Our Health – Student Projects 2019

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The Opportunity

The Opportunity
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In the summer of 2018, EPSRC Proteus IRC launched two interdisciplinary, community-based research projects. The research questions have been proposed by two local patient support groups: Breathtakers and The Cheyne Gang.

We invited students from across the University of Edinburgh to take part in these exciting research projects. After a successful trial, we are running the project again in early 2019.

The Cheyne Gang choir and 2018 cohort of students, showcasing their work at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last August.

The Projects

The Projects
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Breathtakers – The support group for the lung condition “bronchiectasis” were interested in exploring how communication (in all of its many forms) can empower the diagnostic process or disempower it. They wanted to work with students who are interested in understanding how communication can improve self-diagnosis. They were also keen to investigate the space between medical language and the patients’ interpretation of it, and how that can impact lung health.

The Cheyne Gang– A community-based choir who live with the lung condition “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” (COPD) wanted to conduct evidence-based research around a new breathing technique that the choir uses. The choir were interested in exploring if the breathing technique actually impacts lung physiology and improves the symptoms of COPD overall.

5 female community members who work with Proteus, sat around a table who are

Some of the community members that we have the pleasure of working with.

Excellent Learning Experiencs

Excellent Learning Experiences
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Community-based research provides opportunities for the wider public to generate research ideas, questions and agendas. When students perform research in response to these question, they co-create research to find solutions to real world problems. This approach aims to strengthen the research process and its outcomes for all partners involved.

Students learn to use their critical thinking skills to analyse complex societal issues. Working within interdisciplinary teams (groups of students from across the 3 colleges and from various disciplines) allows students to apply their own academic rigour to the research question while acquiring an interactive expertise of other disciplines.

Working with community partners, students learn sophisticated skills of perspective taking, negotiation and participatory action research.

The Edinburgh Award

The Edinburgh Award is a University of Edinburgh programme that students can undertake alongside a particular activity. The Award aims to recognise student involvement in these activities and enhance the learning experience. We would use the Edinburgh Award to recognise student’s learning as part of our Summer projects.

Students who complete the Edinburgh Award will be invited to an Award reception.

Links: 

The Edinburgh Award

The 2018 students presented their work to Prof Peter Mathieson (Principal and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Edinburgh) and Senior Academics at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

How to Apply

How to Apply
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Who can apply?

You can apply to join one of the 2 project teams if you are a student at the University of Edinburgh (includes all programmes of study).

When do the projects take place?

You need be available to take part in your chosen project from February–April 2019. There will be a number of mentoring sessions (Project Mentor – Dr Helen Szoor-Mcelhinney) throughout the course of the project that help students reflect upon their work and plan next steps.

Students will be invited to attend the Edinburgh Award reception in November 2019.

Contact

If you are interested in taking part in either of the two research projects, or would like to find out more about them, please contact Helen at Helen.Szoor-McElhinney@ed.ac.uk

Some of the 2018 cohort of students, hard at work carrying out preliminary tasks.

Poster

Breathtakers Blog 2019

Breathtakers Student Group Blog – 2019
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Check back here later in the year for updates.

The Cheyne Gang Blog 2019

Cheyne Gang Student Group Blog – 2019
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Check back here later in the year for updates.