Engaging with the local community (outreach) is an important part of the work we do here in the Psychology department at NTU. We aim to inspire and engage members of the public to be part of our NTU psychology community whether this be as students, staff, researchers and partners. Examples of the outreach activities we facilitate include psychology taster sessions, community engagement events and student conferences.
Psychology Taster Sessions
Aimed at school and college students who have an interest in learning more about Psychology at NTU, these involve a tour of our psychology facilities in the Taylor Building such as our driving simulator, our Virtual Reality Lab, our Movement Lab and EEG equipment. Students see demonstrations and hear about how these facilities are used in our research. Within these taster sessions, students also engage in small group exercises and discussions where they learn about the different sub-disciplines of Psychology.
There is strong element of Applied Psychology (e.g. Forensic and Clinical) within the department, which the students have the opportunity to learn about in these sessions.
Community Engagement Events
We host local community engagement events to engage the general public in our teaching and research. One of our flagship community engagement events is the NTU Psychology Family Fun day. Aimed at 4-11 year olds with their parents/carers the event is a fun and interactive day to inspire young children about science. Visitors engage in demos and activities within six zones, and children collect a sticker for each zone they visit, receiving a free gift (last year a book) if they visit 5/6 of the zones.
Family Fun Day feedback
"We had a great time at the family day. Lots of fun activities for the kids and all the staff (and child helpers) were so welcoming."
"Really engaging and with a variety of activities."
"Very friendly staff."
"The staff were warm and welcoming and my children loved the activities, and could easily have stayed longer."
"Please contact the Outreach Lead below if you want further details of Family Fun Day."
We also attend the annual Science in the Park event held at Wollaton Park which aims to enthuse young children to be inspired to have a career in Science. NTU Psychology have a large presence at the event where staff at our stall talk to young people about Psychology as a science and demonstrate this using perceptual tasks used in cognitive psychology.
Feedback about our NTU Psychology
"I enjoyed using the goggles and trying to get the beanbag into a box whilst seeing everything upside down."
"I have enjoyed finding out what our brain really sees."
"The experiments were awesome, good job."
"Great experiments for all the family especially my son who has Autism."
Student Research Conference
This is an opportunity for students to come to the NTU psychology department and present a report they have conducted as part of their studies (e.g. A Level, BTEC) either of an empirical nature or research on a specific area of study. Students present in small groups to an audience of academic staff who provide feedback on the design and execution of these research projects. This event allows students to experience the NTU research culture and gain feedback on their projects, which further develops their skills and confidence in presenting psychological research.
Feedback from past events
The students really loved it- it was great for them to have experience of "doing psychology". The ones that presented are ones who have an interest in going on to study psych, so this experience gave them a great insight. Also, research methods can be so dry to teach, but this really made it come alive for them and gave them a much better understanding of the concepts. The learning that went on was phenomenal, and without the end goal of a presentation outside of school, I don't think the effort would have been so high. The only grievance was that there was no "winner"- they'e very competitive and were desperate to know who you thought the best was!!
It was a fabulous event. I was thrilled that our students got an opportunity to share their hard work and have some questions asked that are similar to those that would be asked at university level, something that is missing from their A-Level study. I am hoping to bring more students if it runs next year. It was particularly nice for our students to see how their ability and knowledge compared to other schools (especially from slightly wealthier areas) and see that it was equal.
Globally Connected Research and Teaching
The coverage of global and comparative content features in a large proportion of the course and module provision at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and is also a feature of the work carried out by our postgraduate research students. NTU Psychology staff members have also engaged in a wide range of globally connected research and teaching activities, which have included hosting visiting scholars and participating in collaborative research funded through schemes such as the Erasmus+ KA2 programme (e.g. the TKCOM project led by Dr Lucy Betts involving partnerships with those from Spain, Portugal and China; Dr Daria Kuss’s work with collaborators from Romania, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Greece).
Other examples of international collaborations include Dr Mark Torrance’s work on a Norwegian government-funded project called ‘Digihand’ and Dr Matthew Belmonte’s international collaborations with partners in India and Europe (the latter trough Horizon 2020 funding). Maria Karanika-Murray has also been part of a large European collaboration funded by the European Commission for a project entitled, “WORKAGE – Active Ageing through Work Ability”.
With a Department of our size, there are extensive international research collaborations and projects and our staff are continually presenting work at a range of academic and practitioner-focused conferences across the globe.