. The Impact of Cognition on Everyday Function, Quality of Life, Motor Symptoms, Sleep, Mood and Carer Experience in Parkinson’s. AU$185,000
  • 2016 (2 years). Rainey-Smith, S.R., Bucks, R.S., Martins, R.N. Equity Trustees Limited: Mason Foundation National Medical Program (funded by the J. J. Mason & H.S. Williams Memorial Foundation). Category 1 MAS2015F034. The contribution of sleep factors to healthy cognitive ageing: a pilot sleep-specific cognitive behavioural intervention study. AU$60,000
  • 2014 (2 years). Rainey-Smith, S., Martins, R., Weinborn, M., Bucks, RS., Brown, M. Brain Foundation Category 3. Determining the influence of objectively measured sleep quantity and quality on cognitive function, blood and neuroimaging biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. AU$42,926
  • 2013 (3 years) Pestell, C., Bucks, R., Bayliss, D., McCann (PhD Candidate) & Marriner, A. (PhD candidate). Neurosciences Unit [NMHS-MH] & UWA. Sleep and Neurocognitive Functioning in Children with Neuropsychiatric Conditions. AU$1450
  • 2011 (1 year). Bucks, R. UWA School of Psychology. Sleep Across the Lifespan. AU$6,000
  • 2011 (2 years). Loftus, Bucks & Thomas. Parkinson’s West Australia. The impact of sleep fragmentation and hypoxia on executive function, memory and health-related quality of life in Parkinson’s disease. AU$6,000
  • 2011 (2 years). Loftus, Bucks, Kroczek (PhD candidate). Young Onset Group (YOGS). The impact of sleep on thinking, memory and quality of life in Parkinson’s Disease. AU$5,000
  • 2010 (3 years). Palmer, Musk, Atlas, Beilby, Bucks, Constable, Davey-Smith, Emery, Foster, Hung, James, Knuiman, Mukherjee, Musk, Newton, Thompson. West Australian Government. The Busselton Healthy Ageing Study. AU$1,000,000
  • 2009 (3 years) CIs: Dunlop, Allison, Harvey, Davis, Galea, Denehy, Nunn, Marshall, Acland, Geraghty, Mareels. AI: Bucks. Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative. SCIPA (Spinal Cord Injury and Physical Activity): Intensive Exercise from Acute Care to the Community. AU$4,676,832
  • 2009 (2 years). Dunlop, Mastaglia, Ker, Grove, Hamer, Buchanan, Allison, Singer, Lloyd, Thickbroom, Lay, Bucks, & Geelhoed. Neurotrauma Research Programme. Move Again Programme. AU$100,000
  • 2009 (1 year). Hill, Padoa, Allen, Shults, Bucks. Paul Poloni Research Fund (British Academy of Childhood Disability). Respiratory function in children with severe motor disorders using night-time postural equipment. £7420
  • 2008 (2 years). Cruise, Thomas, Bucks, & Loftus. ECU Early Career Researcher Grant Scheme. Profiling Non-Motor Symptoms in Early Parkinson's Disease. AU$24,935
  • 2008 (1 year). Dunlop, Mastaglia, Ker, Grove, Hamer, Buchanan, Allison, Singer, Lloyd, Thickbroom, Lay, Bucks, & Geelhoed. Neurotrauma Research Programme. Move Again Programme. AU$20,000.
  • 2007 (1 year). Hill and Bucks [joint PIs]. World Universities Network (University of Southampton). Life-span physiological and functional adaptation to hypoxia at altitude. £4997.
  • 2007 (1 year). Bucks. University of Western Australia. Travel grant. $750
  • 2006 (1 year). Bucks. Guarantors of Brain. Travel grant. £650
  • 2005 (3 years). Richardson, Bucks & Hogan. Gerald Kerkut Charitable Trust. Awareness of error in normal ageing and dementia. £7,000
  • 2004 (2 years). Peron, Dror & Bucks. British Academy, Small Research Grant. An investigation into the mechanisms used by older adults in making decisions under pressure. £4,583
  • 2004 (3 years). Perry, Bucks, Gidron, Grimble, & Rawlins. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council BBS/B/15864. Impact of systemic inflammation on cognition and the underlying mechanisms. £437,061
  • 2003 (1 year). Bucks, Maguire, & Maier. Learning Teaching Support Network (LTSN). Creating ethical research: understanding ethics committee decision making. £2980
  • 2000 (2 years). Bucks, Emmerson, Spaull, & Wilcock. PPP Healthcare Medical Trust Older People Programme Project - 265/393. An evaluation of a psycho-educational intervention in older adults with mild cognitive impairment using a combination of randomised control trial and n=1 methodology. £45,557.
  • 1996 ( 3 years). Baddeley, Wilcock & Bucks. Medical Research Council - G9603074. Central executive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease. £68,670
  • 1996 (3 years). Bucks. NHS Executive, Research and Development Directorate – Doctoral Award.  Intrusion errors in Alzheimer’s disease. £81,080

Previous positions

01/01/2020 - 20/10/2020 Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science, Universty of Western Australia

01/1/17 - 31/12/2019 Head of School, School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia

  • Led developments in Indigenizing our curriculum, Succession planning through developing academic leaders, Secured full accreditation of our programs with the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, and Led strategic growth in the School, including the launch of a new Master of Business Psychology.

01/11-01/17 Associate Professor, School of Psychology, Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences, University of Western Australia

  • 2012-2014 - Chair Postgraduate Clinical Training Programs Management Committee
  • 2012-2014 - Director, Clinical Psychology Postgraduate Programs
  • 2010-2012 - Director, Clinical Curriculum Development Process

07/07-01/11 Lecturer, Level B, School of Psychology, Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences, University of Western Australia

  • 2008-2011 - Coordinator PSYC1101: Psychology Mind and Brain
  • 2008-2011 - Level 1 Year Coordinator

06/05-06/07 Visiting Senior Lecturer, University of Southampton, School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, Southampton, UK
08/06-03/07 Clinical Neuropsychologist, 8c, Stroke Service (Poole Hospital), Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust.
03/01-05/05 Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, Level C, School of Psychology, University of Southampton
04/93-01/01 Research Fellow/Manager, Bristol Research into Alzheimer’s and Care of the Elderly (BRACE) Centre, Department of Care of the Elderly, Division of Medicine, University of Bristol

Current projects

Her primary research focus is on ageing, Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea and depression with a core feature of each the study of sleep disturbance and its impact on emotional and cognitive functioning. Her secondary research focus is on vulnerability, or resilience to negative affect in ageing.

Teaching overview

Romola contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in clinical neuropsychology (particularly cognitive ageing and dementia) and research methods (e.g. systematic reviewing, psychometrics, and research ethics).


Normal ageing
Neuropsychological consequences of chronic disease
Type 2 Diabetes
Obstructive sleep apnoea

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 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research expertise keywords

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Cognitive ageing
  • Dementia
  • Emotion processing
  • Measurement
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Executive function
  • The Raine Study


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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