StaffsPsych Technical Skills Staff Support Work Experience Week

The School of Life Sciences and Education recently welcomed seven work experience students to Staffordshire University to give them a taste of working within the scientific field. All students were Year 12 students from local schools and colleges; Stoke-on-Trent College, The Cheadle Academy and St John Fisher Catholic College, and are studying Biology or Psychology.

Some of our work experience students

The combined departments of Psychology and Biology developed an interactive programme showing the effects of stress on the human body through the hormone, cortisol. The activities started with a presentation, led by Biology Technician Sue Avery, which gave the students information about cortisol, how it can be altered and tested for, as well as an introduction to the laboratory testing facilities. Next, Justin Rich (Sport Technician) led the students in a workshop looking at the importance of Health and Safety and Risk Assessments. Students enjoyed the practical session, identifying hazards from a health and safety ‘crime scene’ – a nightmare for most technicians! This laid the foundations for the importance of health and safety in the laboratory and is something that students can take forward into their scientific careers.

Once health and safety matters had been observed, Paul Gallimore and Alice Taylor (Psychology Technicians) introduced the students to the Virtual Reality kit, which caused much excitement amongst the teenagers. Students took part in immersive experiences that were designed to induce relaxed or stressful states; this influenced cortisol levels and students were able to see their physiological responses using the Biopac which shows Heart Rate and Galvanic Skin Response. The visitors particularly enjoyed the stress-inducing experience of ‘walking the plank’ where they were placed at the top of a virtual 30-storey building and attempted to walk out across a wooden beam!

Using the Department of Psychology’s VR equipment in our Virtual Reality Lab

The second day comprised of students testing for cortisol with Rob Manning and Alison Davidson (Biology Technicians). Students watched demonstrations and took part in various activities to learn about the chemical extraction and transformation of cortisol from saliva samples. This included pipette measuring, calibration exercises, microfuge activities, and the use of spectrophotometers which aimed to teach students the importance of accurate measurements and give them the experience of using laboratory equipment. The students learned lots about the chemical processes involved in cortisol detection and analysis and will be able to take these important skills away and reflect upon them in their studies.

This is a great example of technicians collaborating and working together to deliver a successful event. We received fantastic feedback with some of the students commenting that it had helped them to realise which strand of science they wanted to continue to focus their studies at university. We are glad that our efforts could help the students in this way and we wish them the best of luck for their future.

The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

Graduate, Laura, blogs about her Psychology Technical Skills Internship at Staffordshire University

Graduate intern, Laura, blogs about her recently completed graduate internship working with the Psychology technicians at Staffordshire University.

I graduated in the summer of 2016 from Staffordshire University with a BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology and have been travelling and enjoying the summer free of exams, still unsure of the direction my career was going. Just before Christmas last year I saw the Psychology Technical Skills Assistant internship with Staffs Uni, and decided how this could be the opportunity I was waiting for to begin my career and taste what it is like to be an ‘adult’. Which I am sure all graduates will agree is the hardest aspect of completing university. I instantly felt at home when I returned to the university and was welcomed by all the academics and technicians, and have enjoyed every day since I started.

I have had the pleasure of working with some of my own project students with their final year projects and watched them succeed, this had by far been the most rewarding part of the last 3 months, especially after being in their position last year. This has truly opened my eyes to the different aspects of psychological research and has (finally) helped me decide my career path. I am hoping to continue as a Psychology Technician and further advance my skills or go into research and eventually complete a PhD.

I have been fortunate enough to share this experience with Sarah Higgins and Paul Gallimore, both whom are award winning Psychology Technicians and have been amazing with my training. They have embraced my enthusiasm to learn and made the internship as enjoyable and valuable as possible, also helping me overcome a number of challenges along the way. Both have been incredibly supportive of helping me to develop skills for a career and hopefully to have a more permanent career which use my knowledge from this internship.

From project building for students to using specialist equipment such as EEG or eye tracking, all of which I wish I had used in my own final year project! Both psychology technicians are happy to go one step further for each of their students and will to make your project build easier (if there is such thing as making 3rd year ’easier’ anyway). All of the psychology equipment is there for students to use, so please use it to your advantage and have some fun and learn new skills in your final year as an undergraduate.

The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details, and to book your place at an open day, please visit:

For more information about the undergraduate Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the course profiles below:

Opportunity for a Paid Internship as a Graduate Psychology Technical Support Assistant

The Psychology Technical Skills Specialists at Staffordshire University are looking to recruit a Graduate Psychology Technical Support Assistant to begin in January 2017. This is an exciting opportunity to develop your practical and applied psychology related technical skills by supporting student learning, research and enterprise activities and developing technical materials.


This is a 12 week full-time graduate paid internship available to Staffordshire Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from 2016. If you consider yourself to be enthusiastic, an excellent team player and have a willingness and interest in developing psychology related technical skills then this may be the role for you!

Closing date: 18th December 2016 with interviews week commencing 19th December 2016.

