When applying to become a Research Assistant for this project I expected mostly data collection and being involved in the recruitment of participants. With a background in psychology, and having worked as a voluntary Research Assistant before, I found the aim of my work slightly different. When joining the research team and the Nutrition and Dementia project in January, I got happily surprised of my part in the project. I was greatly welcomed by Dr Jane Murphy RD RNutr, Joanne Holmes RNutr and Cindy Brooks, Research Assistant.
Please click Link to the Understanding Nutrition and Dementia project website
The part I would play in this project was to measure the impact of research that had already been conducted. Being presented with information already gathered and produced into a workbook and a DVD, I was immediately immersed into the project. The engagement of the team and the fact that they treated me like one of them was highly appreciated by me.
Please see below for the ‘Eating and Drinking Well: Supporting People Living with Dementia’ training video
My involvement in the project
- Attended events within Dementia care
- Involved in Dissemination and Evaluation of Research
- Attended meetings with different teams involved in the research. E.g., research team, steering group, HSS department
- Online Questionnaire design –both quantitative and qualitative
- Developing spreadsheet to keep track of gathered data
- Communication skills –presentations, target participants, email communication, mails, use of social media
I was also invited to the Partners in Care event, to disseminate the workbook. The need for the project was evident in the public engagement at this event. Some of the public registered interest in a follow-up questionnaire to measure the impact of the workbook.
What I have gained
- Information about what a potential career choice as an academic would be like
- Knowledge in quantitative, qualitative and online research design
- The importance of social media within an academic project. Twitter, the research website and research blog were used to spread the knowledge from the project
- Presentations skills –presented findings to professionals within the department, and showcased the workbook at the Partners in Care event
- The importance of multidisciplinary team working
- An understanding of the importance of impact in research
I would highly recommend other students to apply to URA positions at Bournemouth University. It gives students a deeper understanding of research carried out within their field and an invaluable experience to take with them after university.
For more information about the project find us on:
- The Project Website: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/nutrition-dementia
- Twitter: @nutri_dementia
- For further queries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org