After graduating from my BSc (Hons) Psychology degree, I continued on to a MSc Psychological Research Methods, followed by a PhD within the School of Health Sciences and Social Work (SHSSW). My PhD explored fall and injury prevention interventions for older adults within institutional settings. I used a mixed methods approach for my PhD research, which included a Cochrane Overview of falls prevention for older people, a qualitative examination of the relationship between falls and injury prevention interventions and the resulting psychosocial effects, and a focused assessment of a shock-absorbent flooring as injury prevention for people at different risks of fracture.
Since my PhD I have contributed to and delivered multiple research projects that required partnership working and collaboration to deliver results on time and within budget. For example, I was the Principal Investigator on a successfully completed project for the Alzheimer’s Society which evaluated their creative arts workshops for people with dementia and their carers. I have also worked with the Health and Safety Laboratory on a project to develop a falls reduction toolkit to improve hospital environments for people with dementia. Previously, I co-managed the ‘Putting Evidence for Older People in Practice in Living Environments’ (PEOPPLE) project which took a bottom-up approach by consulting with local older people as to issues and problems they wanted researched. Many of these stakeholders became partners in the research and worked with us on developing the project. We also recruited the involvement of over 35 local and national stakeholder organisations, including Portsmouth Pensioners Association and Age UK.
Over the last few years in my current role, I have developed a wealth of experience in managing and coordinating the employability provision within my Department, designing new units and placement opportunities for students and integrating these into the curriculum design. I have built up a strong network of placement providers and employment industry professionals for the department through which I have developed a detailed understanding of the graduate jobs market and broad range of careers that our students progress to. I am passionate about improving career-enhancing skills and opportunities for our students. With my knowledge and experience, I am uniquely positioned to help students develop the skills, attributes and experience that will allow them to progress into work or study after graduation. In 2018, I was very honoured to be presented with an award for Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards.
In line with my work around student employability, I am also involved in research connected to student work placements and employability, and have presented this research at various conferences. I also keep up-to-date with placement and employability research and practice issues nationally and internationally by attending relevant HEA, Government and ASET workshops and conferences.