Robert Weir - our one-year Psychology placement student investigates Loneliness in N.I.
Robert Weir discusses his NISRA placement, where he has been involved in researching Loneliness in Northern Ireland
Shining a light on loneliness – our one year placement student, Robert Weir
I applied for the NISRA placement as I wanted to gain professional experience in a research role, which I felt would be valuable and beneficial regardless of which career path I choose, whether that be something related to psychology or not. I hadn’t actually planned on doing a placement at first as I hadn’t been able to find any research roles, but then I received information about the NISRA placements, and they offered exactly the type of work experience I had been looking for.
Since joining NISRA the main project I’ve been involved in is the Loneliness in Northern Ireland: 2019/20 report, which presents statistics on personal factors associated with loneliness, such as sex and age. My role in this publication mainly involved transferring and checking data between files, updating graphs with new data, and editing the report itself including updating reported statistics and the commentary describing them. I have also been writing a “process map” for the publication, which is essentially a step-by-step guide of how the loneliness report is completed and can be used in future by new recruits, to guide them through the process. I heavily relied on the quantitative research skills I’ve gained in my degree when working with the data for this report, from using SPSS to reporting statistics clearly and concisely.
During the rest of my placement, I hope to be involved in more research publications since this is a great way to improve a range of research skills, from compiling data and running tests on SPSS to reporting results in a clear and understandable way, suitable for a range of audiences.
After my undergraduate degree I plan on continuing my studies either by completing a postgraduate degree, or possibly a second undergraduate degree, in history and/or politics. I’m confident that the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from my psychology degree and work placement will hold me in good stead regardless of which route I decide to follow.
For more information about our placement opportunities, click here