SWDTP Student Showcase!

Showing off what our talented students are achieving! 

“Why Big Boys Don’t Cry” Tedx Talk- Gareth Griffith

Gareth Griffith TED X Talk

Gareth Griffith talked about mental health in a sell-out TEDx event with over 200 attendees at the Bristol’s SU building. The theme was ‘Finding Space’ and Gareth reports he was “equal parts excited and terrified” to speak at @TEDxBristolUni. 

“Talks are all incredible, it was a truly inspiring day with truly inspiring people. Thanks again to everyone else who came and made the day what it was. Let’s keep #findingspace to talk about mental health” 

‘An Unequal Playing Field’: Social Mobility Commission Report- Sam Whewall and Kaylan Kumar

Sam Whewall  and Kalyan Kumar were both part of the the team who co-authored a report for the Social Mobility Commission. 

An Unequal Playing Field‘ delves into extra-curricular activities and highlights disparities in children’s participation rates depending on their social background. It includes recommendations made by the Social Mobility Commission for government, schools and voluntary organisations, including the introduction of a national extra-curricular bursary scheme for disadvantaged families. 

Sam wrote about the report in an article for the blog Transforming Society titled ‘Summer holidays and the geography of extra-curricular activities’ here.

The study has also been covered in a variety of media outlets, including The Guardian, Classic Fm and Phys.org. You can see the full report on the Gov.uk website here

Gender, War and the Armed Forces- Hannah West

Congratulations to Hannah West (University of Bath, Security, Conflict and Human Rights) on being invited to join the Advanced Command and Staff Course at the UK Defence Academy (as shown above) for their module on Gender, War and the Armed Forces. This gave Hannah a platform to speak about her research at their end of course workshop.

Hannah said: “As an ex-military researcher it was stimulating to return to a military environment and share a critical perspective with the audience, provoking interesting debates around the gendered character of the military institution.”

Hannah’s also been utilising her creative side to produce a pair of videos based around her research and experiences.

Uniformly Served: Veterans in Conversation‘, which was funded by the SWDTP Impact Fund, involves eight local veterans, including a cross-section of ages, former ranks and services and captures conversations between them about their gendered reflections on military service.

She’ll Hold Her Own’ is a music video that captures Hannahs reflections on the gendered experience of military service and explores her reflections on her gendered experiences of military masculinity and femininity. 

Both videos as well as more information  and lyrics are available at Hannah’s blog: https://hannah-west.org/ 

University of Bristol School of Psychology Graduate Awards- Jessica Armitage

Congratulations to Jessica Armitage for winning both available prizes awarded by the University of Bristol’s School of Psychological Science to those graduating from their MSc in Neuropsychology and MSc in Research Methods programmes.

Taught Component Prize is awared to the student with the best taught component average mark across the Neuropsychology and Research Methods programmes. 

Research Project Prize is awarded to the best research project across the Neuropsychology and Research Methods programmes. 

CIES Outstanding Early Career Paper Award- Kalyan Kumar

Kalyan presenting his paper at CIES in San Francisco

In April 2019 Kalyan Kumar was invited to San Francisco to attend the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) conference themed on ‘Education for Sustainability’. 

This was in order for him to present his paper, “Effects of Decentralisation in School Management on Student Learning: Empirical Analysis of Young Lives Survey Data Using Multi-Level Modelling”, to the international audience

Kalyan with his awardHis research was chosen from the many presenters to win the Outstanding Early Career Paper Award, an award that comes with a £500 prize fund! 

His paper is currently in the submission process and should be published soon! 

ESRC Better Lives Writing Competition Finalists- Niall McLoughlin and Celia Robbins

Celia Robbins and Niall McLoughlin with their Better Lives Writing Competition finalist certificates

The SWDTP had not one, but two finalists in the ESRC Better Lives Writing Competition 2018-19, with Celia Robbins and Niall McLoughlin both making it to the last 12!

Celia Robbins entry “Tilting at windmills in a climate-changed world”, delves into the polarising opinions caused by wind turbines and how important it is to look into the causes of these attitudes with the need for renewable energy becoming more pressing.   

Niall McLoughlins article “How psychology can help communities cope in a changing climate” deals with the  effects that flooding has on its victims from a psychological perspective and how the levels of public engagement could help people to cope with the trauma.

To read their articles along with all the other finalists, view the competition booklet on the ESRC website. 

New ways of being together: A co-produced mindfulness 8-week course and ‘a little book of wisdom’ impact project- Chloe Asker

Chloe Asker Photo

Utilising the SWDTP Impact Fund, Chloe Asker organised a very successful 8 week mindfulness course. The sessions were run together as a group. allowing for bespoke classes that suited the needs of all of the members perectly. Throughout the course, the importance of group dynamics were heavily focused on, leading to strong sense of community.

