Postgraduate Research students have faced a difficult time during the Covid-19 pandemic, when carefully planned research has been disrupted due to recurrent lockdowns, mental health problems have come to the fore, and the challenges of doing a doctorate have been made greater due to pressures on work and family. In this short talk, doctoral supervisors from the College of Social Science talk about their experience of supervising students during the pandemic.
Dr Hannah Henderson, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Dr Trish Jackman, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Dr Rachael Sharpe, School of Education
Dr Joss Winn, School of Education
Following Young Fathers Further is a 4-year qualitative longitudinal and participatory study exploring the lives and support needs of young fathers, funded by UKRI. The pandemic has required us all to adapt our research in various ways. In this presentation, the research team will talk through some of our reflections on interviewing and conducting research at a distance. We began with a series of questions; how do we ensure inclusivity and adhere to principles of participation and co-production? Which technological formats are accessible and valuable to young fathers? How do we access participants and build relationships at a distance? In tackling these questions, we worked closely with our project partners to rapidly develop a new research strategy. In our presentation we will briefly reflect on both the ethics and practicalities of fieldwork at a distance focusing on themes of connection and connectivity. Researching from a distance has provided an opportunity to try new methods and to critically reflect on our methodological practice. At the heart of our approach is a commitment to core ethical principles and a responsibility of care towards our participants.
Dr Linzi Ladlow, School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Laura Way, School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Anna Tarrant, School of Social and Political Sciences
In 2020-21 the University was allocated £117,000 from Research England’s QR Strategic Priorities Fund (QR SPF). A key aim of QR SPF is to support universities to link effectively with policy research priorities and opportunities, from the local to the international. With support from the College Research Office, I coordinated the distribution of the funds. This involved setting internal priorities and allocating funds to support policy focused research in the College and beyond. Also by facilitating specific training with external providers, such as a Government Policy Masterclass, and launching a Policy Hub, the SPF will enhance research policy capacity for the future. In this presentation I reflect on the importance of policy engagement for academics and consider how the QR SPF has helped to lay the platform for a more sustainable policy focused research environment.
Dr Mark Bennister, School of Social and Political Sciences
Director of the Lincoln Parliamentary Research Centre (ParliLinc)
Roger and Michelle reflect together on the challenges and opportunities involved in delivering consultancy projects. Michelle talks about her ten-month contract with Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), delivered under the very challenging circumstances of the pandemic. She covers how she used her existing expertise to build a relationship with an external partner, how she navigated the internal systems of the university, and what she has gained from the experience. Roger summarises his current project, funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), in which he is bringing together the short-term training and coaching he has been delivering into a multiday programme for senior leaders. He acknowledges the challenges of workload and time availability in getting projects like this done to a high standard, but suggests that the energy involved in sharing academic expertise with external agencies makes it worthwhile. Both Roger and Michelle are available to advise or support anyone in the college considering getting into consultancy.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 in the UK, it quickly changed our day-to-day lives. With the closure of university facilities, doctoral researchers suddenly found themselves out of the postgraduate office and left to continue their studies from home. This shift triggered an almost overnight change in the environment surrounding many doctoral researchers, especially in terms of the interpersonal relationships with peers and supervisors. As a result, this may have increased the risk of social isolation. This presentation will provide an insight into the PGR Connect Series, which was organised to provide sport and exercise psychology postgraduate researchers at the University of Lincoln with a chance to present their work and connect with researchers at other institutions in the summer of 2020. The team at Lincoln Sport and Exercise Psychology Research will share their experiences of organising and presenting on the seminar series, which ran over nine weeks and eventually involved over 20 speakers from over a dozen institutions across six countries.
Dr Trish Jackman, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Rachel Langbein, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Rebecca Hawkins, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Ollie Williamson, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Dr Matthew Bird, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Director of Studies, Dr Joss Winn, talks with colleague and PhD Professional candidate, Alison Raby, about the challenges she has faced during the pandemic when undertaking her research, An exploration of the personal tutoring experiences of Chinese students in the UK. The impact of Covid-19 has meant that Alison has had to rethink her data collection methods and timeline, and work around the cancellation of a planned trip to China.
Dr Joss Winn, School of Education
Ms Alison Raby, Department of Marketing Languages and Tourism
Covid-19 has had particular ramifications for separated families. It has introduced potential barriers to children seeing their non-resident parents and risks to these parents having the earnings to provide financial support. Using data from the UKHLS Covid-19 study, for June 2020, this paper presents an encouraging picture of more solid relationships and financial support arrangements weathering the early storm. However, this sits alongside concerning reports of deterioration among those with poorer relationships prior to the pandemic. If this pattern persists, the pandemic has the potential to have an impact on the well-being and longer-term outcomes of children from separated families.
Prof Steve McKay, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences
Caroline Bryson, Bryson Purdon Social Research LLP. and LSE doctoral student
Face masks present a new challenge for face identification in Western cultures, but we are used to seeing people with the upper half of their face covered by sunglasses. My collaborators and I set out to establish whether face masks present any greater a problem for face recognition than sunglasses. Our results showed that people were slightly poorer at recognising familiar faces when they wore face masks, but overall performance was high. For unfamiliar faces, people were poorer with sunglasses compared to unconcealed faces, and poorer still with masks. But this decrease in accuracy was small, and people could still perform the task well above chance level. Face masks, therefore, may not have as devastating an effect on face recognition as people may fear. We also tested a group of people who perform very well on standard face tests, so called ‘super-recognisers’. They too were impaired by face masks, but out-performed control participants across all of our experimental conditions. In this talk, I will discuss how we assambled a team of people who had never worked together before, I will talk through the research, and outline our future plans which include testing face recognition algorithms, and working with international organisations.
The doctoral journey can be a winding road, throwing up challenges at every twist and turn but the arrival of Covid-19 and the resulting restrictions, created a host of challenges that could never have been predicted and rapidly changed the way we live. For doctoral researchers this meant the closure of university facilities, services at a halt for those working in the field and for some, data collection at a standstill. In this presentation two doctoral students from the University of Lincoln, share their experiences of their personal research journey during a pandemic and how they overcame the challenges they faced.
Dr Hannah Henderson – School of Sport and Exercise Science
Joanna Blackwell – School of Sport and Exercise Science
Georgia Clay – School of Sport and Exercise Science