Dr. Nicholls is Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UBC and Distinguished Scientist at the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission, BCMHSUS. She holds cross-appointments at UBC including the SPPH and an Adjunct appointment in the Department of Psychology, SFU.
Her research examines the intersections of law and mental health related to the provision of services to persons in conflict with the law and diverse marginalized populations focusing on assessment and treatment of violence, criminality and the development and implementation of EBP. She has published manuals to support the translation of research into practice and has engaged in large-scale implementations and evaluations; these include violence risk assessments and mental health screening in correctional settings, mental health assessments and treatment planning (see manuals).
Her scholarly work has earned her and her teams multiple grants and awards totalling over $15 million. Recently she received a CIHR Foundation award (> $2 million; 2015-2022) to fund her research.