Portrait of Dr Merle Parmak Dr Merle Parmak

m.parmak@hud.ac.uk | 01484 473832


I joined the University in July 2014 as a lecturer in psychology to contribute to the Division’s research and teaching in the area of occupational/organisational psychology.

For about 1 year before moving to the UK, I worked as a research fellow for the Institute of Industrial Psychology at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. I taught courses on 'Change management' and 'Security psychology' as well as 'Personnel planning, selection and performance appraisal'. From a research side, I contributed actively to international collaborations within and outside of NATO. I co-authored the NATO edited book 'Enhancing Coping with Crisis and Terrorism' and NATO's 'SCO Technical Report on Military Suicides'.

Before turning fully to the civil academic world I was contributing to the field of military psychology as a uniformed research psychologist. Since 2007 I was a research fellow in Estonian National Defence College. During those years I was involved in several NATO and one EDA collaborative projects as well as teaching and supervising in the area of military psychology. In addition, I contributed to the development of the field of military psychology in Estonia by organising national and international conferences, workshops and seminars. During this period the e-course 'Psychology in Military Practicei was produced and two translated books for educational purposes edited.

A double PhD was obtained in Belgium in Psychology (Leuven University) and Social and Military Sciences (Brussels Military Academy).

Research and Scholarship

University research group memberships

I am a member of the Centre for Applied Psychological and Health Research and the Institute for Research in Citizenship and Applied Human Sciences.

Research interests

My research interests draw on an interactional approach: examining human behaviour in context wherever person-in-environment concepts can be applied. Projects currently active:

  • Individual, community and national resilience in multinational societies: relations to societies' ability to withstand crises and cope at times of unease or major changes
  • Situational awareness, decision making and emergent behaviour in critical situations: the role of psychobiological states, individual differences and emotion regulation

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Parmak, M (2017) ‘National resilience as a security concept’. In: Military psychology and leadership development. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. pp. 77-94. ISBN 978-81-316-0908-8


Parmak, M (2016) ‘Health beyond symptoms: Multidimensional approach to functional fitness in military organisations’. In: Military psychology from an international perspective. : . .


Parmak, M (2015) ‘National Resilience in Multinational Societies’. In: Resiliency: Enhancing coping with crisis and terrorism. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press. . ISBN 978-1-61499-489-3


Parmak, M (2014) ‘An interactionistic approach to military selection: Interaktsiooniline lähenemine personalivalikule sõjaväes’. In: Psihologia Militara: INFO-PSIHO 2014: Psychology as a Multiplier for the Military Operational Capacity , 24th April 2014, Bucharest. Bucharest, Romania: Editura Universtitatii Nationale de Aparare "Carol I". pp. 158-162. ISBN 978-606-660-110-8

Parmak, M., Mylle, J. and Euwema, M. (2014) ‘Sensation Seeking and Perceived Need for Structure Moderate Soldiers’ Well-Being Before and After Operational DeploymentMilitary Behavioral Health , 2 (1), pp. 75-81. ISSN 2163-5781


Adler, A., Delahaji, R., Bailey, S., Van den Berge, C., Parmak, M., van Tussenbroek, B., Puente, J., Landratova, S., Kral, P., Kreim, G., Rietdijk, D., McGurk, D. and Castro, C. (2013) ‘NATO Survey of Mental Health Training in Army RecruitsMilitary Medicine , 178 (7), pp. 760-766. ISSN 0026-4075

Parmak, M., Mylle, J. and Euwema, M. (2013) ‘Personality and the perception of situation structure in a military environment: seeking sensation versus structure as a soldierJournal of Applied Social Psychology , 43 (5), pp. 1040-1049. ISSN 00219029


Parmak, M., Euwema, M. and Mylle, J. (2012) ‘Changes in sensation seeking and need for structure before and after a combat deployment.Military Psychology , 24 (6), pp. 551-564. ISSN 0899-5605


Jermalavi?ius, T. and Parmak, M. (2010) Towards a resilient society, or why Estonia does not need ’psychological defence’ Tallinn, Estonia: ICDS: International Centre for Defence Studies


  • 2013-present: Advisor for the Centre for Defence and Security Studies, Tallinn University of Technology
  • 2013: Chair of National Accreditation Committee of EFPA EuroPsy (Estonia)
  • 2013-present: EFPA EuroPsy Certificate awarded (area of practice: Work and organisation)
  • 2013: Harry Greer Award by International Military Testing Association
  • 2013-present: Chair of National Accreditation Committee of EFPA EuroPsy
  • 2012-2015: Project expert in Tallinn University of Technology 'Developing and testing protective clothing from specially processed textiles for particular military uses'
  • 2011: Invited expert talk in NATO Operations Medical Conference (NOMC): Personality assessment and military selection: The role of personality in mental persistence of military personnel
  • 2011: Keynote address on International Military Mental Health Conference (IMMHC): Personality and psychological wellbeing: are all soldiers equally vulnerable to deployment stressors?
  • 2011-2015: Project expert in University of Tartu 'Developing the battery of psychometric tests for personnel selection and classification in Estonian Defence Forces'
  • 2011-2015: Nominated member in NATO/STO/HFM-218; Military Suicides
  • 2010-2012: Invited expert in EDA project ATHENA; Asymmetric Threats in Urban Operations
  • 2009-2013: National representative International Military Testing association
  • 2009-2012: Nominated member in NATO/STO/HFM-203; Mental Health Training
  • 2009-2012: Nominated member in NATO/STO/HFM-171; Psychological and Physiological Selection of Military Special Operations Forces Personnel
  • 2008-2011: Nominated member in NATO/STO/HFM-175; Medical Unexplained Physical Symptoms in Military Personnel
  • 2007-2013: National representative in Baltic Military Psychologists Expert Forum
  • 2007-2010: Nominated member in NATO/STO/HFM-164; Psychological Aspects of Health Behaviours in Deployed Military Operations
  • 2007: Member of American Psychologists' Association
  • 2006: Member of Estonian Psychologists' Association

Research Degree Supervision

I am particularly interested in the supervision of projects in following areas:

  • Person-Environment Fit in (security) organisations
  • Moral dilemmas and moral injuries
  • Individual, community and national resilience
  • Situational awareness and decision-making in ill-defined situations
  • Military or security psychology
  • Industrial and organisational psychology

Teaching and Professional Activities

Module Leader:

  • HIB1048 Applying psychological principles in organisations

Contributions to:

  • HHB1020 Final Year Project in Psychology
  • HFB1030 Introduction to Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods