Experiencing the insights of researchers before me and those at the forefront of it all

From the perspective of a mature student who has leaped out of a career back into education, the expectation to not waste any educational opportunities provided is central to one’s thoughts. Extra opportunities with the experts are part of that investment. So the invitations to join the Sport and Exercise Psychology (SEP) Journal Club and research seminars in the School of Sport and Exercise Science, although daunting as a new student, filled me with great excitement.

For SEP Journal Club meetings, I considered preparedness key to success. Needing to be able to read, discuss and critically analyse the article was required and accepted as the challenge. Before my first meeting, I felt confident and prepared, but I soon realised how much I had yet to learn. I took note of how fellow club members explained psychological theories, identified research designs, and critically reviewed the work, which left me with new skills, knowledge, and insights. Gaining knowledge, insights, and guidance plus new skills, this is what I was there for and the fellow club members were the ones who helped me get there.  When the next meeting came around, although humbled by last time, I felt reassured from words of encouragement and had a different experience. With the assistance of notes, cross reading and understanding of new terms, feelings of confidence and acceptance were my companions. Confusion still occurred, yet with the help of fellow club members, the hard work had paid off and clarity occurred during the discussions. Collaboration and understanding brightened the path. As I continue with my studies, I have seen these skills developed through Journal Club benefit my reading, assignment writing and my own research design within my course modules. Even with the pandemic, I’m thrilled that Journal Club is continuing through the summer through the use of virtual meetings.

Attending research seminars delivered by staff and postgraduate researchers in the School was another form of involvement in research. This was an exciting opportunity to listen to work that is currently happening in the local area. The feeling of ‘this could be you’ became apparent.  The seminars were insightful and realistic experiences. Nothing was rose-tinted. The challenges are present – the attrition rates, the data analysis, the editing of work… these are real. Yet, combined with passion for the work and the uncovering of new data and possibilities, research becomes a beautiful adventure to look forward to. I see research as more than just the dissertation project at the end of the course. For me, I see the possibilities of improving people’s health and practice within the physical activity sector for more people to benefit.

These extra opportunities provided by our educators enable growth far more than I could have realised. Amid all the assignments, the lecture notes and the extra reading, these experiences have enabled me to know more about myself, what I care about and what the future could hold. This holds up to my expectations and makes the ride of re-entering education worth the investment.

– Janine Blades, Undergraduate in School of Sport and Exercise Science

Developing a student-led induction package: Getting off to a mentally healthy start in doctoral study

Dr Kelly Sisson, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Health and Social CareDr Trish Jackman, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Sport and Exercise Science

 

 

 

 

“Mental health in doctoral students is receiving increased attention in the media and across higher education. Within this context, there is growing recognition of the importance of developing interventions to improve mental health in doctoral students. Our recent research, which explored mental health in PhD students from the beginning to the end of their doctoral journeys, identified that the transition into doctoral journey could offer a valuable window of opportunity to better equip students to maintain and improve their mental health. Inductions for new doctoral students often focus on institutional regulations, but a key finding from our research was that there is a need to move beyond such procedurally-focused induction approaches and shift towards student-centred induction models that help doctoral students to develop peer networks and connect with other students “like them” at the start of their journey. By developing a sense of belonging and a shared understanding of what it means to be a doctoral student at an early stage, this could be beneficial for improving mental health in doctoral students.

Student-generated induction (Bowskill, 2013) is a peer-led induction strategy that seeks to develop a sense of belonging in students, with one of the potential outcomes being improved mental health. The aim of our project is to develop an evidence base that will inform the development, delivery, and evaluation of a student-generated induction package to promote mental health in doctoral students. The package will be created by students for students to help them get off to the best possible start on their doctoral journey and reduce the risk of poor mental health later on.”

