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The Psychology Research Experience Scheme (PRES) is a programme intended to develop undergraduate and master students’ research skills and encourage students to see research and post-graduate study as a viable career option on graduation. Students are given the opportunity to apply to work with staff on research projects that they are interested in. Many students have found the experience extremely valuable in deciding their future career aspirations, and the experience is ideal for broadening any CV.
Julia carried out her research experience with Dr Olivia Afonso in the Writing Lab. She was able to work with Olivia on projects related to the development of writing and gained experience in using a digital tablet to record writing behaviour in adults as well as experience working with participants and assisting with the design and implementation of experiments in psychology.
"This has given me the opportunity to put into practice my theoretical knowledge of psychology" and "is my first step in the field of psychological research, and has encouraged me to pursue a career as a researcher in the future."
Julia Bernabeu Santolaria
Rebecca has been carrying out her research experience with Dr Sanjay Kumar in the Cognitive Neuroscience EEG Lab. She worked on projects collecting data using the EEG machine, what measures subtle changes in the electrical activity in the brain.
"At the start of my course this year I made an appointment to see Sanjay as he was my academic adviser. We spoke about my career aspirations and I mentioned I would like to pursue a career in research. I had not expected to be able to get involved in any research so soon after starting my studies, however Sanjay mentioned that there were research experience opportunities. He explained what the research would entail - it sounded really interesting and I was really happy and eager to get involved! During the experience process I learnt how to independently collect EEG data, including preparing and fitting an EEG cap. I also learnt how to use EEG software and hope now, over the summer to analyze some of our data. Overall the experience has been very beneficial to me. It has given me hands on experience and an insight into a particular area of psychological research, so as I can better decide which areas I want to specialize in. I feel extremely grateful to have had this opportunity and hope to use the skills I have acquired in further academic and career ventures."