Kim’s social work snapshot scoops Images of Research first prize

Date 23.05.2016

Congratulations to University of Northampton researcher Kim Dodd, who has won the Graduate School’s third annual Images of Research competition.

The contest invites researchers from across the institution submit an image, accompanied by 150 words of text, which captures the essence of their work. See all of the images here

This year saw a record 31 entries received, with Kim’s image, above, being selected as the winner by judge Roy Wallace, Senior Lecturer in Media Production.

School of Health Professional Doctorate, Kim, said: “The purpose of my research is to understand how social workers construct their identities when they are working in adult mental health services.

“The work social workers do is often with the most distressed and vulnerable people, at a time when they are in acute mental health crisis.

“Listening to how personal their commitment and determination was, to see social justice for people who are often living chaotic and difficult lives, took my breath away and left me stunned.

“I became aware that, as much as my research was taking a snap shot of their worlds and meanings, the people I interviewed were also provoking me to look at my own value base and commitment to the people around me in my community.

“This image surprised me, like my research; when trying to take a snap of my daughter she turned her camera on me.”

Judge Roy explained why he felt Kim’s effort was his worthy winner: “This image and the contextualising statement evoked a range of emotions for me, which is why I chose it for first place.

“I never really thought of social workers as caring champions of social justice for vulnerable people in our communities.

“This image connected the essence of the research, the impact on the personal and family support required to undertake postgraduate research, while offering a conceptual framework where the research is a ‘journey’ with the focal point often turning on oneself along the way.

“The partially hidden aspect to the image offers ‘polysemic’ reading of the text which appeals to me and left me unsettled trying to make sense of the ‘intention’ of the photographer.”

Runners up in the competition were Dr Helen Scott and Charmaine Sonnex.

A public vote was also held this year, with Lecturer in Molecular Bioscience within the School of Health, Dr Karen Anthony, taking first place for her image ‘Muscle by Numbers’.

The public vote runners up were Dr Carmel Capewell, Meriem Lamara and Emma Whewell.

All of the entries can be viewed in the online catalogue.