Chloe Asker Relationship Mantras

This lead them to creating a zine based around the themes of acceptance, compassion, suffering and gratitude, a reminder of the work that they had done together.

Read more about Chloe’s experience and what she learned and read the completed zine in our news post, New ways of being together.

Young Feminisms Event- Rosie Walters

Congratulations to University of Bristol Politics PhD student Rosie Walters! Working with the Gender and Development journal, she organised and ran an amazing event on “Young Feminisms”!

Young Feminism Team
The event featured representatives from:

  • Oxfam
  • Integrate UK
  • The Association for Women’s Rights in Development

The talk attracted over 90 staff and students from the universities of Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Oxford and UWE. On top of that, hundreds more have watched the video of the event on the Gender and Development journal Facebook page!

Congratulations again Rosie, keep up the great work!

14 Days, 11 Interviews, 6 Countires, 1 Researcher


In what can only be described as a feat of endurance, Nasrul Ismail (Health and Welbeing, UWE) conducted 11 interviews across 6 countries in 2 weeks during March 2018. Nasrul used his Overseas Fieldwork Allowance to “undertake primary, in-depth, qualitative research interviews” essential to his PhD- which considers the effects of austerity on prisoners. He met with representatives from multiple different organisations, including the World Health Organisation; the European Court of Human Rights and the Irish Probation Service. Nasrul also met with three stakeholders in-between conducting interviews. 

The OFA funding allowed Nasrul to realise his ambition to conduct all 11 interviews face-to-face and in thecities in which the interviewees were located. 

Nasrul’s work is a perfect example of the fantastic opportunities presented by OFA. He received manyoffers for future collaboration, including: the offer of an internship in Vienna; offers to present guest lectures and an invitation to deliver a keynote speech at the 2nd International Correctional Research Symposium, Prague, in May 2018.       

It looks like Nasrul is going to be kept pretty busy!

Ede and Ravenscroft Best Research Student Prize- Hope Christie 

University of Bath Psychology student Hope Christie won the Ede and Ravenscroft Best Research Student Prize at the University of Bath!

Hope delivered a presentation about her research at an open event at the university of Bath. The competition was fierce as Hope reported that the other finalists had also delivered “amazing presentations”.

As well as a fantastic experience and prestigious title, Hope’s victory will be reported to the University of Bath Senate. Well done Hope! 

PsyPAG Rising Researcher Award


Tamsyn Hawken (Psychology, Bath) has won a Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group ‘Rising Researcher’ Award.

In order to win the award, Tamsyn had to demonstrate multiple skills. First, she had to give evidence of her unique approach to her research questions. This includes her study utilising biomarkers of stress- you can read more about Tamsyn’s trip to Spit Camp further down the Student Showcase page. Then, she had to demonstrate the long-term impact of her research on the field and identify personal characteristics that have helped her to overcome personal adversities and research difficulties. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the stress researcher chose resilience as the focus of her personal characteristics. Finally, her supervisor- Professor Julie Turner-Cobb- wrote a supporting statement.

Tamsyn said: “I’m feeling really delighted to have received the award. It feels like a really nice way to have my achievements thus far recognised. It also comes at a very good time in terms of motivation, as I approach the final stage of my PhD this award has given me a real boost to believe in myself and the work I do.”

As part of the prize, Tamsyn has been invited to talk about her research at the PsyPAG conference in July, where she will talk more in depth about how her resilience has supported her research. If you can’t wait till July, don’t forget to check out Tamsyn’s blog today!

Sam contributes to new mapping tool

Sam Whewall (Education, University of Bath) and his supervisor- Dr Michael Donnelly– have developed a new method of mapping individuals’ geographical imaginaries. They use this participatory research method to study the role that geography and geographical perception play in Higher-Education decision-making.

They asked participants to colour-code a blank map of the UK according to where they might like to live whilst at university. Then, the participants were interviewed and asked to explain how they constructed their map. The exercise highlighted participants’ beliefs, misconceptions, feelings and perceptions.

An article about the participatory research method was published in the NCRM‘s newsletter- Methods News.The article goes into more detail about the mapping tool. You can read it here.

Sam is also a new addition to our Student Blogs page as he has started his own blog – a journal of his research, his daily life and- hopefully- his travels too.

Miriam’s OIV to South Africa


We’re proud to report that Exeter Psychology researcher Miriam Cohen had a very successful Overseas Institutional Visit to the University of Cape Town in South Africa. 

Miriam worked on the launch of a new project, delivered a talk; attended a workshop on gang violence; tutored a Masters student and more! She made some fantastic contacts with PGRs and academic experts and hopes to continue the collaborative work and the friendships that bloomed in SA.

 You can read more about Miriam’s trip by visiting the post on our homepage!

