Undergraduate Research Assistantship Scheme

The Society hopes to provide up to 20 researchers with the opportunity to offer an undergraduate a research apprenticeship during the summer vacation. The apprentice will be provided (either face to face, virtually or mixed methods) with research training, direct experience of research and an insight into scientific research to encourage them to consider an academic career. The project must provide real benefits to the student and give them tangible training and career development support.

This prestigious award marks out a student as a future researcher and potential academic. The senior researcher, to whom the award is made, will be responsible for the development the of student’s potential and interest in research.

For further details, including the full criteria and an application form, contact the team

Award

Up to twenty awards are available each year.

The project should take place over either 6 or 8 weeks. You must aim to carry out the placement in the summer vacation prior to the beginning of the final year of study.

We award the positions to the supervisor who must be a member of the Society and actively engaged in research. They may then appoint an undergraduate student to become their Research Assistant in the summer break before the start of the final year of their undergraduate degree.

The award provides a student stipend at a weekly rate of £270.  The HEI will need to meet all other related overheads.

Benefits

Students will engage in a defined research project for either 6 or 8 weeks of their summer vacation. This will enable them to, not only gain insight into scientific research as a career, but will also give their CV a distinctive edge.

Supervisors will not only be able to conduct a specific research project during the summer vacation, but also demonstrate a commitment to science and education by supporting the research assistant.  The scheme aims to help identify potential PhD students as well as providing early mentoring experience for existing PhD students, post docs etc.

Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a Research Assistantship award, students must be:

  • Completing a Society accredited undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in psychology
  • Considering research as a career
  • Expecting to achieve a 2.1 or a 1st class degree
  • Be finishing the penultimate year of their degree and due to start their final year following the completion of the project.

In addition, the supervisor:

  • Must be employed in a UK HEI at the same institution as the selected student
  • Must be at least a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
  • Can only make one application in any year

Application process

Supervisors must now complete an application form for all requests for funding. In addition to completing the application form, supervisors are also required to provide the following details:

  • A research proposal (this must not exceed 600 words – please include a word count at the end of the document). The proposal must specify a detailed, timetabled and specific project that is feasible and achievable within the proposed timescale.  This will include a specific training component e.g. training in the professional testing of participants (possibly including patients, children, or other sensitive groups), training in collating and analysing data and in the communication of the research findings.  The training will have an assessable aspect with a tangible output, e.g. findings, a presentation, an article etc.
  • We also ask the supervisor to provide a contingency plan, should the project not be feasible as originally proposed – for example, as experienced in 2020/1 with the COVID 19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions.
  • Please provide details of the ethical review procedures that the research proposal will be, or has been, subject to. All research proposals must be compliant with the Society’s Code of Ethics and Conduct, the Code of Human Research Ethics and the relevant supplementary guidelines for research with animals (as appropriate).  (N.B. we will only release funding for successful applications once we are in receipt of official confirmation showing that you have been granted ethical approval).

Applications must also include

  • A signed statement from the student (this must not exceed 500 words, and a word count must be provided at the end of the document) outlining why they want this bursary and how it will contribute to their career aspirations. A form for them to use will be included with your application pack.
  • A signed confirmation from the Head of Department that is hosting the Research Assistant, indicating the Department’s willingness to administer the bursary; confirmation of the student’s expected degree classification; providing support for any additional costs where appropriate; their support for the application; and general support for the hosting an Assistantship/project. A form for them to sign will be included with your application pack.
  • An official breakdown of the student’s degree performance to date. His should be on university headed paper.

Important additional information

  1. In order for us to consider applications in a fair and unbiased manner we will de-identify all paperwork before it is sent to The Grant Awards Committee for blind review. We would ask you to assist us in this process by only using personal details in essential areas of the paperwork, where indicated.
  2. All material must follow the guidelines set out in the Society's Code of Ethics and Conduct.
  3. In addition, material should also follow the guidelines set out in the Code of Human Research Ethics, where applicable.
  4. Submissions must not contain sexist language. We make the following suggestions about ways to avoid this form of sexism:
    1. Avoid using sex-specific forms generically. While it is usually easy to substitute nouns, pronouns are more difficult because of the absence of neutral terms. Possible strategies for coping with this include using plurals, e.g. he/they; his/their, him/them; using both male and female pronouns, e.g. he/he and she, him/her and him. Try deleting pronouns, e.g. the participant completed his task/the participant completed the task. Rephrase Sentences, e.g., when the subject arrived he was asked to/on arrival the participant was asked to. 
    2. Avoid making sex-stereotyped assumptions about people, their abilities, attitudes and relationships. 
    3. Avoid specifying the sex of the referent unless it is relevant.
  5. When submitting material, please note that it should follow the Guidelines for Psychologists Working with Animals, if applicable. 

