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About Us

What are we about?

The RIOT Science Club is a forum where researchers can learn about Open Research reforms and practices, and central to its aims is encouraging Reproducible, Interpretable, Open & Transparent Science. Started in mid-June 2018 at King’s College London by Samuel Westwood and co-organised by Marion Criaud, Olivia Kowalczyk, and Sheut-Ling Lam, the initiative is entirely early-career researcher-led and has now expanded beyond Denmark Hill Campus to a growing number of sites and is now partnered with the UK Reproducibility Network.

The RIOTS Club invites speakers to give talks, present papers, give insights into time-saving tools, recommend new statistical techniques, and much more. Additionally, The RIOTS Club aims to change research culture that is more collegial, where viewpoint and background diversity can be allowed to flourish.

The ultimate aim is to create a levelling space where junior and senior academics alike can all mutually benefit from the exchange of ideas that move us away from the publish or perish culture, that stymie the replication crises, and that put researchers on the map in the Open Research revolution!

All presentation slides are stored on our Open Science Framework page and recordings are uploaded to our YouTube channel.

Who are we?


Sam Westwood, PhD

Lecturer, University of Wolverhampton

I was awarded a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Aston University, Birmingham in 2018. I joined King’s College London in 2017 as a post-doctoral Research Associate in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department investigating the effectiveness of combining cognitive training and non-invasive brain stimulation in improving inattention and self-control in boys with ADHD. In 2020 I became a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton. Although still interested in neuromodulation, I have developed a small obsession with all things to do with reproducibility, transparency, and the betterment of research culture for everyone. I am also the founder of the RIOT Science Club and a proud founder too!

Steering group

Elisabet Blok

PhD Student, Erasmus Medical Centre

I am a PhD Student working within the Generation R Study group at Erasmus Medical Centre. I received a BSc in Medicine at Erasmus Medical Centre in 2017. My research focuses on the brain development of children with combined symptoms of depression, anxiety, aggression, and attention problems known as emotion dysregulation. I co-organise the Rotterdam RIOT Science Club meetings at Erasmus Medical Centre.

Marion Criaud, PhD

Research Associate, King’s College London

I am a post-doctoral Research Associate in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department. I have a BSc and MSc in Cognitive Sciences from Université Lumière Lyon 2, and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in association with University of Toronto. My current research focuses on developing a new non-medical treatment for children with ADHD called fMRI NeuroFeedback. I have a keen interest in identifying best practice in fMRI and understanding its limitations when applied in psychiatry. My main RIOTS roles are co-hosting events, organising content, and making sure talks on best practice in neuroimaging are represented (as more awareness is needed!).

Lorenza Dall’Aglio

PhD Student, Erasmus Medical Centre

I am a PhD Fellow working on a collaboration project between Erasmus Medical Centre and Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health. I investigate the neurobiology of childhood and adolescent mental health problems, aiming to characterise longitudinal trajectories of development. Additionally, I co-organise RIOT Science Club meetings in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I graduated in Psychology from Erasmus University Rotterdam and subsequently earned an MSc in Behavioural Genetics from King’s College London.

Ellie Hassan

PhD Student, University of Exeter

I am a PhD Student in Sport and Health Sciences. I completed a BSc in Psychology at The University of Dundee, and an MSc in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Edinburgh. I then joined the University of Exeter’s Sport and Health Sciences department where my PhD investigates how acute physical and mental fatigue affects dexterity in adults of different ages. I have benefited highly from adopting open research practices and have a keen interest in sharing these practices with others so that they can benefit too. Together with João, I organise Exeter RIOT Science Club meetings.

Olivia Kowalczyk

PhD Student, King’s College London

I am a PhD Student in the Neuroimaging Department at the IoPPN, King’s College London. I earned a BSc in Psychology from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2016. In the same year, I joined King’s College London, first as a Research Assistant and then as a PhD Student. While my current research focuses on pharmacological modulation of brain function in ADHD, my interests span across various disciplines of psychiatry, neuroimaging, psychopharmacology, and meta-research. My main roles in the RIOT Science Club are managing our website, organising content, and co-hosting events.

