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1602: Moral psychology in children: laboratory and internet data collection

This project is looking into children's developing sense of right and wrong. Part of this study may involve the development of an innovative new method: taking advantage of children's presence on the internet (for example on Minecraft servers) to enable remote collection of behavioural data. A student  could potentially help with data collection in the lab or on-line.

Student level: Open to undergraduate or MSc students
Duration: 1 to 6 months
Start date: TBC
Responsible researcher: Dr. Ben Kenward,

1603: Babies’ Language Development

This research project investigates early language development in babies. Working on this project will involve: recruitment of participants, guided experiment design and implementation, running experiments, codification of the data obtained from experiments, guided result analysis. You will be fully trained in using the eye tracker, administering the experiment, and in the necessary data analysis techniques.

Student level: Open to undergraduate or MSc students
Duration: 1 to 6 months
Start date: TBC
Responsible researcher: Dr. Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez,

1604: Young Children's Sleep

This project aims to understand how, where and when parents of young children seek help, information, advice and treatments for their child’s sleep and how these things relate to parents’ thoughts about sleep and their child's sleep patterns . Working on this project will involve helping us to code parent responses to open-ended questions about their experiences of help-seeking. You will be familiarised with the different approaches to the management of child sleep and trained in coding.

Student level: Open to 2nd or 3rd year undergraduate or MSc students
Duration: TBC
Start date: July 2016
Responsible researcher: Dr Luci Wiggs, & Georgia Cook (PhD student) ,

1610: Assessing attitudes towards writing in students

This project is assessing the attitudes of students to writing and then linking those attitudes to their writing performance and other measures. The project will involve the analysis of quantitative and simple qualitative free text data from a questionnaire measure. Some analysis of a writing plan and then linking all the data in a spreadsheet. You will gain experience in developing coding schedules for data, data coding and topic knowledge of writing and literacy.

Student level: Open to 2nd or 3rd year undergraduate or MSc students
Duration: 2-3 weeks full time (longer part time)
Start date: TBC
Responsible researcher: Professor Vince Connelly, & Dr Emma Sumner (Birkbeck)

1701: Psychological mindedness and students' career interests

This project is about the relationship between how much individuals think about other people's internal states (their thoughts and emotions) and the kind of work students would like to do in the future. The research is in its early stages (developing the research design and writing the formal application for research ethics approval). Depending on how quickly the work progresses, the student might be able to see the project through to data analysis and writing up but there is no commitment to do this.

Working on this project will involve some literature searching, finding and evaluating existing measures of both career interests and psychological mindedness and possibly some re-analysis of existing data. Students will be given appropriate training for all of these activities working alongside the researcher as well as independently. A student working on this project will gain the experience of working on a project from its earliest stage.

Student level: Open to 2nd or 3rd year undergraduate or MSc students. NB: this is not open to anyone working with or wanting to work with the researcher on their U24199 or P24110 project.
Duration: 1-6 months (by negotiation)
Start date: March 2017
Responsible researcher: Morag MacLean,

1706: Spelling and writing in children with and without developmental dyslexia

This project investigates how children with dyslexia differ from typically-developing children regarding spelling ability and writing speed. The main duties will include visiting schools to test students, helping in the selection of experimental materials and/or analysing measures of the process and product of the written response. You will gain knowledge of cutting-edge methodologies used in the study of writing production and experience working with children for research purposes.

Student level: Open to undergraduate or MSc students
Duration: Negotiable
Start date: April 2017
Responsible researcher: Dr Olivia Afonso,

1707: Working in schools to evaluate a multisensory learning programme

I am looking for up to three volunteers to work on a project exploring the effect of a multisensory learning programme which focusses on physical learning alongside music, songs, rhymes, actions and team games, for young children in Reception and Key Stage 1 through a pilot study. The Joggy Bear Education (JBE) programme has been designed as an alternative learning provision to aid formal classroom based curriculum (literacy and numeracy), physical skills and emotional development; particularly to support children with special educational needs. Preliminary reports of end of year results suggest advantages to Early Years Foundation Skill (EYFS) attainments for children from participating classes. This research will explore the effectiveness of the project (implementation funded by Comic Relief). The volunteers will work with Dr Dido Green (Research Therapist at Royal Free Hospital) and Dr Jane Hood (Neuropsychologist, Reading). The volunteers will do data collection for one week in July at the two schools in Reading and some data entry with me.

The project has UREC approval-161037.

You should have - capacity to cope with having to  adapt and adjust (e.g. move rooms, venue) and good organisational skills (e.g. notifying schools of arrival, liaising with teachers, coordinating which children to see outside their break and lunch times - we can advise on this). Resilience to flu will be less important in the summer; any experience with children would be good. 

Will need to be DBS cleared before you start working at the schools. Therefore, let me know as soon as possible to start the DBS check process.

Student level:Any
Duration: Negotiable
Start date: July
Responsible researcher: Dr Sanjay Kumar,