Additional information

  1. We will send a Final Report form for the supervisor to complete with the student on completion of the project, along with an end of grant evaluation questionnaire (Student Questionnaire) for the student to complete and return.
  2. Please also provide a draft poster, to be displayed/presented at a ceremony in 2022. Please also include a 250-500 word abstract. (We will provide full guidelines for the poster in good time for the presentation).

Award recipients

2019 Recipients

  • Dr Janice Attard-Johnson (Bournemouth University) will support Rebecca Legg and her project: ‘Estimating ages from faces seen in isolation and in groups.’

  • Dr Kareena McAloney-Kocaman (Glasgow Caledonian University) will support Megan Hemming and her project: ‘An exploration of straight privilege and personal hardship.’

  • Dr Aurore Bardey (UAL London) will support Utkarsha Mehdiratta and her project ‘Qwear Identity: The Role of Fashion and Social Media in Coming Out as LGBTQ’

  • Dr Blerina Kellezi (Nottingham Trent University) will support Noel Plisko and his project ‘Justice and wellbeing following the conflict in Ex-Yugoslavia. A social identity perspective.’

  • Dr Maria Panagiotidi (University of Salford) will support Michelle Wain and her project ‘Exploring the effect of a brief interaction with a companion robot on human psychophysiology and mood.’

  • Dr Martin Turner (Staffordshire University) will support Daniel Boatwright and his project ‘The development and initial validation of the cognitive-behavioural metacognition questionnaire (CB-MCQ).’

  • Dr Nahid Zokaei (University of Oxford) will support Thomas Graham and his project ‘Prioritisation of items in long-term memory using retrospective attentional cues.’

  • Dr Sarah Rose (Staffordshire University) will support Megan Lomas and her project ‘The effectiveness of a mindfulness-based colouring intervention to reduce anxiety in adolescents’

  • Dr Rory Thomas Devine (University of Birmingham) will support Andrew Theophaniand his project ‘Let’s Talk! Investigating the impact of a brief intervention to enhance parent-child spatial talk.’

  • Dr Gaby Pfiefer (Leeds Beckett University) will support Megan Pritchard and her project ‘Age differences in interoceptive sensitivity and the effects on emotional processing and memory.’

  • Dr Danielle Ferriday (University of Bristol) will support Katie Taylor and her project ‘Adaptive memory? Exploring the effects of hunger on spatial memory.’

  • Dr Emma Portch (Bournemouth University) will support Kirsty Parker and her project‘Streamlining EvoFIT composite construction: Exploring the relationship between array number and composite recognisability.’

  • Dr Pamela Jacobsen (University of Bath) will support Maria Stefanova and her project ‘”Who gets offered CBT for psychosis in the 12 months following a psychiatric hospital admission? Follow-up data from an inpatient RCT.’

  • Dr Katie Wright-Bevans (Keele University) will support Bethany Addy and her project ‘Exploring avenues for health promotion in bisexual individuals.’

  • Dr Lisa Graham-Wisener (Queen’s University Belfast) will support Janine Geddis and her project ‘Application of behaviour change model to inform the public health approach to palliative care.’

  • Dr Phil McAleer (University of Glasgow) will support Mandy Norrbo and her project ‘The effect of participant age on the accuracy of recognising unfamiliar speakers.’

  • Dr Olivia Maynard (University of Bristol) will support Ryane Kai Wen Collingwood and her project ‘Exploring the changes in mood and cognition during the MDMA ‘comedown’

  • Dr Amy Paine (Cardiff University) will support Maisie Lo and her project ‘Profiling the Neurodevelopment of Adopted Children.’

  • Dr Georgia Niolaki (Coventry University) will support Alexandra Negoita and her project ‘Every Letter Counts in the New Interpretive Spelling Test for Primary School Children.’

2018 Recipients

  • Dr Eric Robinson  (University of Liverpool) will support Amy Hansell and her project ‘” Supersize Me”: The effect of food portion size and eating environment on energy intake.’

  • Dr Lynn Dunwoody (Ulster University) will support Adrienne Walker and her project: ‘An exploration of cancer related fatigue and physical activity from the perspective of a family, informal (unpaid) carers and friends.’

