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Academic Links

AQR has academic links at a number of Universities. The research team is headed by Professor Peter Clough who is supported by Dr John Perry (University of Hull). Dr Perry is recognised as one of the UK’s leading psychometricians. In 2013 he won an award for Best Presentation at a BPS conference.

The academic team’s principal functions are:

  • Carry out research to support the development of AQR products and services.
  • To provide academic support for the development of existing products and new psychometric measures.
  • To analyse and evaluate selected activity using AQRs products and measures.
  • To liaise with Universities and academics around the world to create a groundswell of research activity that grows our understanding of personality, attainment, behaviour and well-being.

Key Academic Personnel:

Professor Peter Clough MSc, BSc (Hons), Chartered Psychologist

Professor Peter Clough is a Chartered Sport and Exercise psychologist and a Chartered Occupational psychologist.  He is a Professor of Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University. His main academic interests are in performance in high pressure environments.  He is co-developer, with Keith Earle, of the mental toughness model.

In 1993 Peter joined AQR Ltd  in 1993 after leaving the Post Office where he had been Head of the Psychological Services Department managing one of the largest groups of Occupational Psychologists in the UK. As well as working with Royal Mail, Peter has worked with a wide range of organisations in the course of his academic experience.

Peter is unique in that his career spans at a senior level both the Academic and the Commercial worlds. He was for 5 years Head of the Psychology Dept. at the University of Hull.

In recent years Peter has risen to prominence as the leading figure worldwide in developing and articulating a model of Mental Toughness which has many applications in the occupational, social, health and educational worlds. Together with AQR he has develop the world’s first psychometric measure of Mental Toughness – MTQ48 as well as a highly effective Mental Toughness development programme.

Dr John Perry, BSc (Hons), MSc, PGCE, PhD, FHEA, CSci, CPsychol

John is recognised as one of the UK’s leading psychometricians and is expert in many forms of assessment in applications which range from occupational work and sport psychology through to the development of young people.  John has been instrumental in demonstrating the validity of the mental toughness questionnaire-48, which is used regularly in employability, occupational, sport, health and educational settings. He also had significant input in the validation of the Carrus, career management tool.

John is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist, Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. His research is focused on a variety of sport psychology concepts, mental toughness, character, time perspective, and psychometrics.

John has has many publications in peer-reviewed international journals and has had work rated as internationally excellent in research exercises. He has presented his work internationally and regularly works with academics around the world lending his statistical skills. He also has over 10 years experience of lecturing in higher education, including developing and leading programmes.

John has established himself as an authority on psychometric development and testing. This is reflected in his publication of validation reports on mental toughness, time perspective, confidence, coping, and the development of new scales in compliant and principled sportspersonship and attitudes towards doping. His recent research has offered recommendations for other researchers wishing to explore the validity of measurement scales.

Doug Strycharczyk FCIPD BA (Hons)

Doug is the CEO of  AQR International – Founded in 1989, AQR is now recognised as one of the most innovative (and fast growing) test publishers in the world working in more than 80 countries.

AQR established its reputation initially as a leader in Team Building and leadership development. His work has been featured on BBC Television where Prof John Adair described the material as “highly effective”

In recent years, Doug has worked with Professor Peter Clough to define mental toughness and to create the world’s leading measure of mental toughness. Doug is now recognised as a leading authority on the application of mental toughness to the worlds of work, education, sport as well as social applications.

Focusing on helping organisations develop performance, increase retention and employee engagement and more effectively dealing with issues such as bullying and the impact of change. He is working on a PhD which will take the Mental Toughness model and measure to the next level.  This work will involve examining the neuroscience behind mental toughness.

Other Research Partners

Newcastle University – Dr Helen St Clair Thompson, School of Psychology

Edinburgh University – Dr Sarah McGeown, Deputy Head of Institute of Education, Community and Society

Lincoln University  – Dr Lee Curst, Department of Sport, Coaching, and Exercise Science

Edge Hill – Dr David Marchant, Sport and Exercise Psychology

University of Basel – Dr Markus Gerber, PhD, Institute of Exercise and Health Sciences

University of Western Ontario – Livia Veselka, Philip Anthony Vernon, Department of Psychology

The “Penicillin of People Development” With Peter Clough


Mindtools, L&D Insights Podcast (30 mins)

Professor Peter Clough explains how mental toughness can be developed in the workplace and what can be gained by focusing on this trait.