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Student FAQs

 What is The Science Shop?

The Science Shop provides a point of contact between community groups and the University.  Community groups submit research ideas to The Science Shop and Science Shop staff find students to carry out the research as part of their course work.

Is The Science Shop just for science students?

No.  The Science Shop works with undergraduates and postgraduates right across the University who are carrying out research as part of their degree.  This includes humanities, social sciences and law students as well as those studying more traditional science subjects.

Where do the projects come from?

The Science Shop works with community and voluntary groups from all over Northern Ireland.  New topics are submitted throughout the year.

How much time will it take to complete a project?  What if the project is too big or too difficult?

The Science Shop can work with you to negotiate a project suitable for the amount of time you have and the type of research you need to do.  Staff will help you break the research down into manageable parts and decide which parts you might not be able to tackle.

Will I be paid?

No, you will not be paid, although some groups may be able to contribute towards your expenses.

What if none of the projects interest me, but I would like to research a related topic?

If you are not interested in any of the research ideas listed, but would still like to do research with one of the groups mentioned, please contact The Science Shop to discuss your research idea.

If I am interested in a project what do I do?

The first step is to contact The Science Shop and talk to Emma McKenna or Eileen Martin.  They will be able to give you some more information about any projects you are interested in.  If you find one you want to discuss further, Science Shop staff will attend a meeting with you and the community group.  After this meeting, you will make a final decision about whether you want to go ahead with the project.

What’s in it for me?

  • You can gain experience working with a community group as part of your degree
  • You will be able to show that you have carried out research for a real client – this is good for your CV
  • You can choose a ready made research project or we can work with you on a project you have thought of yourself
  •  We will help you make it suitable for your dissertation requirements
  • We will support you to work with a community group, including making the first contact with the group and going along to the first meeting with you
  • We will keep in touch with you during the research and offer extra help and support if you need it