The Tizard Centre
profile image for  Clare Melvin

Clare Melvin

PhD Student


Clare is a part time PhD student at the Tizard Centre, awarded one of the University’s 50th Anniversary Scholarships.  Clare’s PhD is exploring the use of adapted sex offender treatment programmes for individuals with autism spectrum conditions. 

Clare holds an MSc in Psychological Research Methods from the University of Edinburgh (2008), a Diploma in Psychology (The Open University, 2005) and a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies (Nottingham Trent University, 2003).

In addition to her PhD, Clare is a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Tizard Centre and online mentor on the University’s FutureLearn Understanding Autism MOOC (  Clare also works as a Research Assistant within the NHS (Hertfordshire University Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk) and undertakes consultancy for the British Institute of Learning Disabilities.

Prior to research and academia, Clare worked as an assistant psychologist in low and medium secure services for adults with learning disabilities, autism spectrum conditions and personality disorders, and within a child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) Tier 4 service. 

Clare is trained in use of the ADOS has worked as part of the consultancy team at the Tizard Centre.

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Clare is completing her PhD with Professors Glynis Murphy and Peter Langdon investigating harmful sexual behaviour in individuals with autism spectrum conditions and looking at currently available treatment programmes, exploring their potential for reducing recidivism and future incidents of harmful sexual behaviours.

Alongside her PhD, Clare has worked on research primarily focusing on individuals with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) in forensic and secure settings, including a systematic review for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, updating the literature on treatment outcomes for mental health and specialist IDD inpatient services; and working as a Research Assistant for SOTSEC-ID, an organisation providing support and training for those working with individuals with IDD at risk of offending (  Within her current role at the NHS Clare is involved with the mATCH project exploring the treatment and care pathways of individuals with autism spectrum conditions detained under the Mental Health Act (

As a research consultant, Clare has completed work for the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, undertaking an independent evaluation of the Medway Advocacy Project ( which trained volunteers in the use of non-instructed advocacy for individuals with severe and profound IDD.

Clare has previous experience with non-IDD populations from working on a cognitive ageing project with Dr Alexa Morcom (University of Edinburgh).  This work furthered research undertaken as part of Clare’s MSc thesis and investigated age related differences in source memory for faces and the potential effects of different encoding processes. 

In addition to her forensic interests, Clare is interested in empathy, complex trauma and attachment, and cognitive ageing (healthy and pathological) in neurotypical and IDD populations. 

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Journal publications, book chapters and reports
Melvin, C.L & Malovic, A., (2018) (in press) When sexual behaviours become harmful or abusive in Bates, C. (Ed.) Sexuality and Learning Disabilities. Second Edition. Pavilion Publishing, East Sussex, UK.
Melvin, C.L., Murphy, G.H. & Langdon, P.E., (submitted) Adapted sex offender treatment programmes for men with autism spectrum conditions: service user views. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities.
Melvin, C.L., Langdon, P. E., & Murphy, G.H. (2017) Treatment effectiveness for offenders with autism spectrum conditions: A systematic review. Psychology, Crime & Law, 1-29. doi:10.1080/1068316X.2017.1324027 
Langdon, P.E., Melvin, C.L., Barnoux, M., Shepstone, L., Roy, A., Devapriam, J & Alexander, R. (2017) People with learning disabilities and mental health, behavioural or forensic problems: a systematic review of the role of inpatients services and a report on the progress towards discharging people from hospital.  Report prepared for the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Melvin, C.L., (2015) Medway Advocacy Project: Evaluation Report. Prepared for the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, Medway, Kent, UK.

Conference + poster presentations
Melvin, C.L., Murphy G.H, & Langdon, P.E., (2018) Adapted sex offender treatment programmes for men with autism spectrum conditions: clinician views. Oral presentation at IASSIDD 2018, Athens, Greece.
Melvin, C.L., (2018) Understanding Autism. FutureLearn London Partners’ Forum, oral presentation, Imperial War Museum, London.
Melvin, C.L., (2017) Adapted sex offender treatment programmes for men with autism spectrum conditions: clinician and service user views. Care and Treatment of Offenders with a Learning and/or Developmental Disability Conference 2017, oral presentation, Manchester, UK.
Brown, M., & Melvin, C.L. (2016) Sex Education – getting it right and what to do when it goes wrong. Oral presentation at Learning Disability Today 2016 Conference, London.
Melvin, C.L, Langdon, P.E., & Murphy G.H. (2016) Treatment Effectiveness for Offenders with Autism Spectrum Conditions: A Systematic Review. Oral presentation at IASSIDD 2016, Melbourne, Australia and at University of Kent Post Graduate Research Festival.  Also presented as a poster at Seattle Club 2016, Glasgow, Scotland.
Melvin, C.L., Murphy G.H., & Langdon, P.H, (2016) Adapted sex offender treatment programmes for men with autism spectrum conditions: clinician and service user views. Oral presentations at IASSIDD 2016, Melbourne, Australia. 
Melvin, C., & Eaton, J. (2014) ‘Dementia of the Lewy Bodies or Catatonia in Undiagnosed ASC’.  Case review presentation at The Huntercombe Group CPD Forum, Norwich, Norfolk. 
Eaton, J., Kaiser, F., Melvin, C., & Haasmann, I. (2013) ‘Autism and Paedophilia: Implications for Treatment and Care Pathway’ presented at the International Conference for Care and Treatment of Offenders with Learning Disabilities, Newcastle.
Eaton, J., Haasmann, I., & Melvin, C. (2012) ‘The Challenges of Running the SOTSEC-ID in a Low Secure Setting’ oral presentation at East of England Mental Health & Learning Disability Academic Forum, Newmarket, Suffolk.

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Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7LR

Telephone: +44(0)1227 827373 or contact us

Last Updated: 25/04/2018