Preparing our Psychology students for research careers

Date 23.04.2021

How the University prepares students to carry out research to benefit people at home and abroad was showcased this week at the second, annual Psychology Research Conference.

During the online event (held on Wednesday 21 April) oral and poster presentations from University of Northampton (UON) staff and students were heard.

The event was opened by UON Psychology and Social Science research lead Professor Chris Roe, who spoke about how the University event helps to highlight the array of psychological research conducted here and UON’s commitment to educating researchers of the future.

The event’s keynote speech was given by Associate Professor Dr Rachel Maunder, outlining ‘Relationships in education settings: Is who you know more important than what you know?’

Dr Maunder spoke about what learning is, what psychology can offer to our understanding of it and how UON students can take this to equip them to be better students, enhance how they work with colleagues as well as their general, day-to-day lives and interactions with other people.

They covered topics from across the psychology research fields at UON and included ‘Morality, ethnicity and behaviour change’, ‘Disgust sensitivity and aggression’, ‘Professional performance motivation and gratitude’ and ‘Mental health and wellbeing experiences’. Full agenda is: Psych Research Conference 210421.

Awards were presented to the following students:

  • Tom Howes for Best Oral Presentation: Are Growth Mindsets Essential to becoming a cricketer (award was Amazon Voucher and Certificate).
  • Kira Thomson for Best Poster Presentation: Fear of Crime and Social Media Use as Determinants of Public Punitiveness Towards Criminals (award was Amazon Voucher and Certificate).
  • Tunchanok Chunvirit: Disgust sensitivity and sociocultural adjustment in international students (award was certificate)

The organiser, Dr Karishma Jivraj commented: “I was blown away by the feedback received, the high attendance and great quality of oral and poster presentations from staff and students. These conferences are a great way of showcasing the important research we do in Psychology plus key opportunities for networking. I look forward to many more to come.”

Award-winning student Thomas added: “Going outside my comfort zone to present my dissertation at the Conference has given me an inner belief that my hard work and determination is starting to pay off and that I can actually fulfil my future aspirations.

“Considering the complications of Covid this year, I have personally felt the support of some great lecturers who are willing to go above and beyond to help. Significantly, they convinced me to participate in the conference because I would never have even thought about applying, unless I was encouraged into it. The lecturers have believed in me throughout this process and I am starting to feel more confident in myself.”

Student Tomisin Olowosuku presented about Attitudes to Mental Health Treatment among Young Black Adults: The Role of Self-Stigma. She added: “I was supported by my supervisor, who encouraged my research interests and ideas, allowing me to produce research that I was proud of enough to present. Before my final year of university, I was not considering a research career, but being in such a supportive environment, I am now considering a career in psychology research and hope that the UON psychology conference is the first of many that I take part in.

“I think these conferences are very beneficial for students as it gave me both the platform and confidence to discuss my research.”

Student Amber Rosen attended the event and concludes by saying: “I really enjoyed the research conference. It is the first one I have attended and it has really sparked my interest in research within psychology and given me some great inspiration for potential dissertation ideas. Conferences like this are so important for students to look at the wide variety of research and start figuring out their own research passions.”

Find out more about Psychology courses at the University of Northampton.