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New year, time for a body MOT?

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In partnership with Human Resources, School of Sport and Exercise Science 3rd year undergraduate student Jess Slater is running a small clinic for any member of University staff to receive health screening assessments including height, weight, blood pressure, grip strength and peak flow. Furthermore, recommendations on how to improve your health and lifestyle are also suggested. Jess has received specific training from the academic team in the School prior to running this project and is directly supervised by Geoff Middleton.

We would be delighted if you could support a student project, so if you think you might be able to drop-by please note that the clinic will between the 3rd Feb to the 10th March (for 6 weeks) between the hours of from 11:30am – 1:30pm on Fridays (Wednesday 15th of February is also available between 12 – 2pm).

To organise a personal appointment please email Jess directly in advance

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Professor Matthew Hall Addresses at Victims of Crime Symposium

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Last week, Professor Matthew Hall of Lincoln Law School delivered a closing plenary address at Northumbria University to the annual Symposium of the British Society of Criminology’s Specialist Victims Network. In his talk, Prof. Hall discussed the future directions of victimology and how those working within this field might inform policy making in the context of recent political upheavals around the world: including Brexit and a general shift towards more nationalistic thinking. In particular, Prof. Hall challenged the audience – made up of leading thinkers in the study of victimisation as well as representatives of the victim support community and a number of police and crime commissioners – to think more broadly about the group we label as ‘victims’, reflecting more culturally-informed (rather than a legally informed) notions of ‘victimisation’, ‘suffering’ and ‘trauma’. Drawing on examples including the 96 victims who died as a result of the Hillsborough Football Stadium Disaster of 1989, the Ched Evans rape trials and the recent attention paid to historical child sexual abuse, Matthew argued that previous cultural and legal narratives about who ‘counts’ as a victim of crime is changing and that official pronouncements to this end are not as readily accepted. This has significant implications for those tasked with supporting victims both now and in the future. Prof. Hall also emphasised the importance of speaking to victims directly in order to learn more about their needs and to tailor support mechanisms appropriately.

Professor Hall said “This has been a wonderful day of debate and discussion, emphasising how far we have come in supporting victims whilst also exposing the work that is still needed to truly do right by victims of all kinds of crime, and indeed of wider social harms”.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

St Barnabas Christmas Donation

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University of Lincoln staff and students who chose to donate money to charity instead of sending Christmas cards this year raised a total of £63.50 for St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice!

The charity works hard to ensure that individuals facing the end of their life in Lincolnshire receive dignified, compassionate care when they require it and where they ask for it.

Congratulations and a big thank you to everyone who donated.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Student Blog: A Quick Guide to Finding Work Experience in Psychology: Part 2 – by Madeleine Pownall

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1. Use the right language

Most psychology services will be used to emails and letters from students hoping to gain work experience. So much so, that the very words ‘work experience’ may be enough for a prospective employer to stop reading. From speaking to a few psychologists, there is the mindset that offering ‘work experience’ is often costly – in both time and energy. Therefore, by proposing a working relationship which is mutually beneficial, this original hesitation can be changed. For example, offering to be “an assistant” sounds a lot more encouraging that “I am seeking work experience”. A short summary of your specific strengths and ways in which you believe you can make a valued contribution to a service is also a great way to get noticed and be memorable. Which brings us on to the next point…

2. Research each service

There is little point offering to help with admin if the psychologist you are contacting works independently.  Research everywhere that you contact (before you contact them) and make a few bullet-pointed notes on every service. It sounds a lot better to say “I am really interested in working with you because you specialise in X” than something more generic. This is particularly important with research positions; explain why that specific project/researcher is of interest to you and try to draw from your university course for evidence: “In second year I had a module called X which got me really interested in etc…” Knowledge and interest in your course is a really strong quality to be able to offer a potential employer (particularly if, like me, your work experience is limited).