  • Dr Elizabeth Sheppard (University of Nottingham) will support Nafi Talukder and his project ‘How well can parents read their children’s minds?’

  • Dr Abbie Jordan (University of Bath) will support Imogen Coningsby and her project ‘Telling their story: Exploring future perceptions of parents of youth with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.’

  • Dr Oliver Robinson (University of Greenwich) will support Nikolay Petrov and his project ‘A mixed-methods study into the relationship between dreams and developmental crisis episodes in adulthood: Seeking further support for the continuity hypothesis’

  • Dr Nikki Hayfield (University of the West of England) will support Karolina Krizova and her project ‘A qualitative exploration of pansexual people’s understandings and lived experiences of pansexuality.’

  • Dr Lynn Wright & Dr Scott Hardie (Abertay University) will support Scott Burrows and his project ‘HIS and HRS: Developing measures of handedness identity and stereotypes.’

  • Professor Louise Phillips (University of Aberdeen) will support Auste Simkute and her project ‘Attending to friends: Are older adults influenced by familiarity when following gaze cues?’

  • Dr Catherine Sebastian (Royal Holloway University of London) will support Iqra Arshad and her project ‘The relation between every day aggression, frustration and inhibitory control in predicting reactive aggressive responding.’

  • Dr Tom Stafford (University of Sheffield) will support Zaihirah Quddud and her project ‘Dynamic Adjustments of Cognitive Control Across Adolescence: An EEG Study.’

  • Dr Gemma Taylor (University of Salford) will support Eve Bent and her project ‘Investigating the role of children’s visual attention on the video deficit effect (VDE).’

  • Dr Robert Bendall (University of Salford) will support Michael Heenan and his project ‘The role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during emotion regulation: A combined neuroimaging and neurostimulation study.’

  • Dr Gemma Graham (University of Brighton) will support Amy Bradford and her project ‘”Play it again Sam”: Investigating Fixation Behaviour and Physiological responses during repeated CCTV Observation.’

  • Professor Lynne Murray (University of Reading) will support Chloe Rock and her project ‘Maternal speech during book-sharing and child Theory of Mind.’

  • Dr Helen Johnson (Coventry University) will support Chloe Jackson and her project ‘Use of cognitive interviewing to explore what strategies children use when completing the YARC: A measure of reading comprehension.’

  • Dr Emma O’Dwyer (Kingston University, London) will support Amran Yusuf and her project ‘How do British citizens negotiate their positions towards the use of armed drones? A qualitative study.’

  • Professor Julia Carroll (Coventry University) will support Georgia Kirkland and her project ‘Can the purported benefits of creative methods support the inclusion of children as part of intergenerational design research projects?’

  • Dr Andrew Dunn (Nottingham Trent University) will support Liam Cahill and his project ‘Development of an experimental process for assessing male body image and body dissatisfaction, using an Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP).’

  • Dr Rowena Hill and Dr Lucy Betts (Nottingham Trent University) will support Tom Goodwin and his project ‘Psychology Information Handling in Disaster Management: Managing information in major incidents in order to increase public confidence and community situational awareness, and counter misinformation.’

  • Dr Claudia Metzler Baddeley (Cardiff University) will support Rebecca Louch and her project ‘Effects of genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease on white matter microstructure of fornix subfibers in asymptomatic adults at midlife.’

2017 Recipients

  • Dr Louise Almond & Professor Jon Cole (University of Liverpool) will support Chloe Brennan and her project ‘Using psychological testing to improve selection for the Police initial firearms course.’

  • Dr Rebecca Brewer & Dr Geoffrey Bird (KCL London) will support Edward Millgate and his project: ‘The influence of reward priority on ERP signatures of attentional selection and learning in Autism Spectrum Disorder.’

  • Dr Line Caes (University of Stirling) will support Emily Katherine McKenzie and her project ‘How do adolescents with chronic pain use YouTube to communicate about their challenges?’

  • Dr Anna Chisholm (University of Liverpool) will support Philee Ang-Chen and her project ‘Making Every Contact Count by talking to patients about healthy lifestyles: Exploring public health specialists’ views and experiences of training health professionals across UK NHS trusts’

  • Dr Kate Cross (University of St Andrews) will support Annie Macaulay and her project ‘Communicating psychological sex differences: What does ‘men are more aggressive than women’ imply?’

  • Dr Stephan Dombrowski (University of Stirling) will support Giulia Piazza and her project ‘What makes our environment obesogenic? A Day Reconstruction Study.’

