In the summer of 2016, I won the St Andrews final of Three Minute Thesis and was awarded £500 to run a public engagement with research project. I came up with the idea of PHASE 1, a Platform for Honing and Accelerating Scientific Excellence. PHASE 1 is aimed at introducing my passion for research to students at Madras College. Over several months I went into the Higher Psychology classes and delivered modules on various aspects of research fundamentals, design and methodology.
At this closing event five students from these classes, who expressed a desire to pursue Psychology at university, presented two 8-minute talks on the research projects that worked on as part of their course.
This project provided these school students with a snapshot of the Psychology research experience at a university level:
1. Research fundamentals and use of appropriate statistical analysis.
2. Use of SPSS statistical package to analyse data.
3. Ability to visually represent data in the form of a poster.
4. Opportunity to receive supervision and give a research presentation.
This sold-out event took place at the Byre Theatre in front of close to 100 audience members made up of staff and students from The University of St Andrews and Madras College as well as the general public. PHASE 1 also featured guest talks by Professor Dave Perrett, Dr Jamie Ainge and Dr Maggie Ellis from the School of Psychology & Neuroscience. The talks were followed by an opportunity for students to display conference-style posters of their projects over tea/coffee..
We were pleased to welcome Professor Sally Mapstone (Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of St Andrews), Professor Keith Sillar (Head of School, Psychology & Neuroscience) and Mr David McClure (Rector, Madras College) at the inaugural edition of PHASE 1.
Student Presenters: Aeonie Ramsay, Ross Lavin, Till Sprengelmeyer, Arin Beaver and Jack Laird
Mentors: Maneesh Kuruvilla (PhD Student, University of St Andrews); Brianna Vandrey (PhD Student, University of St Andrews); Dr Akira O'Connor (Lecturer, University of St Andrews); Mrs Catherine O'Donnell (Higher Psychology Teacher, Madras College)