Educational Activities

DOPS Faculty Presentations

Members of the DOPS research faculty sometimes give lectures within the department of the UVA School of Medicine Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, as guest lecturers at other universities or institutions, and at professional conferences and special public lecture events.

UVA School of Medicine Medical Center Hour

In 2017, the DOPS research faculty had the opportunity to present at the UVA School of Medicine Medical Center Hour to commemorate 50 years of research into the question of post-mortem survival of consciousness.

Click here to view the UVA DOPS faculty present their research at the UVA Medical Center Hour-Is there Life after Death? Fifty Years of Research at UVA.



Inviting the DOPS Faculty to Give Presentations

Please email us at if your academic institution, interest group or professional research organization would like to invite the faculty individually or collectively, to speak about their research.

Medical Student Research Interns

Kelsey O'Leary and Monica Janke Medical Student Research Interns 2016

Medical Students Kelsey O’Leary and Monica Janke, Class of 2019-UVA DOPS Research Interns, Summer 2016

Since the year 2002, DOPS has engaged 2 first year UVA medical student summer research interns in coding the cases of children who report memories of previous lives. The medical students apply and are interviewed for this summer research program. They are here for 7-8 weeks during their summer break from medical school.  The students are supervised and trained in the coding procedures in a standardized manner. They are then given access to the files and field notes of the cases of children who remember previous lives. Using standardized procedures, they code the cases for over 200 variables. Once a case is coded, the data is entered into a large SPSS data base. The students are then encouraged to create a research project of their own in which they use statistical analysis to look for patterns and and trends in the data. At the end of the summer, they give a presentation about their projects to the faculty and write a short summary paper. It is possible for these medical student projects to evolve into published academic papers with the guidance and collaboration of the research faculty at DOPS.

Medical Student Summer Research Intern Publications:

Childhood Gender Nonconformity and Children’s Past-Life Memories authored by Marieta Pehlivanova, Monica J. Janke, Jack Lee & Jim B. Tucker, published in 2018 in the International Journal of Sexual Health. (pdf)

Cases of the Reincarnation Type with Memories from the Intermission Between Lives, authored by Poonam Sharma and Jim B. Tucker, published in 2005 in the Journal of Near-death Studies, 23(2):101-118.

Graduate Students and Medical Residents

Qualified UVA graduate students, and graduate students, medical students and medical residents from other approved academic institutions and medical schools may also set up special research projects related to the scope of what is being studied at UVA DOPS provided that a member of the Division’s research faculty has made arrangements to act as collaborator or an associate supervisor on the project.

Graduate students may engage in research projects with UVA DOPS while they are pursuing a wide variety of degrees within other departments, such as Anthropology or Religious Studies, Psychology, Neurobiology, or Sociology among many other related academic programs, provided they satisfy all requirements of the parent department and/or parent institution, and have the explicit cooperation of their department supervisor to do a special research project with The UVA Division of Perceptual Studies.

Please note, UVA DOPS cannot not provide course credit or funding to any students for these specially arranged circumstances.

Here is an example of an academic paper that came out of a specially arranged research project with a medical resident. This is the result of the collaboration between Geena Athappilly and Bruce Greyson.  Dr. Athapply was a visiting medical resident from an accredited institution at the time of her project.

  • Do Prevailing Societal Models Influence Reports of Near-Death Experiences? A Comparison of Accounts Reported Before and After 1975 by Geena Athappilly, M.D. and Bruce Greyson M.D. (Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 194, 218-222, 2006).  This article compares the phenomenology of 24 NDEs that were reported prior to Dr. Raymond Moody’s introduction of the term “NDE” in 1975 with 24 recently reported NDEs, matched on relevant demographic and situational variables. Tunnel phenomena were reported more frequently in the recent NDEs, but 14 other features described by Moody were reported as frequently in the pre-1975 NDEs as they were in the recent cases. This consistency in NDEs reported before and after Moody described the “typical” NDE suggests that NDEs reports have not been substantially influenced by prevailing cultural models.

Visiting Scholars and Academic Researchers

Faculty from other academic institutions and disciplines have used their paid sabbaticals or outside funding to come and do research projects with us that fall within the scope of the DOPS research endeavors with the support and supervision of the DOPS faculty.

These guest researchers have worked with us on various projects of mutual interest. We welcome inquiries from any and all such persons who might have an upcoming paid sabbatical leave and are interested in our research.

We do not provide course credit or funding to any visiting guest researchers for these specially arranged circumstances. For those researchers who are interested in learning more about this possibility, send an email describing your academic background and proposed research project to:

Professor Masayuki Ohkado and Dr. Bruce Greyson

Professor Masayuki Ohkado and Dr. Bruce Greyson

The paper below is the result of a collaboration between Professor Masayuki Ohkado and Dr. Bruce Greyson.  Masayuki Ohkado was on sabbatical as a visiting researcher from Chubu University Japan at the time of this project. Dr. Ohkado made special arrangements with the faculty to spend his year long sabbatical at DOPS to learn about the research being carried out at the division, as well as to collaborate on various projects of his own with the DOPS research faculty. Numerous academic papers came out of his time here.

A Comparative Analysis of Japanese and Western NDEs, by Masayuki Ohkado, Ph.D. Bruce Greyson, M.D.  (Journal of Near-Death Studies, 32(4), Summer 2014)  Decades of studies on near-death experiences (NDEs) have revealed both cross-cultural and culture-specific features (Kellehear, 2009) and that it is important to determine which aspects are attributed to the physiological, biological, or psychological mechanisms shared by all humans and which aspects are of cultural origin. In this article, we examine Japanese NDEs and compare their features with generalizations based on observations of Western NDEs. (pdf)

Self-paced Reading Curriculum Regarding the Scope of Research Being Done at DOPS

Emily Williams Kelly, PhD

Emily Williams Kelly, PhD

Our esteemed colleague, Dr. Emily Kelly, currently on sabbatical, has authored many publications on research into the survival of consciousness post mortem. A close colleague of our founder Dr. Ian Stevenson, and she has been a researcher at UVA Division of Perceptual Studies for over thirty years. Dr. Kelly has developed a self-paced reading curriculum for those wanting to become more familiar with the scope and the background of the research being conducted at the Division of Perceptual Studies.

Click here to view the self-paced reading curriculum compiled by Dr. Emily Kelly reflecting the scope of the research being done at the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies into the survival of consciousness post mortem.