Internship Experience with the Applied Cognition Research Group

Alishba Malik, who is about to commence their 3rd year studying BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology at University of Salford, spent July completing a paid internship with the Applied Cognition Group under the supervision of Dr Robert Bendall. Alishba has written the following piece describing their experience of the internship.

During the summer of 2023 I had the privilege of doing a research Internship at university of Salford under the direct supervision of Dr Robert Bendall. The internship spanned over a course of 4 weeks with an additional month of professional training beforehand. My role as an intern consisted of range of responsibilities. I assisted in designing a pilot study for the experiment, creating surveys, and conducting literature reviews. I also attended several meetings to discuss my progress and journal club meeting where I had the opportunity to discuss the article chosen and engage with esteem professors and fellow researchers. 

Throughout my internship I gained a profound understanding of the complexities involved in planning and carrying out research investigations. I learned how to critically analyse research articles and apply that knowledge to our own research. I learned the value of accuracy and thoroughness through overcoming the difficulties of data processing and fixing the issues within initial pilot study. This research assistantship acted as a testing ground for my intellectual and personal development. My interest and ability to think critically were strengthened by exposure to research techniques and the guidance of experienced instructors. I feel more secure in my abilities to contribute to scientific conversation as a result of this experience.

One of my personal successes was contributing to testing how the study will be conducting on the app (SEMA) that was going to be used for experiment. I created questionnaires and surveys and later tested them to make sure they worked and looked as we wanted them to be viewed on a mobile screen.

During the internship, I was presented with a lot of opportunities to network with professionals already in the field such as attending SPARC, where I got to meet a lot of individuals with their own research and saw what they researched and found. This gave me a sense on what a future in different fields and subjects would look like.

The knowledge and understanding I obtained while working as a research assistant will surely influence my academic career. I plan to integrate the research approaches and critical thinking abilities into my upcoming coursework and independent research projects such as my dissertation in my final year. In addition, motivated by the effects of this experience, I am now thinking about pursuing postgraduate studies in a Psychology related field.

When I think back on my experience as a research assistant, I am incredibly appreciative of the exposure to the world of academic research and the chance to help enhance our understanding of psychology. This internship served as a springboard for me to further my commitment to academic curiosity and to my appreciation of research. I can’t wait to use the knowledge and understanding I’ve received to my future academic and professional endeavors.