Dr Patricia Jackman and Dr Kelly Sisson will generate evidence to develop a student-led induction package for doctoral researchers.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Dr Patricia Jackman, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Dr Kelly Sisson, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care


Qualitative Secondary Analysis

Dr Anna Tarrant, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Social and Political Science

A comprehensive guide to carrying out Qualitative Secondary Analysis (QSA) that brings together expert advice and professional insight from leading researchers who have developed innovative theories and methods of QSA.

Exploring crucial components of research and analysis—such as where to find resources, how to search within a resource, and working with both paper archives and non-textual data—each chapter offers insightful case studies, links to further reading and applied helpful hints and tips to help effectively apply these innovations to further the reader’s own research.

A must read for Social Science students, early career researchers and researchers new to the field of QSA, this text will help readers through every aspect of a research process using QSA, from application to implications.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Anna Tarrant, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Kahryn Hughes, University of Leeds


CSDP and the development of the ‘Global EU’: The progress of EU autonomy in the shadow of Brexit

Dr Scarlett McArdle, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, Lincoln Law SchoolSecurity and Defence is a complex area within the EU. In spite of a long-standing history, its development and role within the EU has long remained distinct from other areas; the particular attachment of this area to state sovereignty has necessitated a cautious approach. This paper explores the recent developments in Security and Defence since the Brexit vote in 2016, arguing that, rather than the prospect of a UK withdrawal causing a weakening in the EU in this field, instead, it has seen a reinvigoration. It is argued that this is reflective of a broader development of the EU in terms of its autonomy as an external actor, which has shaped developments and continues to do so. While this is beneficial in some ways, the paper concludes by exploring some of the potential problems that may arise from the EU’s particular approach to autonomy as the Brexit process continues.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Scarlett McArdle, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Law School


 

Mindfulness Meditation Improves Visual Short-Term Memory

Dr Michael Mireku Dr Robin Kramer, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Psychology

 

 

 

 

 

Research into the effects of mindfulness meditation on behavioral outcomes has received much interest in recent years, with benefits for both short-term memory and working memory identified. However, little research has considered the potential effects of brief mindfulness meditation interventions or the nature of any benefits for visual short-term memory. Here, we investigate the effect of a single, 8-minute mindfulness meditation intervention, presented via audio recording, on a short-term memory task for faces. In comparison with two control groups (listening to an audiobook or simply passing the time however they wished), our mindfulness meditation participants showed greater increases in visual short-term memory capacity from pre- to post-intervention. In addition, only mindfulness meditation resulted in significant increases in performance. In conclusion, a single, brief mindfulness meditation intervention led to improvements in visual short-term memory capacity for faces, with important implications regarding the minimum intervention necessary to produce measurable changes in short-term memory tasks.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Molly A Youngs, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Samuel E. Lee, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Michael O. Mireku, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Dinkar Sharma, University of Kent, School of Psychology

Robin S. S. Kramer, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology


Engaging in research as an undergraduate student.

Since joining the University of Lincoln as an undergraduate student, I’ve developed a passion for research, which I didn’t even consider prior to starting university. During the first year of my BSc Sport and Exercise Science degree, I started to attend the Sport and Exercise Psychology Journal Club, which was advertised through my first-year psychology module. This involves reading journal articles on a range of topics and then meeting to discuss our thoughts and opinions on the papers with other students and staff. I joined as a way to develop my critical thinking and engage in wider reading. Being a part of the Journal Club has been really beneficial for my own academic writing and made me aware of the different types of research that can be carried out.

After reading more and more papers, I decided that I wanted to learn more about the research process, but had no idea how to go about that. Fast forward to October 2019 – the start of my second year – when I was brainstorming ideas for my dissertation, I found myself reading into topics surrounding mental health and well-being. At the same time, one of my lecturers sent me a link to an opportunity to join the student mental health research network (SMaRteN) as a member of their student research team. SMaRteN is a national research network funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), led by King’s College London, focusing on student mental health in higher education. Their student research team is involved in co-producing research and guiding any new projects.