3. Manage expectations.

As psychology (and other social science) students will be used to hearing – confidentiality is key. Although shadowing therapy sessions may sound like a brilliant way to get experience (and I’m sure it is), this will rarely be possible. Psychologists are bound by ethics in every part of their work and particularly in the most sensitive environments; this means that work experience is even more difficult to obtain. Having an understanding of these ethical considerations can really work in your favour when first approaching prospective employers. It will show that you understand the field you’re hoping to go into, and you have full awareness of the extent of your role in the service. This is important in terms of maintaining professional boundaries and protecting the confidentiality of the clients. Also, as mentioned in part 1 of this series, contacting psychologists early can allow plenty of time for DBS clearance (which can take up to 6 weeks).

4. Keep track of your contacts

I found that due to the large number of contacts that I eventually made, it could have been quite difficult to remember which conversations were with every service. I made a simple spreadsheet that allowed me to keep on top of who I had contacted, who had replied and so on (see below for an example. Be persistent, but respectful – if somewhere declines your offer firmly, then take their word for it.

Name of service Emailed? Telephoned? Posted letter? Reply: Y/N? Reason/feedback given Date.
MP Psychology Yes. mppsychology@uol.com N N
  1. Reply from Joe Bloggs on 05/01/2017
They don’t offer work experience. Given details of another service which might.

01/01/2017.

 

 

Madeleine Pownall is a second year psychology student at University of Lincoln. She runs a blog www.thoughtbubblesblog.co.uk which discusses current issues in a psychological context. Find her on twitter: @1thoughtbubbles

If you missed part 1 of this blog series, catch up here:

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Merry Christmas!

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The College of Social Science would like to thank everyone for all of their hard work over the past year and we wish you all a safe and happy Christmas break.

The office will be closed from Friday 23rd December and will be open again from Wednesday 4th January. During this time, all social media posts will be automated but if you would like to leave us a message we will get back to you as soon as possible once the office reopens.

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Student Blog: A Quick Guide to Finding Work Experience in Psychology: Part 1 – by Madeleine Pownall

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Psychology – and other social sciences – are notoriously difficult fields to find work experience in. The need for relevant, clinical experience is ingrained into students from the moment they walk into their first lecture, and yet it is a feat which is easier said than done in many respects. Last summer I worked for two independent psychotherapy services and an NHS specialist service. All these experiences taught me a massive amount, and here is some advice to secure these placements and (more importantly) get the most out of them.

1. Contact Contact Contact

Research your field – where do you want to work? Why? What kind of services are near you? Find them, look at their websites and gather as much information as you can, and then contact them. I found that short-term placements (suitable for 3-4 months over the summer) were almost never advertised on recruitment websites. The larger, most popular companies are usually inundated with student requests for work experiences, so I targeted smaller independent firms by telephone. Phone calls are the easiest way to communicate personality, enthusiasm and are less likely to be ignored (unlike emails). I wrote letters to 48 practices and the ones that accepted me for work experience were the ones I telephoned directly.

2. Be creative and realistic

If – like me – you’re a psychology student, the most typical work experience that you will hope to get is a clinical placement. These opportunities are often few and far between, which means that it is time to get creative. Have a long think about where you want your degree to take you and explore the opportunities which are likely more ‘off the beaten track’. I worked with a lovely psychotherapist who specialises in mindfulness and holistic therapies – the experience was hugely relevant to my course and due to the small nature of the business gave me a real insight into alternative psychology practices. Despite the obvious appeal of large clinical practices, smaller more niche companies can offer a rather unique and personable experience. If you’ve approached all the NHS/private sectors near you and haven’t had any luck, do not despair. Expand your search criteria and keep your options as open as possible. For example, although typing “psychology services” into google may seem a fail-safe plan, using slightly more creative language can give you more hits.

3. Join a staff bank

NHS and independent sectors advertise for bank staff throughout the year. This is perfect for students, because there are no contracted hours (you work as and when available/required). Health care support worker posts are the most frequently advertised and are often available in secure units, psychiatric wards and private hospitals. Additionally, there are temporary recruitment agencies (I worked for TaskMaster Resources) who employ cover staff for the NHS. These are well worth pursuing, particularly for short-term opportunities.

4. Look early

It is likely that psychology practices receive many requests from students, particularly just before the summer or other holidays. Start your search early and build up a bank of contacts which you can later approach when you know your university holidays (with exam dates etc.) For example, I started looking for placements starting for May in January time, and was able to relax during exam time knowing that relevant work experience had been secured.