  • Dr Chris Fullwood (University of Wolverhampton) will support Nichola Sharaf and her project ‘The influence of text speak and attractiveness on perceptions of online daters.’

  • Dr Lorna Hamilton (York St John University) will support Isabelle O’Halloran and her project ‘Exposure to narrative fiction and the development of mentalising skills in early adolescence.’

  • Professor Claire Hughes (University of Cambridge) will support Megan Cheyney and her project ‘Parental Wellbeing, Mind mindedness and Cognitive Talk to Toddlers: A Comparison of Mothers and Fathers’.

  • Dr Robin Jackson (Loughborough University) will support Matthew Brownsey and his project ‘Beliefs and thoughts about traumatic memory: Testing a metacognitive intervention to reduce post traumatic stress symptoms.

  • Dr Daniel Jolley (Staffordshire University) will support Tanya Schrader and her project ‘If they conspire, then why don’t I?” Examining the relationship between conspiracy theories and intentions to engage in White Collar Crime.’

  • Dr Catherine Loveday (University of Westminster) will support Isobel Harper and her project ‘Sharing & inhabiting memories’.

  • Dr Elaine Niven (University of Dundee) will support Ellen Pauley and her project ‘Memory for events over time: a virtual reality investigation.’

  • Dr Sally Palmer & Professor Liz Pellicano (UCL Institute of Education) will support Laura Bourne and her project ‘Enhancing the inclusion of autistic students in London schools.’

  • Dr Kyla Pennington (University of Lincoln) will support Kerry Fletcher and her project ‘Stress reactivity and executive function.’

  • Professor Stephen D Reicher (University of St Andrews) will support Anna Tskhovrebova and her project ‘Social Identity processes in disgust ‘contagion’.

  • Dr Eric Robinson & Dr Ashleigh Haynes (University of Liverpool) will support Emily Crowne and her project ‘Perceived overweight and selective attention to socially-rejecting faces.’

  • Dr Sarah Rose (Staffordshire University) will support Ruth Pettitt and her project ‘Divergent thinking and pretend play: is the relationship reciprocal?’

  • Dr Cordet Smart (Plymouth University) will support Holly Reed and her project ‘Representing service users and carers in Multi-Disciplinary Healthcare meetings.’

  • Dr Niamh Stack (University of Glasgow) will support Sally Bell and her project ‘Too noisy to learn? The impact of sensory stress in the primary classroom.’

  • Dr Lorenzo Stafford (University of Portsmouth) will support Sophie Ashurst and her project ‘Beyond The Visual: Exploring Drug Attentional biases From The Olfactory Domain.’

2016 Recipients

  • Dr Deborah Riby (Durham University) will support Emma Reames and her project ‘Characterising outcome for individuals with Williams syndrome in the UK: Educational achievement and life skills.’

  • Dr Sally Quinn (University of York) will support Laura McGarry and her project ‘Do first impressions predict tweeting of police photographs of wanted people?’

  • Dr Laura Wilkinson (Swansea University) will support Rochelle Embling and her project ‘Does emphasising food variety in a product label affect every day portion size decisions?’

  • Dr Carl Walker (University of Brighton) will support Jenny Terry and her project ‘Using photovoice to explore the lived experiences of welfare reforms and mental health.’

  • Dr Catherine Thompson (University of Salford) will support Ashley Taylor and her project ‘The influence of emotion on visual attention: Varying attentional capacity or biasing processing strategy?’

  • Dr Chris Fullwood (University of Wolverhampton) will support Emma Boultwood and her project ‘ Factors predicting partner entitlement in online dating.’

  • Dr Darren Chadwick (University of Wolverhampton) will support Rachael Mackley and her project ‘ Online support group use and psychological wellbeing for family carers of people with intellectual disabilities’.

  • Dr Dawn Watling (Royal Holloway, University of London) will support Pancy Poon and her project ‘Sharing’ on social media: The role of self-presentational style and feelings of social anxiety’.

  • Dr Rebecca Charlton (Goldsmiths University of London) will support Gavin Stewart and his project ‘Ageing with Autism Traits: Examining Ageing in the Broad Autism Phenotype’.

  • Dr Louise Bunce ( University of Winchester) will support Hannah Joseph-Green and her project ‘ The impact of engaging in fantasy on cognition in children and adults’.

  • Professor Rachel Calam (University of Manchester) will support Cheryl Cai Fang Ang and her project ‘Qualitative exploration of service providers’ attitudes, beliefs and experiences of working with parents experiencing mental health problems’.

