Undergraduates as researchers –the impact of active participation in research and conference presentation on psychology undergraduate identity and career aspirations

Davidson, J. M. and Lyons, M. (2018) Undergraduates as researchers –the impact of active participation in research and conference presentation on psychology undergraduate identity and career aspirations. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 6(1), pp. 39-46. (doi: 10.14297/jpaap.v6i1.320)

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Abstract

Although research-led teaching has been identified as an important part of psychology curricula in the United Kingdom, less is known about the impact of undergraduate research collaborations with academics, culminating in a conference presentation. The present study was a qualitative investigation into the experience of student-staff collaboration from a student perspective. We conducted semi-structured interviews with five psychology students who worked together with staff conducting research during their undergraduate degrees, disseminating the findings at an academic conference. The interviews were analysed using a thematic approach. We identified three themes, which were around the relationship with their tutor, career aspirations, and identity as a researcher/psychologist. Overall, the interviews indicated that undertaking research and attending academic conferences has a positive impact on future career aspirations, and helps students to feel that they are part of an academic community. Academic staff teaching in research-led psychology programmes should consider giving students opportunities to immerse themselves fully in the research process, ideally leading to a conference presentation for academic audiences.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Davidson, Dr Janis
Authors: Davidson, J. M., and Lyons, M.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
College/School:University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
Journal Name:Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice
Publisher:Edinburgh Napier University
ISSN:2051-9788
ISSN (Online):2051-9788
Published Online:24 April 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice
First Published:First published in Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice 6(1): 39-46
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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