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Research Projects

Here is a list of current projects our staff are involved in.

Home Office Innovation Grant: Designing and evaluating graduate policing training

As part of a wider collaboration with the Mayor's Office for Policing in London (MOPAC), University College and Birkbeck's School of Law, ICPR Dr Almuth McDowall is currently leading two projects considering training motivation and how to train officers in evidence based policing. The work is feeding directly into the new standards for graduate policing training.

Educational technology

This collaboration between Prof Pat Tissington in the department and Prof George Roussos is applying Tissington’s previous research into the use of social media in teams. Pat’s original idea has attracted funding from Innovation Funding and has a small team that have designed a smartphone app that enables students to learning together and interact with lecturers right from their phone. The app includes in-lecture features such as voting and responding to discussions. The out of lecture features include student to student messaging, group discussions and access to course materials. All new students registering for the 17/18 academic year will use the app to facilitate registration, pre-sessional courses and induction. The team is working with UCL Business to commercialise the product for sale to other institutions. This will open a new funding stream for the college.

Social Learning App

Using my previous research into the use of social media in teams, we have designed a smartphone app that enables students to learning together and interact with lecturers right from their phone. The app includes in-lecture features such as voting and responding to discussions. The out of lecture features include student to student messaging, group discussions and access to course materials. All new students registering for the 17/18 academic year will use the app to facilitate registration, pre-sessional courses and induction. We are also working with UCL Business to commercialise the product for sale to other institutions. This will open a new funding stream for the college. Joint with Prof George Roussos.

Learning team skills

Joint project with Prof Martin Weikert at Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and Dr Carl Senior Aston University. In this project we are developing a concept that advanced team skills are learned through research projects. A combination of exposure to the team evidence base plus structured team research projects can provide skills which are applicable to a wide range of domains. Currently papers are in review looking at the inclusion of this concept in the medical curriculum and also across subjects in universities.

The medical leadership career

Discussions with students on the MSc Medical Leadership indicated that senior clinical leadership positions might be biased towards some specialisms. An NHS Improvement Authority report indicated some trends but the data were incomplete and analysis flawed. Working with Prof Weikert, we have collected data from all NHS Trusts on the specialisms of Medical Directors. Data are currently being analysed for trends. Publications are forthcoming.

Human factors in patient safety

A qualitative approach to tracking the linkages between aspects of the team interactions in Intensive Care Units and patient safety. This project has received funding from the Association for Academic Anaesthesia and is approved but the National Institute for Health Research. Joint with Dr Tim Dawes, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Community Self Efficacy

A combination of building in flood planes and climate change have led to significant increases in flooding incidents in recent years. The problem has escalated beyond the resources of government to prevent communities being affected or the emergency services to respond. Communities are increasingly being asked to be more resilient both in terms of preventing the effects of flooding and recovery afterwards. This research led by Dr Frank Watt has created a new measure that can predict the ability of communities to prepare for such incidents. The results of this study was presented at the International Risk Forum in Davos in 2016. One peer-reviewed publication is in review with further in preparation.

Digital Brain Switch

This project has been supported by the EPSRC (PI Professor Jon Whittle). The Balance Network (EPSRC) has supported follow-on funding for dissemination and impact activities.

Dr Rebecca Whiting is one of the researchers working on this multi-disciplinary project which explores how digital communication technologies affect our ability to manage switches across work life boundaries. Using innovative qualitative methods (participant video diaries and video elicitation narrative interviews) the aim is to observe how and why people switch between roles, the boundaries that they create, and how they manage them.  You can find out more about the project on its website and follow the project team on twitter @digibrainswitch

Age at Work

This project has been supported by the Richard Benjamin Trust (PI Dr Katrina Pritchard) and the School of BEI at Birkbeck.

Various conceptualisations and categorisations of age are of central importance to our understanding and experience of changing employment and retirement policy within the UK. Dr Katrina Pritchard of Swansea University and Dr Rebecca Whiting in this department are carrying out internet research which involves gathering data from a variety of web-based media (including websites, blogs, stock images and tweets). Discourse analysis and visual analytic approaches are being used to examine specific constructions of age, for example, ‘generations’, in relation to other discussions of interest to organization and management research.  You can find out more on the project's website and follow the project on twitter @ageatwork

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