Collaborative engagement for MSc research projects

Fiona Sweeney, Jane Clarbour, Department of Psychology, University of York


The student research project for applied Masters students is often the means to the end goal of the write up of the dissertation, with potential for dissemination of the research findings at conference or potential publication. This discussion paper seeks to demonstrate how the process of collaborative engagement can maximise impact for both the student’s learning experience and
external involvement in the student’s journey to publication of their research project. A network was created bringing together academics from a range of departments at UoY with an interest in crime, offending and mental health. In addition, local practitioners invited to a public lecture held at the university, giving academics and students the opportunity to network with professionals in the field. The proposed research was to be undertaken in a prison setting, with prison staff as participants.

The student was encouraged to put a discussion paper to a professional networking event held at the University of Durham where she presented her proposed project for professional views on potential impact. Advice was provided from the network prior to data collection, facilitating access through professional (prison service) and university ethics committees. A paper was submitted to a peer-reviewed research journal simultaneously to the student’s submission of her dissertation for assessment. This enabled publication of the work prior to graduation, enhancing student confidence and employability. The discussion paper will be presented by the student and will elaborate on her experience of the research journey in relation to collaborative engagement.

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