Tamsyn goes to spit camp

Psychology student Tamsyn Hawken travelled to California to spend two days training in the collection and analysis of saliva samples. She used an Overseas Institutional Visit grant to travel the the USA and take-part in the training which involved lectures and lab-based activities.


Tamsyn reports that this was a fantastic experience and provided her with the important skills she needs for her future research. Tamsyn has written a blog post all about her experience which you can read on her page.

Filling the half-term hunger gap- Stephanie Denning

Stephanie Denning (Human Geography, University of Bristol) recently spoke at an event in Parliament in support of the School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill, first presented by Frank Field MP (Pictured, right, with Stephanie). The bill would allow Local Authorities to facilitate programmes and events which would provide school children with free meals outside of term time. 

If you want to find out more about the event and the bill, there is an article about Stephanie in the December 2017 Issue of our Newsletter

Stephanie has also written a blog (Retaining Volunteers: Lessons From Responding to Children’s Holiday Hunger) for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in which she considers her own work alongside Make Lunch and offers advice on the retention of volunteers. 

Brussels and Beijing Blog- Max Taylor

Max Taylor (Political Science and International Studies, University of Bath) visited Brussels and Beijing to conduct EU research fieldwork. He completed 45 interviews; attended the EU-China Dialogue and has been asked to present his research at a future high-profile event!

Max has written two informative blog posts about his visits, in which he offers advice to other researchers conducting Overseas Fieldwork and shares his experiences of being abroad.

Find his Beijing blog post here

Find his Brussels blog post here 

Case Commentary- Lousie Austin

Louise Austin (Socio-Legal Studies, University of Bristol) has had her Case Commentary, ‘Grimstone v Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust: (It’s Not) Hip To Be Square’, published in Medical Law Review!

You can read her interesting insight into this early post-Montgomery decision on the Medical Law Review website

Well done, Louise!  

CabotCast: Paris and Politics- Alice Venn


Alice Venn (Environment, Energy and Resilience, University of Bristol) appeared on The Cabot Institute’s podcast- CabotCast- to discuss the effectiveness of the Paris Agreement and the potential effects of President Trump’s withdrawal from it. 

She made some great observations, so if you’ve got fifteen minutes, give it a listen:

Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud here!    

Research presented to the All Party Parliamentary group on Refugees- Dan Godshaw

Dan Godshaw (Sociology, University of Bristol) went to Westminster to present his research to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees (APPG). His talk was attended by parliamentarians including Paul Blomfield (Shadow Brexit Secretary), Thangam Debbonaire (MP for Bristol West), Afzal Khan (Shadow Immigration Minister) and Stuart McDonald (MP).

As part of his placement, Dan collaborated with the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group (GDWG) to produce a report which calls on the Home Office to implement its own guidance on detaining vulnerable people properly and without delay.

Schumacher Institute Fellowship- Cameron Hunter   

Schumacher Institute Logo

Congratulations to Cameron Hunter (Political Science and International Studies, University of Bristol) who, following a successful placement, has been made a Fellow of the Schumacher Institute!     

European Conference on Visual Perception- Annabelle Redfern  

 In August, Annabelle Redfern (Psychology, University of Bristol) delivered a presentation on the topic of Facial Recognition at the European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP). The international conference, held in Berlin, is interdisciplinary in nature as it attracts researchers from many different branches of the field of Vision, such as animal vision; human vision; aesthetic and art; computer vision; vision and attention; eye tracking et al. Over 2,000 people attended from Europe, USA, Japan and Australia.

Annabelle was approached by members of the audience and congratulated on her fantastic talk. Annabelle received a sponsorship from the University of Bristol Alumni Foundation and has written a piece for them about the convention.

‘Facing the risks of research’ workshop- Lydia Medland and Maria Pinto Ocampo

In June, Lydia Medland (Global Political Economy, University of Bristol) and Maria Pinto Ocampo teamed-up with FabRiders, an organisation specialising in technology and data strategies, to deliver a participatory workshop at the University of Bristol on the subject of security.

The workshop, which was attended by 24 participants from a range of subjects, was designed to help doctoral researchers to strengthen their research practises and protect themselves and their participants. 

Do you want to know more? Then download the subsequent report!      

PresentingBen Hudson presenting his doctoral research research at the academic council on the United Nations system

In June 2017, Ben Hudson (Socio-Legal Studies, University of Bristol) presented his doctoral research around the subject of internal displacement at the Annual Meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) in Seoul, South Korea.

He spoke to an audience of scholars, academics and practitioners at the organisation’s 30th annual event- this year focusing on the theme of revitalising the UN system for human rights, peace and development.

While in South Korea, Ben visited the Military Demarcation Line, which he says was a fascinating experience.