  • Dr Georgina Randsley de Moura (University of Kent) will support Christie Marsh and her project ‘Perceptions of Workplace Opportunities’.

  • Dr Josephine Ross (University of Dundee) will support Egle Dalinkeviciute and he project ‘Create Together: Can art therapy offer an effective early intervention for at risk attachment relationships?’

2015 Recipients

  • Professor Bruce Hood (University of Bristol) will support Nick Martin and his project ‘Determining the cognitive mechanisms of over imitation using eye tracking’

  • Dr Silvana Mengoni (University of Hertfordshire) will support Natalie Hall and her project ‘Exploring care staff’s attitudes to health psychology research involving people with learning disabilities’

  • Dr Martin Jones (University of Exeter) will support Kayleigh Watts and her project ‘The role of mental toughness and pain catastrophizing on muscular performance following induced delayed onset muscle soreness’

  • Dr Patrick Bourke  (University of Lincoln) will support Holly Allaway and her project ‘Cognitive neuroscience of template formation in visual search – a TMS study’

  • Dr Catrin Eames (University of Liverpool) will support Lorna Phillips and her project ‘Implementation of mindfulness-based Interventions in UK health service settings’

  • Professor Shirley Reynolds (University of Reading) will support Hannah-Rose and her project ‘Human developmental changes in attention bias for threat in children’

  • Dr Stephen Gibson (York St John University) will support Rachael Booth and her project ‘UKIP and the 2015 general election: a discourse analysis of broadcast media data’

  • Professor Caroline Rowland (University of Liverpool) will support Melissa Chapple and her project ‘Is infant learning domain independent?’

  • Dr Mark Turner (University of Portsmouth) will support Holly Tricker and her project ‘Do work placements improve psychology graduates transition into the workplace?’

  • Dr Kirsty Miller (University of Lincoln) will support Aysha Bellamy and her project ‘Whose hand is it anyway? Investigating the development of agency in four- to ten-year-old children’

  • Dr Alexandra Kent (Keele University) will support Chloe Waterman and her project ‘999 Police call openings: asking for help and assessing urgency’

  • Dr Victoria Lovett (Swansea University) will supervise Lauren Dillon and her project ‘The effects of local stimulus enhancement and object affordances on an imitation task: an eye-tracking study’

2014 Recipients

  • Dr Rachel Arnold (University of Bath) received support to fund an Assistantship for Axel Vittersø and his project: ‘A Longitudinal Assessment of Organizational Stress in Elite Athletes.’

  • Professor James Elander (University of Derby) received support to fund an Assistantship for Ada Dys and her project ‘Pain, anxiety and analgesic dependence: a mixed methods study.’

  • Professor Glenn Waller (University of Sheffield) received support to fund an Assistantship for Anna Kolesnik and her project: ‘The relationship between risk taking behaviours and anxiety during adolescence and adulthood.’

  • Dr Ruth Filik (University of Nottingham) received support to fund an Assistantship for Hannah Elizabeth Howman for her project: ‘Using eye-tracking to investigate how we understand sarcasm.’

  • Dr Steve Brown (University of Liverpool) received support to fund an Assistantship for Rachel Smith and her project: ‘Does body weight predict memorability for and appetitive response to television food advertisements.’

  • Professor Caroline Rowland (University of Liverpool) received support to fund an Assistantship for Katie Brewin and her project: ‘Testing the validity and reliability of a new language monitoring and assessment tool: The BabyTalk app.’

  • Dr Charity Brown & Dr Faisal Mushtaq (University of Leeds) received support to fund an Assistantship for Katie Leanne Thompson and her project: ‘The neural genesis of pathological risk appetite.’

  • Dr Lois Grayson (Durham University) received support to fund an Assistantship for Rachel Norris and her project: ‘Trait characteristics and sensory mechanisms associated with severe eating-related symptoms in patients with eating disorders (pilot).’

  • Dr Ashok Jansari (University of East London) received support to fund an Assistantship for Victoria Jefferies and her project: ‘Investigating executive impairments in children with atypical development (Autism Spectrum Disorder & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) using a novel ecologically-valid virtual reality assessment of executive functions.’

  • Dr Chao-Hwa (Josephine) Chen-Wilson (University of Wolverhampton) received support to fund an Assistantship for Victoria Theobald and her project: ‘Exploring the jumping to conclusions bias in children and adolescents.’

  • Dr Georgina Randsley de Moura (University of Kent) received support to fund an Assistantship for Fatima Tresh and her project: ‘It’s a man's world: Gender as a boundary condition of preference for potential.’