5. Be prepared to volunteer

Two of my work experience placements were voluntarily. Expenses were paid (train tickets etc.) but other than that, the work I did was entirely free. When the offers first came in I was suitably sceptical and had to secure full time paid work to fund myself, working around the volunteer positions. However, these opportunities gave me genuinely invaluable experience and contacts. Show enthusiasm, invest in your long-term career and be prepared for placements which don’t pay (especially the most competitive sectors).

Madeleine Pownall is a second year psychology student at University of Lincoln. She runs a blog www.thoughtbubblesblog.co.uk which discusses current issues in a psychological context. Find her on twitter: @1thoughtbubbles

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

College of Social Science Charity Bake Sale

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College staff dusted off their aprons and baked a variety of homemade treats, including festive mince pies and vegan chocolate cakes for a charity bake sale, which was held in the college office on the 7th December. The sale raised £86.45, which will be donated to homeless charity Framework, who offer invaluable support to families and individuals in the East Midlands area who are homeless or at risk of becoming so. The charity aims to tackle the causes and con­sequences of homelessness by preventing it where possible, supporting those who already are homeless and by providing social housing and empowering people to live independently. We hope that our contribution can go some way in supporting this fantastic work.

We’d like to thank everyone for their hard work baking such a wonderful range of cakes and also to everyone who came down and bought them.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Lincoln Academic selected for House of Commons Fellowship Scheme

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The House of Commons Academic Fellowship Scheme is run by the House of Commons in partnership with the Political Studies Association (PSA) for senior political and social scientists currently researching or wishing to study the work of Parliament. Dr Catherine Bochel from the University of Lincoln’s School of Social & Political Sciences is one of only five researchers selected for the new role and will be granted rare access to Parliament to examine the relationship between the British public and the processes which shape political decision-making.

Her research will see her working alongside politicians and staff to explore how effectively the public are engaged in the decision-making process and to examine whether the concept of ‘procedural justice’ or ‘fair process’ has been followed.

Dr Bochel said: “Parliament is keen to encourage the public to get involved in politics, and people can now do this in a variety of ways. However, it is important that when they come into contact with Parliament their experience of the process is as positive as possible. This is for a number of reasons. In a liberal democratic system people may not get everything they ask for, so their treatment by the system and experience of it is very important; in such systems final decisions are made by elected representatives, so the public must be able to see that the decision-making process is fair and transparent. Their experience may not only affect how they feel about the individual elements of public engagement with which they have contact, but also wider political and governmental processes. If the processes underpinning participatory initiatives are clearly explained, this may contribute to improved public understanding of Parliament and enhance its work.”

Through her Fellowship, Dr Bochel hopes to improve processes through which Parliament engages the public in political decision-making, particularly in respect of managing expectations, outcomes and feedback to members of the public who get involved.

The College would like to congratulate Dr Bochel and wish her the very best of luck in her research.

You can read the full article on the University of Lincoln website

If you have something you would like to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

College of Social Science Graduate Prize Giving

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September saw another great graduation week for the University, but as with every graduation the college also took the time to recognise the excellent efforts of those students who have gone above and beyond while studying for their degrees.

The prize giving ceremonies took place on Tuesday 6th, and Wednesday 7th September, with students from the schools of Law, Psychology, Health & Social Care, Social & Political Science, Sport & Exercise Science being honoured.

The events were well attended by staff and family and were a brilliant addition to an already exciting and busy week for the College.

We would once again like to thank the members of staff who nominated the students, and to congratulate the students themselves who received their prizes.

You can see more pictures from the events in the gallery below.

 

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Macmillan Coffee Morning Total

 

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On Thursday 29th of September, as part of the Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, the College office held a cake sale with a range of delicious treats brought in by various members of staff. As a result we raised £145.00 for for the charity, which is a brilliant effort.

We’d like to thank everyone in the office for their hard work putting the wonderful array of cakes together, and also to everyone that came down and bought cakes.

At the time of writing the Macmillan Coffee Morning initiative has in total raised £19,916,991.35, and we are happy that we could contribute to such an amazing fundraising activity. 

A video posted by UoL Social Science (@uol_css) on