skip to content

Institute of Criminology



Professor Friedrich Lösel, Ph.D., is an emeritus Professor at the Institute of Criminology (IoC), University of Cambridge and the Institute of Psychology (IoP) at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU). He is still carrying out externally funded research projects as senior professor of psychology (FAU) or honorary research fellow (IoC). FL was director of the IoC from 2005-12 and director of the IoP from 1987-2011. Formerly, he was professor of psychology at the Universities at Bielefeld and Erlangen, tenured senior lecturer at Bamberg University, and lecturer at Erlangen University. He was also director of the Social Sciences Research Centre at Nuremberg and a principal investigator at the Advanced Research Centres "Prevention and Intervention in Childhood and Adolescence" and "Socialization and Communication" of the German Research Foundation. He is a chartered forensic psychologist, member of Wolfson College, and Senior Professor at the Psychological University at Berlin.  

FL has carried out research on origins of juvenile delinquency and violence, prison staff, correctional treatment, self-control, developmental prevention of antisocial behavior, football hooliganism, school bullying, psychopathic personality disorder, alternatives to remand prisons, protective factors and resilience in child development, marital satisfaction, child abuse, early family education, prisoners and their families, extremism and radicalization, neuropsychological risks in child development, therapy of sexual offenders, parenting behavior, people experiencing homelessness, the crime drop, evaluation methods, and other topics. He has published about 460 articles in journals or books and is (co-) author or editor of 43 books, research monographs, and special journal issues.

One of his main research projects is the 'Erlangen-Nuremberg Development and Prevention Study', a combined longitudinal and experimental study of over 600 children and their families that started at preschool age and evaluated programmes for children and parents over ten years. In this project (funded by the German Family Ministry) about 2,000 facilitators were trained to disseminate the programmes (on a nonprofit basis). Other recent projects evaluated social therapy of sexual offenders (Bavarian Ministry of Justice), addressed the development of prisoners and their families (ESRC, together with Caroline Lanskey), investigated protective factors against extremism and violent radicalization (European Commission), and reviewed prevention programmes against extremism and  radicalization (German Ministry of the Interior).

FL served in many national and international roles. For example, he was chair of the Psychology Panel  in the Violence Commission of the German Federal Government, chair of the Psychology and Law (P & L) Division of the German Psychological Association, secretary of the P & L Division of the International Association of Applied Psychology, member of the advisory boards of the German Criminological Centre, and of the Max-Planck-Minerva Centre for Youth Problems (Israel). He was Faculty Dean at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, reporter to the Council of Europe, member of the Correctional Programmes Accreditation Panel of the Auditor General in Canada, chairman of the German accreditation committee for academic  programmes on P & L, chair of the Scientific Board of the Criminological Research Centre of Lower Saxony, chair of the Correctional Services Accreditation Panel of England and Wales, vice-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, member or chair of various award committees of the American Society of Criminology, chair of the advisory group of the research consortium on sexual abuse in the German Catholic Church, member of the Law & Criminology Expert Panel of the Belgian Research Foundation, and member of the advisory group on the investigation of sexual abuse in the German Protestant Church. FL was a member of the expert group on future policy making of the German Federal Chancellor and served over five years as speaker of the steering group of the resulting work unit on crime prevention in the Ministry of the Interior. Currently, he is a member of the Campbell Crime & Justice Coordinating Group, the advisory group of the Centre of Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University, the Jury of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology, the advisory group of the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR), the Criminological Service of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice, and the board of trustees of the Criminological Research Center of Lower Saxony. He is a co-editor of a leading German journal on Criminology and an editorial board member of 15 national or international journals. He organized about a dozen conferences and congresses and gave around 400 invited lectures and presentations at conferences.

In recognition of his scientific work, FL received various honors and awards: He was elected President of the European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL), President of the Criminological Society of the German-speaking Countries, and President of the Academy of Experimental Criminology. He is a recipient of the Sellin-Glueck Award of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), the Jerry Lee Award of the ASC Division of Experimental Criminology, the EAPL Lifetime Achievement Award, an honorary Dr. sc. from Glasgow Caledonian University, honorary professorships of Universities at Chongqing and Hang Zhou (China), the Lifetime Achievement Award of the ASC Division of Developmental and Life-course Criminology, the Joan McCord Award of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the ASC Division of Biosocial Criminology, the Beccaria Gold Medal of the Criminological Society of the German-speaking Countries, the German Psychology Prize, and the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.


Professor Lösel's research interests are in the fields of criminology, clinical psychology, psychology and law, developmental psychopathology, risk assessment, and programme evaluation. He has worked, for example, on juvenile delinquency, prisons and their alternatives, offender treatment, developmental crime prevention, football hooliganism, school bullying, psychopathic personality disorder, protective factors and resilience in development, long-term close relationships, risk assessment for child abuse, sexual offender treatment, extremism and radicalization, prisoners’ families, neurological risks of child behaviour problems, and evaluation methodology (including meta-analyses). Over many years, he has been conducting a combined prospective longitudinal and experimental prevention study of 700 children and their families to investigate factors that either fuel or prevent the development of antisocial behaviour.


Emeritus Professor
Professor Friedrich  Lösel

Contact Details

+44 (0)1223 335385