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Visiting PhD Researcher
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

The PREP bursary was used to pay for travel and accommodation while visiting the department of Child Development and Education at The University of Amsterdam. I had previously studied a weeklong course in Mindful Parenting taught by Professor Susan Bögels, who teaches at the University of Amsterdam. Professor Bögels had also been collaborating with my PhD supervisor Dr Lisa Emerson, and it had been suggested that a visit to see the research laboratory in Amsterdam would be worthwhile.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Through established professional contact with the Professor in the department.

Main responsibilities

A PhD student based at the University of Amsterdam volunteered to assist in organising my visit and she set up a number of meetings with members of the research and clinical team, attendance at research talks, shadowing of research activity, a visit to the observational research laboratory and an opportunity for me to present my research. As the research focus of many of the researchers in the Developmental Psychopathology research group is close to that of my PhD research, meetings with the research team were highly informative around my topic of interest and inspiring for my future research projects. More generally, it was educational to experience a different university culture, especially as the institution was based in a different country. Visiting the clinical arm of the University’s department, the Academic Treatment Centre for Parent and Child – UvA minds, was extremely educational as the evolution of programmes delivering Mindfulness training to families is more advanced in Amsterdam than in the UK.

There were certainly lots of gains from the trip both for my current research work and general professional development. Through discussions with members of the research and clinical team about their and my own research, I had a number of insights into how it may be possible to reimagine research projects I had already conducted and ideas for future projects. Specifically, this was as the research team were using a number of research methods and investigating other psychological constructs that offered new perspectives and insights in to my own work.

It was extremely motivating to be part of the collegiate atmosphere in the department, firstly amongst the PhD and postdoctoral students, and then within the larger research group, to give an alternative experience of academic life. In terms of my own achievements, it was useful to make links with so many academics that are researching and delivering clinical work in my field of interest. The department is highly productive in terms of research output and there are lots of opportunities in the department for postdoctoral research. I would hope that as my work progresses there might now be an opportunity for more collaborative work with members of the department or even a longer placement within their team.

I would highly recommend to other researchers the opportunity to visit an international institution. If possible having someone based at the host institution to help you plan your visit (especially if it’s a short visit) will be really valuable in to making the most of the experience.

Typical day

See above

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Form completed: 09 Nov 2017

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