For more information and to apply for this internship please go to:

Staffs-Uni-Hi-Res_45-1024x683The School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise at Staffordshire University is a leading School in the UK for Psychology degrees and is situated in the heart of England.  We produce internationally recognized research which is driving knowledge in this area forward and we work with a variety of healthcare providers, charities, international sports teams and private sector organisations.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details, and to book your place at an open day, please visit:

For more information or details of the wide range of Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit our website and our courses page.

Could you design and conduct a psychological experiment in one day?

On Wednesday 11th May 2016 the Psychology Department welcomed sixteen psychology students from Stoke-On-Trent Sixth Form for an ‘Experiment in a Day Workshop’. The interactive workshop provided the students with an opportunity to develop and run memory-based experiments whilst gaining insights into the Psychology technical resources available in the department.

Paul Gallimore and Sarah Higgins, Technical Sarah-H paul-GSkills Specialists in the Psychology Department and members of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, delivered the workshop with assistance from George Fortune, a current second year Staffordshire Psychology Student Advocate. In the session, the sixth form students defined the different memory processes and engaged with tasks to test apply their knowledge. Afterwards they then ran their own experiments on student participants from the sixth form to collect data to take away and analyse for a report set by their teacher.

There were four different experiments that the students had a chance to build, all of which tested different types of memory processing from recognition tasks to encoding tasks. One of the experiments ran by the students was the Stroop Task (pictured below) which required their participants to identify the ink colour words were written in. Once the data was collected the group discussed the findings for each of the experiments and provided suggestions to explain the results collected.Stroop Task

Students who took part in the workshop were asked for their feedback, with all students in attendance stating that they enjoyed the workshop, particularly the practical elements. Some students mentioned that they liked being able to take part in the experiments as well as conducting them. Whereas other students mentioned that they enjoyed using the psychology equipment / software and enjoyed the interactive quiz and tasks integrated within the workshop.

If you would like to come and have a go at some experiments and see the equipment that we have to offer why not attend our next open day?

Interested in Psychology? Come to an Open Day & find out more about Psychology courses at Staffordshire University.

Curious about how psychologists test and observe behaviour? Thinking about taking a Psychology degree or a related course?

Come to one of Staffordshire University’s Open Days and find out more! Book your place via:

Psychology Technicians from across the UK and Ireland descend on Staffordshire University for the 40th Annual ATSiP Conference

The 3-day Association of Technical Staff in Psychology conference, hosted by Staffordshire University’s Technical Skills Specialists Sarah Higgins and Paul Gallimore, obtained record numbers of attendance and was well received by the delegates. There were a range of talks throughout the conference, ranging from gesture recognition using the Microsoft Kinect to using eye-tracking equipment and the evolving role of the Psychology Technician at universities.

ATSiP June 15 2

Paul and Sarah present ‘The Links between Essential Technical Skills and Core Teaching’, at the 2015 ATSiP Conference, Staffordshire University.

The delegates also had the opportunity to tour around the Psychology facilities within the Science Centre at Staffordshire University, which left many in admiration:

‘we’re very envious of your lovely building and your equipment… certainly something to aspire to’ Julia Mackenzie, University of Hertfordshire.

‘the Staffs department is something to aspire to and a similar level of accessibility of the equipment to the students is something I hope to achieve in the near future’Oliver Clark, Manchester Metropolitan University.

‘You’ve a fine setup, there was a lot of us very jealous’ – Michelle Glasheen, Mary Immaculate College.

Delegates dined locally for their evening meals at the Rare Lounge Bar and Steakhouse and David’s Brassiere which included a visit to the Italian Gardens in the gorgeous sunshine!

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Delegates at the 2015 ATSiP Conference held in Staffordshire University’s Science Centre

The hosts commented ‘the feedback we received from delegates was amazing, everyone was impressed with the laboratories and equipment we had to offer and how they were integrated within student learning’Paul Gallimore.

It has been a privilege to host the 40th annual conference. We are so grateful for the sharing of best practices and the valuable feedback in relation to the technical provision we currently provide’ Sarah Higgins.

Staffordshire University to host the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology (ATSiP) Conference in June 2015.

June is nearly here! This month sees Psychology Technical Skills Specialists Sarah Higgins and Paul Gallimore gearing up in preparation as Staffordshire University plays host to the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology (ATSiP) three day annual conference (24th – 26th June).

ATSiP Logo

The conference will see over 60 delegates arriving from from Universities across the UK and Ireland as well as exhibitors and suppliers of specialist equipment in attendance.

Talks at the conference will include:

Links Between Delivery of Essential Technical Skills and Core Teaching – Paul Gallimore and Sarah Higgins (Staffordshire University)

Effectiveness of Audience Participation Software (Turning Point)Prof David Clark-Carter (Staffordshire University)

The Unseen Technician – Andrew Barnes (University of Surrey)

Developing a Preschool Diagnostic Methodology for Dyslexia – Maria Shaw (Edinburgh Napier University)

There will also be several specialist talks focusing on the use of Eyetracking, EEG and Biopac equipment.

You can follow the events at the conference via the Staffordshire University Psychology twitter account (@StaffsPsych) and via the newly created Psychology Technician’s account (@StaffsPsyTech).

Join in the conversation using the conference’s twitter hashtag: #ATSiP2015