Office of the Dean of Research

The Office of the Dean of Research for Arts and Sciences coordinates strategic planning and implementation for research in the School of Arts and Sciences. This office is responsible for research development and facilitation at the school and plays a key role in coordinating large, collaborative grants (across the school, University, and/or multiple institutions) and in fostering a culture that facilitates the acquisition of extramural support for research.

Ayanna Thomas

Ayanna K. Thomas
Dean of Research for Arts and Sciences

Professor of Psychology

Ayanna K. Thomas was named Dean of Research for the School of Arts and Sciences in 2021. In this role, she serves as primary advisor to the school's Dean and works to support department chairs and faculty in research matters. In addition, Ayanna is a key liaison between the Office of the Vice Provost of Research and A&S faculty in promoting and facilitating the research mission of the school and the university. She manages the school’s Research Administration team and sits on the University-wide Research Council. She also oversees the Visiting and Early Research Scholars' Experience (VERSE) Program.

Dean Thomas began her career at Tufts in 2007, when she joined the Department of Psychology as an Assistant Professor and established the Cognitive Aging and Memory Lab. She was promoted to the role of Associate Professor in 2013 and Professor in 2019. From 2016 to 2021 she served as Director of Graduate Studies for her department.

Dean Thomas received her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Washington, and then spent three years as an NIA postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Her research focuses on the relationship between memory and metamemory. She examines the role metamemory plays in memory acquisition, distortion, and access using a balanced approach towards basic and applied designs as they relate to education, eyewitness memory, and age-related changes in memory. Her more recent work has demonstrated that memory errors can be exacerbated when people are not able to exercise metacognitive control at retrieval.