Since finding out I was successful, I’ve had the chance to take an active role in some of the network’s research projects. This has encompassed a range of tasks, some of which I had more experience in than others. For example, previous research methods assignments, and journal club meetings had equipped me with the skills to effectively carry out literature searches and critique the papers I was reading. I have also been involved in conducting focus groups and some qualitative analysis. These were a great way to develop my skills as they are processes that are taught as part of our research methods module, but I hadn’t had the chance to put them into practice.

On top of my role at SMaRteN, I am currently involved in conducting a study as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Scheme (UROS). Again, this has been a great way to develop my skills, gain experience in conducting research, and figure out areas that I want to pursue further, once I finish my degree.

All of these experiences were only made possible through conversations with lecturers in the School of Sport and Exercise Science and have really enhanced my experience at the University of Lincoln. They’ve allowed me to apply the knowledge and skills taught on the degree program in varying contexts. I would encourage other students to approach staff with their own areas of interest as it may lead to some great opportunities that will compliment your studies.

Eadie Simons – 2nd year BSc Sport and Exercise Science

Opening my Mind to Research – Sport and Exercise Psychology Journal Club

Upon first hearing about the School of Sport and Exercise Science’s Sport and Exercise Psychology Journal Club, as I went into my first year of the Sport and Exercise Science course, my initial reaction, to be brutally honest, was “Oh, no. Something else that I can get called a teacher’s pet for going to”. So, it’s fair to say, that I just wasn’t sold.

I spent my first few weeks at University on the English Literature course, before I then changed to sport. By the time I arrived on my current course, I was completely oblivious to what these ‘journal articles’ were that the lecturers kept talking about. The only thing that I’d been introduced to in my first few weeks, had been a pile of books that was, quite frankly, taller than me. So, I brushed the idea of the club, or any such reading, under the carpet, and hoped that it’d just go away.

Obviously, it didn’t. After working my way through endless articles for my semester one assignments, but not actually knowing what to look for in them while I was reading, I re-evaluated, and decided to join Journal Club. It is still one of the best decisions I’ve made since being at University.

At first, I didn’t really know what to expect from joining. However, I soon settled into the first session. I was impressed, to begin with, at the fact that we were given a long time to read the week’s chosen article, at our own pace, in order to gain our own understanding, before the session. This, along with a template of things to think about while doing this, was also a massive help in knowing the most important pieces of information to pick out; something that I have carried into reading further articles, for any subject. I love the idea that we go over, and analyse each article in depth, as a group, as it helps to promote understanding of how to pick out the key information of the text. Further to this, we are able to explore topics that we may not be familiar with, which provides us with a better insight, from opening us up to new ideas, of studies or careers that we may want to pursue, in the future.

I’ve come to realise, through the Journal Club sessions, that it’s okay if you don’t have questions all of the time, as someone else always will, which tends to open new thought paths for you to explore; this helps you to think of questions that you hadn’t previously thought about. Being there and listening, is a lot more beneficial than not attending at all.

I’m also really grateful for the fact that we’ve been able to interact with Trish, Matt, and Rebecca, their selves, in regards to their own journal articles, and research that they have undertaken. The idea of interacting with the authors in person (or, at least via online meetings as we are doing at present), and being able to ask questions for further expansion of aspects surrounding their research, is so much more practical than reading something where you don’t have access to further information, or the thought processes behind it.

The fact that this club is also able to run over summer, and the lecturers are taking their own time to do this, is so helpful in keeping us engaged with University work and not slacking off in this time off.

I think that although I wasn’t keen on the whole concept of the club in the first instance, it has definitely changed my outlook on reading around my subjects, and has allowed me open my mind to explore new topics, surrounding future studies and/or professions.

Lucy O’Clarke, 1st year BSc Sport and Exercise Science Sport and Exercise Science

Police Wellbeing


Hannah Henderson, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Trish Jackman, School of Sport and Exercise Science


Cognitive Daisy


John Hudson, School of Psychology

Petra Pollux, School of Psychology