Prof. Dr. Lothar H. Wieler

Dr. Irina-Catrinel Craciun

Postdoc Researcher

Phone:+49 (331) 5509-4991
Profiles:LinkedIn | ResearchGate | Orcid | FU Berlin


Profile & Commitment

PD Dr. Irina Catrinel Crăciun is a health and development psychologist, with a formation in cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology. She working is working as a researcher, practitioner and lecturer in the fields of illness prevention, health promotion and education, healthy ageing and development across the lifespan. Her research interests include a wide range of topics from fostering development across the lifespan, mental global health to health communication, qualitative research methods and how to use digital technologies to foster development and health across the lifespan. Her aim is to develop interventions that would promote a healthy development of individuals, organizations and communities and contribute to reducing health inequalities within and across countries around the globe.

Research Interests

  • Mental health
  • Health communication
  • Healthy development across the lifespan
  • Developing and testing behaviour change interventions
  • Qualitative research


  • Postdoc researcher, Digital global health, Hasso-Plattner Institut, Potsdam, Germany | 2023-2026
  • Lecturer for qualitative methodology and healthy ageing across the lifespan | Freie Universität Berlin, Germany | 2015-2023
  • Assistant professor in health psychology | Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca Romania | 2012-2021
  • Guest professor for gender and health | Freie Universität Berlin, Germany | 2015-2016
  • Post-doc sponsored by Alexander von Humboldt foundation| Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin, Germany | 2012-2014
  • Teaching assistant in health psychology | Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania | 2009-2012


  • Seminar for qualitative methodology (MA level, 28 hours, 4 ECTS, German)
  • Seminar “Development in middle and older age” (BA level, 28 hours, 4 ECTS, German)
  • Seminar for qualitative methodology: applications for gender and health research (BA level, 28 hours, 4 ECTS, German)
  • Seminar “Science and society” (BA level, 28 hours, 4 ECTS, German)
  • Seminar “Stress reduction interventions in school context. An Intervention Mapping Approach” (BA level, 28 hours, 4 ECTS, German)
  • Course and seminar “Development and testing of behavior change interventions” (MA level, 56 hours, 6 ECTS, Romanian)
  • Course and seminar “Health promotion in old age” (MA level, 56 hours, 6 ECTS, Romanian)
  • Course in “Health psychology: Theories and models” (BA level, 28 hours, 6 ECTS, Romanian & English)
  • Supervised 40 BA thesis, 20 MA thesis and co-supervised 4 PhD thesis

Research Projects

  • Since 01.01.2023 PrecAge: Socio-emotional development in precarious times
  • Since 01.10.2022-Access to health care services in Costa Rica during the Corona Pandemic. A comparison between Costa Rican Nationals and Nicaraguan migrants, a collaboration with The University of Costa Rica.
  • 01.10.2020-31.09.2021, “Representation of ageing on Twitter during the Corona Pandemic”, Freie Universität Berlin.
  • 01.06.2020-31.12.2020, „Social Distancing und new forms of spatial interaction“, sponsored by Berlin University Alliance. Technische Universität Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin.
  • 01.01.2018-31.12.2019, “Views on ageing among Romanian children and adolescents”, Romanian Health Psychology Organization.
  • 01.10.2015-01.10.2018, “Views on ageing among Romanian General Practitioners”, Romanian Health Psychology Organization.
  • 01.09.2012-31.08.2014 “Resources for positive ageing”, sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
  • 01.10.2011-01.09.2012 “Psychosocial, Political and Gendered Dimensions of Preventive Technologies in Bulgaria and Romania: HPV Vaccine Implementation”, Romanian Health Psychology Society.
  • 01.10.2008-31.12.2011 “Temptations to eat moderated by personal and environmental self-regulatory tools”, FP7 Project EU.
  • 01.12.2011-01.12.2012 “Changing self-perceptions on aging to enhance personal resources for the promotion of physical activity in older people”, a collaboration between Romania, Germany, Italy and France, financed by the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS)
  • 01.10.2009-31.12.2011 “Increasing access to high quality primary prevention services for children and adolescents in Romania: healthy eating and physical activity”- Norway Innovation and Romanian Ministry of Health
  • 01.10.2011-31.08.2012 “Therapeutic Stories for children with cancer“, Romanian Health Psychology Association, Romania
  • 01.10.2006-31.12.2009 “Using Motivational Interviewing for parents of children with cancer“, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Romania Romanian Cancer Society
  • Since 01.03.2006 “Health Behavior in Romanian School Children” HBSC, World Health Organization
  • 01.01.2006-31.08.2007 “Social Exclusion”, EU und Amici dei Bambini, Italy.
  • 01.07.2004-01.02.2005 “Psychosocial and Health System Dimensions of Cervical Screening in Romania”, Engender Health (New York, USA), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • 01.10.2006-31.08.2007 “Enhancing communication skills in nurses” Nurses College, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • 01.10.2006-31.08.2007 „Stress Management und Burnout Prevention in Nurses in the Oncology Clinic“, Iuliu Hațeganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania Romanian Cancer Society
  • 01.10.2006-31.08.2007 “Tuberculosis management, the DOT strategy” program, Doctors of the World (USA), Romanian Health Ministry and “The National Program of Tuberculosis Control” USAID


  • Habilitation in psychology, 2023, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, „Growing old in precarious times. Implications for fostering development and positive ageing”
  • Phd in health psychology | 2007-2010, | Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
    • Thesis Title: “Motivational and volitional processes in sunscreen use: A longitudinal online experiment” (supervision Prof. Dr. Ralf Schwarzer), Magna cum Laude
  • MA in clinical psychology and cognitive behavioural therapy |2004-2006 | Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • BA in psychology | 2000-2004 | Babeş- Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Member in Organizations and Committees

  • Since 2007 National Delegate for Romania at the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS)
  • Since 2007 Vice-President of the Romanian Health Psychology Society
  • Since 2010, Scientific Committee EHPS
  • Since 2013 Editorial Board European Health Psychologist
  • Since 2017, National Editor for the Practical Health Psychology Blog


  • 2007 DAAD PhD Scholarship
  • 2009 Young Researcher Award at the EHPS Conference, in Pisa, Italy
  • 2011 EHPS International Research Networking Grant
  • 2012 Alexander von Humboldt Post Doc Scholarship
  • 2014 Japanese Health Psychology Society Tokyo, Japan
  • 2020 Excellent scientific results price offered by the Romanian Scientific Society

Continuous Formation

  • Testing Theories and Interventions with Individuals
  • Designing Computer Tailored Interventions
  • Implementing Intervention Mapping
  • Motivational Interviewing

Volunteer Activities

  • 2004 Romanian Cancer Society
  • 2005 EU Project Desine Moi un Surire, France and work in Croatia therapeutic play with children from war-stricken areas in Croatia


  • English: proficiency level, Cambridge Proficiency Certificate
  • German: proficiency level, Goethe Certificate C1
  • Romanian- mother tongue
  • French (A2), Portuguese (B1), Spanish (B2) Italian (A1)

Selected publications


  • Fostering Development in Midlife and Older Age: A Positive Psychology Perspective Crăciun, Irina Catrinel (2023). Springer Nature.


  • From hostile to benevolent ageism: Polarizing attitudes toward older adults in German COVID-19-related tweets. Dossing, Mille Viktoria; Crăciun, Irina Catrinel in The Gerontologist (2022). 62(8) 1185–1195.


  • Aging in precarious circumstances: do positive views on aging make a difference?. Crăciun, Irina Catrinel; Gellert, Paul; Flick, Uwe in The Gerontologist (2017). 57(3) 517–528.