Maria Garraffa


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Reading in bilingual children Linguistics profiles in people with aphasia Designing linguistics informed language assessments Literacy for healthy ageing Public health and language Bilingualism for the society

Personal profile

Key Research Interests

My research interests have focused on the developing of linguistics informed assessment tools for acquired communication impairments, children from social deprived backgrounds and speakers of more than one language. I have adopted a range of methodologies including online and offline behavioural methods, single case and group studies, linguistics and cognitive screenings.

I am interested in research projects on people with aphasia as well as children with developmental language disorders. I have current collaborations with research partners in Europe as well as in South Asia, working with multilingual communities and their challenges.

I am currently part of the ADHD and Bilingualism project (AttCom) at the University of Oslo, researching on the relations between attentional disorders and language learning with an emphasis on the impact of being bilingual for ADHD.

I have been part of the team lead by Newcastle University who has developed CARA: a Comprehensive Assessment of Reading in Aphasia.


Areas of Expertise

  • Clinical Lingustics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Bilingualism and cognition
  • Aphasia
  • Developmental language disorders
  • Literacy in adults

Research Group or Lab Membership

UK-MUK - Board member of UK Malasya Consortium

BM- Bilingualism Matters Honorary member

BNS – British Neuropsychology Society,

BAS – British Aphasiology Society,

AoA – Academy of Aphasia, Executive Committee member

CATs – Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists, Cost Action WG5 Aphasia Assessment group

Postgraduate Research Opportunities

I am willing to supervise PGR students in any area of language impairments. Some examples are:

  • Communication impariment in aphasia
  • Reading in both children and adults with learning disabilites
  • Linguistics profiles in developmental language disorder
  • Bilingualism and language pathologies
  • Linguistics competence in heritage speakers

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 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Siena

Award Date: 14 Apr 2007

Master in Science

Award Date: 3 Sep 2004

Bachelor of Arts, University of Siena

Award Date: 30 Jun 2003

External positions

Visiting Professor, University of Oslo

1 Aug 202131 Jul 2025

Visiting Senior Research Fellow, D'Annunzio University of Chieti–Pescara

1 Feb 202130 Apr 2021

Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University

1 Aug 202031 Jul 2021

External Examiner, National University of Singapore

30 Mar 2020 → …

External examiner Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London

1 Sep 2019 → …

External examiner BS/MS Speech and Language Therapy, City, University of London

1 Mar 2019 → …

Assistant Professor, Heriot-Watt University

30 Sep 201731 Jul 2020

Senior Research Associate, Newcastle University

1 Jan 201630 Nov 2018

Postdoc Fellow, University of Trento

1 Feb 201031 Jan 2012

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or