Monday, 6 August 2012

Getting into the Mind-set of Psychology Research

Dr Liz Kirk (centre) with her new research assistants,
Emily Stears (left) and Lisa Wheatley (right)
It's great seeing some of our students and alumni in action at the Games, but it's not just sporting successes our students face this summer. Two of our outstanding students have the golden opportunity to gain an insight into scientific research over the vacation period.

Dr Liz Kirk, from the School of Psychology, has successfully secured two research grants, enabling her to provide “hands-on” research experience to two exceptional students.

Through the Undergraduate Research Assistant Award from the British Psychological Society, Dr Kirk has been able to employ Emily Stears, an outstanding second year psychology undergraduate during the summer vacation.  Emily is working as a research assistant on a project entitled “An exploration of the relationship between symbolic gesture and pretend play in infancy”.

As well as employing an undergraduate, Dr Kirk is also employing an exceptional psychology graduate as a research assistant. Through a new research grant funded by a collaboration between the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, Lisa Wheatley, who has just completed her degree this year with First Class honours, is working on a four month research project entitled “The relationship between symbolic gesture, maternal mind-mindedness and theory of mind.” This research follows up on the baby participants from a previous PhD study into baby-signing and who are now six years old!

These two grants provide a fantastic opportunity for these outstanding students to find out more about research, as well as giving their CVs that special competitive edge.

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