Sheut-Ling Lam

PhD Student, King’s College London

I’m a PhD Student in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. I earned a BSc in Psychology from Maynooth University, Republic of Ireland in 2014. I joined King’s College London in 2015, where I completed a MSc in Neuroimaging. For my PhD, I am currently working on a randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of fMRI Neurofeedback as a potential alternative non-pharmacological treatment for children with ADHD. My main RIOT Science Club roles are organising content and designing flyers/logos.

Alexandra Lautarescu

I am a PhD Student based in the Department of Perinatal Imaging and Health at St Thomas’ Hospital. I earned a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from University of Exeter in 2011, followed by an MPhil in Medical Sciences (Psychiatry) from University of Cambridge. My current research focuses on maternal mental health during pregnancy and its relationship with fetal and neonatal brain development, as part of the Developing Human Connectome Project. I am a co-founder of the Postdocalypse Podcast and the Open Research Calendar. My main RIOT Science Club roles include co-managing our OSF Page and YouTube Channel, organising content, and co-hosting. I am also the current local lead for the UK Reproducibility Network.

João Mineiro

PhD Student, University of Exeter

I am a PhD Student in Sport and Health Sciences. I completed a BSc in Physiotherapy at ESS-IPS, Portugal, in 2012. I have also completed an MSc in Pain Management at the University of Cardiff, in 2018. In the same year, I joined Exeter’s Sport and Health Sciences’ Object Interaction Lab to start my PhD where I am investigating how chronic pain is malleable to interactive immersive virtual environments and whether this technology can be used for developing novel treatments to help people in pain. My interests span pain sciences, embodied cognition, Bayesian Brain framework and immersive virtual reality technology. Together with Ellie, I organise the Exeter RIOT Science Club.

Nadia Soliman

PhD Student, Imperial College London

I have a BSc (Hons) Pharmacology (University of Liverpool) and returned to academia after having served in both the regular and reserve of the British Army for over ten years. Since returning I have gained an MSc in Drug Discovery Skills (King’s College London) and an MRes in Cellular and Molecular Biosciences (Imperial College London). I remained at Imperial College, where I am a PhD Student focusing on developing automation technologies to improve the feasibility, efficiency, and accuracy of preclinical systematic reviews while addressing neurobiological questions of interest. I have an interest in sharing my military experiences and knowledge of leadership development to engender a more positive research culture.

Bing Xu

PhD Student, Erasmus Medical Centre

I am a PhD student at the department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus Medical Centre. I investigate the neural mechanisms of children’s mental health problems by identifying the complex patterns in brain structure and functional connectivity. I have specific interests in computational psychiatry, in which I apply a data-driven approach to explore brain function and a theory-driven approach to build computational models of human cognition. I earned a BSc in Psychology from Sun-Yat Sen University and an MSc in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience from University of Amsterdam

Additional support

Chris Albertyn

I am a PhD Student and Trial Manager in the IoPPN, focusing on the application of data science in dementia research and evaluating a cannabis-based medicine for the treatment of behavioural symptoms in dementia (see STAND Trial). I have specific interests, and relative expertise, in psychopharmacology, artificial intelligence/data science, and open science applied to healthy ageing and dementia research. I also have extracurricular roles as the co-regional lead for the Deep Dementia Phenotyping Network (DEMON) and Project Manager for Ageing Research at King’s (ARK). My RIOT Science Club role is mainly tweeting and communications.

Miguel Xochicale, PhD

Research Associate, King’s College London

I am a Research Associate at the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences where I am pushing forward the state-of-the-art of ultrasound-guided procedures and making scientific contributions to new algorithms, software, and hardware. In July 2019, I was awarded a PhD in Computer Engineering from the University of Birmingham. In addition to the scientific achievements of my PhD, I published the first openly accessible and 100% reproducible PhD thesis since the establishment of the University of Birmingham in 1900. I have a passion for robotics, chaos, AI, brains and open-science. My roles at RIOTS include organising content, co-hosting events, and contributing to the awareness of the best practices in open research.

Where to find us?

We’re based at King’s College London, Erasmus Medical Centre, University of Exeter, and Imperial College London.

Get in touch!

Keep up to date by following us on Twitter or by joining our mailing list

Interested in getting involved? Don’t be shy, drop us a line!